Australia dominates HE assessment research: it needs to change

Education researchers in Wuhan wanted to know who sets the research pace on assessment and evaluation in higher education. They were not entirely pleased with what they discovered.

Wangqiang Sun (Wuhan City College) and colleagues analysed bibliometric data from the UK-based  Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, “one of the fore­most journals within the educational community.”

They found that for publications and prestige it is Australia, followed by the UK, and then daylight.  For 2012-23, there were 271 cited documents from Australian based authors and average citations per document of 31.7. The UK was next with 242 cited documents and 24.8 average citations. Hong Kong, the US and China followed.

Australia’s dominance is largely down to Deakin U, with 2922 total citations, ahead of Monash U (1649), and UTS (1340) followed by the universities of Melbourne and Queensland, Griffith U and Uni Sydney.

A bunch of the success is down to David Boud from Deakin U, a “pioneer in developing learned centred approaches to assessment … and new approaches to feedback.” He has an “exceptionally high”  cited documents score and co-authors with 14 other researchers in Australia.

Boud’s impact is apparent in the influence of his 2013 paper, “Rethinking models of feedback for learning: The challenge of design,” Written with Elizabeth Molloy (then Monash U, now Uni Melbourne) it has a “super-high” 763 times cited, “testifying its foundation role in shaping our understanding of feedback as a learner-centred process.”

However Associate Professor Sun and colleagues point out that AUK researchers setting the pace, demonstrates, “dominance of Western-centric perspectives and its impact on the global understanding of assessment and evaluation within higher education.”

They propose AEHE could “include reducing language barriers for reviewing papers from non-English speaking authors, expanding the pool of reviewers from non-English speaking coun­tries/regions.”

Another change publisher Taylor and Francis could make is publishing this paper open access.



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