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Academic Level: Learning Outcomes and Credit Levels. Dr Anita Walsh Birkbeck, University of London National Teaching Fellow. Academic Level …. Credit framework consists of levels and credits (=latter indicates size of the learning experience)

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academic level learning outcomes and credit levels

Academic Level: Learning Outcomes and Credit Levels

Dr Anita Walsh

Birkbeck, University of London

National Teaching Fellow

academic level
Academic Level …..
  • Credit framework consists of levels and credits (=latter indicates size of the learning experience)
  • Numbers can imply an artificial specificity – is an academic judgement
  • Is hierarchy of levels going from entry level to doctorate

APEL Helsinki/Oulu December 2009

academic level3
Academic Level …
  • Contribution of credit framework – focus on level of demand of learning experience expressed through learning outcomes
  • Level has often been implicit in higher education – subsumed in qualifications (UG/PG etc)/content/progression

APEL Helsinki/Oulu December 2009

academic level4
Academic Level …
  • Credit levels outline generic characteristics of learning which are embedded in different disciplines
  • Indicate how difficult the learning is designed to be
  • Level of demand therefore distinguished from level of performance of student

APEL Helsinki/Oulu December 2009

academic level5
Academic Level …
  • Level is fixed via the design of the module/programme
  • It does not vary according to the qualifications of a student on entry
  • Postgraduate in time need not be postgraduate in level

APEL Helsinki/Oulu December 2009

academic level6
Academic level …
  • Explicit integration of level = important for student
  • Staff aware that they expect different things from first year students and final year students – level is an attempt to move towards transparency of expectations

APEL Helsinki/Oulu December 2009

academic level7
Academic level …
  • Explicit consideration of expectations in programme design is an important element of achieving appropriate demand and consistency
  • Integrates what we want students to know and what we want them to do with that information

APEL Helsinki/Oulu December 2009

academic level8
Academic Level …
  • Can therefore ensure that expectations ‘fit’ stage in programme
  • For example, requiring a high level of critical evaluation and analysis in the first year would be too demanding
  • Could demotivate students and lead to disproportionate failure

APEL Helsinki/Oulu December 2009

academic level9
Academic Level …
  • Transparency of expectations can also help staff consider appropriate way of supporting students
  • Can ensure that teaching methods adopted support the development of autonomy and help students develop across levels

APEL Helsinki/Oulu December 2009

academic levels
Academic levels …
  • Relevant questions:
  • What level of learning do we want demonstrated?
  • What characteristics would that involve?
  • How can we ensure students are clear on the standard required?

APEL Helsinki/Oulu December 2009

academic levels11
Academic levels …
  • Such questions are likely to lead to discussions of the required balance of content and process
  • Of how to effectively support and assess such learning
  • The answers will vary according to discipline and level

APEL Helsinki/Oulu December 2009