The lived experience of academic practice: academics’ beliefs and their practices of assessment

PhD Thesis


Ayriss, Peter. 2018. The lived experience of academic practice: academics’ beliefs and their practices of assessment. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/5c09be6bf0cc8
Title

The lived experience of academic practice: academics’ beliefs and their practices of assessment

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorAyriss, Peter
SupervisorHickey, Andrew
Andrews, Dorothy
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages444
Year2018
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/5c09be6bf0cc8
Abstract

This thesis details a study of a group of academics at an Australian university and how their beliefs impacted their assessment practice. Despite the extensive discussions in the extant literature relative to the importance of teachers’ pedagogical beliefs, the multidimensional nature of academics’ beliefs and their relevance to assessment practice has been sparsely addressed. This thesis offers an in-depth response to this lacuna and this study found that an academic’s beliefs do have a role in their assessment practices.

The theoretical framework providing the lens for this study consisted of a combination of the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein & Ajzen, 2010) and the theory of personal knowledge (Polanyi, 1958, 1974, 1996, 2012). These theories provided a framework for an understanding of how beliefs drive action. This study deployed a qualitative approach involving a case study method, enacted through a naturalistic, interpretivist lens using a phenomenological approach informed by a lifeworld-lived experience philosophical stance. It was through an investigation of the complex and nuanced facets of academics’ beliefs that insights into how beliefs impacted on and influenced assessment practices are offered here.

The significance of this study lays in the understandings it provides for how quality assessment could be better developed and maintained and how academics’ understandings around their implementation of quality assessment might proceed. This thesis also explored the creative and intuitive processes academics bring to situations of uncertainty in their practice.

Keywordsassessment, assessment practice, attitudes, behaviour, beliefs, belief systems, coping strategies, knowledge, knowledge systems, values
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390303. Higher education
390402. Education assessment and evaluation
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Arts and Communication
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