Learning Gain is a concept that has engaged political and policy attention in the UK in recent years. At its most simple, it is concerned with measuring ‘distance travelled’ across core domains of learning. Beyond this modest statement there is a myriad of applications to which learning gain is applied and measured.
LEGACY is a consortium of 18 Russell Group Universities and we are undertaking research to identify core dimensions of leaning gain across different disciplines, to test and assess the impact of interventions, determine the efficacy of qualitative and quantitative measures/metrics, to facilitate building knowledge and capacity measures of learning gain and to stimulate dialogue within the sector. LEGACY’s work is split across 4 main strands of activity led by the Universities of Cambridge, Birmingham, Nottingham and Warwick.
The research Cambridge is leading has led to the development of a learning gain measurement tool which is being trialled in three waves during 2016-18. The research being led by the Universities of Birmingham, Nottingham and Warwick is exploring different interventions for improving learning gain as it relates to employability. Thus, Nottingham is exploring measures of career adaptability across 4 psycho-social areas. Birmingham is developing understandings of self-perceived employability gains of students that participate in work or study abroad activities, and those that do not travel abroad. Warwick is using the Realise 2 Strengths tool to assess its impact on supporting employment outcomes.Broader consideration of the data in terms of core social and demographic variables, degree entry tariffs, disciplinary impact are some of the areas of further analysis.
Given the importance of learning gain in discussions of, for example the Teaching Excellence Framework, we have brought the work of LEGACY together today with a range of other projects funded through the HEFCE Learning Gain programme. This is because we are interested in cross-fertilizing our understanding of this concept with a critical eye to how it is being used in policy and practice across the sector.
This project is part funded by the Higher Edcation Council for Engalnd - HEFCE