Benchmarking higher education programs through alignment analysis based on the revised Bloom's taxonomy

Lam, T, Lau, C, Kam, B, Nkhoma, M and Richardson, J 2019, 'Benchmarking higher education programs through alignment analysis based on the revised Bloom's taxonomy', Benchmarking, vol. 25, no. 8, pp. 2828-2849.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Benchmarking higher education programs through alignment analysis based on the revised Bloom's taxonomy
Author(s) Lam, T
Lau, C
Kam, B
Nkhoma, M
Richardson, J
Year 2019
Journal name Benchmarking
Volume number 25
Issue number 8
Start page 2828
End page 2849
Total pages 22
Publisher Emerald Publishing
Abstract Purpose This study proposes a scalable quantitative approach to evaluate alignment within and between courses and programs in higher education for benchmarking purpose. Design/methodology/approach The revised Bloom's taxonomy (RBT), which combines a cognitive process dimension and a knowledge dimension, is used as a basis for categorizing national standards, program and course learning outcomes, and assessment methods. Alignments between programs and national standards, programs and courses, and assessment tasks and courses are then measured using a series of Cohen's kappa statistics. Two undergraduate business programs offered at an Australian university were used as examples to demonstrate the proposed method as an alignment evaluation tool. Findings The findings reveal that the two sample programs are better aligned with national standards than with their respective constituent courses. Degree of alignment between course learning outcomes and assessment methods varies from course to course within the programs. This might be related to the lack of clarity of some learning outcome statements and the complexity of certain assessment methods. Research limitations/implications This study lends insight into the use of an alignment mapping for benchmarking academic programs in higher education. To serve mainly as an illustration of the proposed approach, the case study is limited to two undergraduate business programs offered at the same university. Practical implications Universities can use the proposed approach to benchmark their academic programs against the national standards and similar programs offered by other competing educational institutions. The alignment indices can also serve as yardsticks to continuously improve the consistencies within and among academic programs to ensure quality. Originality/value The proposed method offers a consistent basis to compare the degrees of alignment of different higher education programs with national standards and their re
Subject Education Assessment and Evaluation
DOI - identifier 10.1108/BIJ-10-2017-0286
Copyright notice © Emerald Publishing Ltd
ISSN 1463-5771
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