A critical reflection on a research partnership
This critical reflection asks what contributions a research partnership, active between 1997 and 2014, made to knowledge about student learning in higher education. It focuses on three overarching projects. The first, on assessment, addressed ways to empower students in assessment processes and make them fairer for students from diverse backgrounds. The second, on student retention and success, identified ways for students to integrate into higher education while also advocating that institutions adapt their cultures and practices to meet the needs of students from diverse backgrounds. The third, on student engagement, attracted considerable interest for a conceptual organiser of this complex construct. It included ten proposals for action and recognised the impact of non-institutional factors on engagement. It also found that engagement is best researched within institutions. A critical reflection on the influences of the projects suggests that their impact on assessment was negligible. However, the retention and engagement projects have influenced mainstream thinking.
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