Learning outcomes across disciplines and professions: Measurement and interpretation
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Learning outcomes of higher education are a quality tool in a changing higher education landscape but cannot be seen as neutral measures across professions and disciplines. Survey results from graduates and recent graduates indicate that prevailing measures of learning outcomes yield the same result within and across disciplinary and professional divides. The main interpretation is that learning outcomes must be seen as a valid construct but that the results are highly dependent on the profession and discipline in a way that cannot be reduced to differences in learning outcomes only; measurements of learning outcomes must also be interpreted as mirroring different knowledge structures and knowledge bases in different professions and disciplines. Thus, attempts to make neutral comparisons of learning outcomes between different professions and disciplines are vulnerable to measuring only the differences in knowledge structures.