Scientific Realism and the Study of Higher Education Curriculum and the Student Experience
This chapter elaborates and exemplifies the use of Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) in the analysis of the effects of curricula designs on student learning and experience in higher education. A brief didactic account of the origins of structural equation modelling is used to expose and explore fundamental assumptions, metaphysical and ontological commitments, and alternative views in the field. This is followed by an exemplification of the method by use of a case study of its application in studying a higher education curriculum design (work-integrated learning). The chapter argues for the adoption of a realist account of latent variables on the basis that the constructs they represent are in principle manipulable, even though experimental manipulation is not typically a feature of research on curricula in higher education.
Methods and Paradigms in Education Research
Education Assessment and Evaluation