Resolving the wicked problem of quality in paramedic education: the application of assessment for learning to bridge theory-practice gaps

James Thompson, Don Houston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract


The work-ready capabilities of graduates are a critical quality concern for universities: some emerging professional disciplines continue to face claims of theory-practice gaps. The diversity of perspectives on the quality of graduate work-readiness suggests that this is a wicked problem that cannot be absolutely solved but that can be resolved by careful interventions to bridge gaps between stakeholder expectations. This article chronicles the introduction and ongoing refinement of assessment for learning within an undergraduate paramedicine programme. Assessment is constructed as an authentic, immersive and continuous feature of learning design, fusing theory with the practices and expectations of industry. Theory-in-context education practice responds to perceptions that theory and practice reside in separate domains of universities and industry. The authors report action research cycles spanning a decade of planning, acting and evaluating innovations to enhance graduate work-readiness. Their work promotes design principles and actions applicable to local resolution of such wicked problems.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalQuality in Higher Education
Early online date18 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Wicked problems
  • action research
  • paramedic education
  • capstone experience
  • programmatic assessment
  • work-readiness
  • higher education

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