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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Research project: Measuring and evaluating learning gain

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This is a Higher Education Council for England (HEFCE) funded project which is exploring the ways in which the phenomena of student ‘learning gain’ can be best captured and potentially enhanced within HE. The project is in partnership with the Universities of Portsmouth, Royal Holloway, Roehampton and the University of the Arts, London.

This research is utilising a range of methodological and conceptual tools to capture learning gain and the areas of university experience where it may be developed. The conceptual tools used include self-theories of intelligence, self-motivation theories and theories of graduate identity and capital and is interested in examining the extent to which these are developed through the higher education experience.

The research has designed a series of psychometric scales which students across all years of undergraduate study are completing. One of these includes the Graduate Capital Scale which is looking to find out how different forms of capital (human, social, cultural, identity and psychological) are developed and how they shape student employability development and transition to employment. I am working closely with colleagues in the Careers and Employability Service Unit at the University of Southampton to help embed this approach into practice and feed into self-diagnostic tools which can be used by students and careers practitioners. In addition, this research is applying a series of interviews and focus groups with students, academics and employers in order to understand how conceptions of ‘learning gain’ are understood across the board.

Related outputs

Tomlinson, M. (2017) ‘Forms of graduate capital and their relationship to graduate employability’, Education + Training (in press)

Tomlinson, M., McCafferty, H., Fuge, H. & Wood, K. (2017) Resources and Readiness: the graduate capital perspective as a new approach to employability, Journal of National Institute for Career Education & Counselling (in press)

Related research groups

The Centre for Educational Policy
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