Load and academic attainment in two business schools
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Donnelly, M., McCormack, D. & Rimmer, R. (2007) Load and academic attainment in two business schools, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher, vol. 32, , pp. 613-630,
In this paper the relationship between academic load (the number of modules attempted) and academic performance is investigated in a Scottish and an Australian university. An engagement approach to academic integration is employed, in which there is feedback between load and performance, and in which there is scope for diminishing returns to the study of additional modules once loads become high. The results indicate that full-time students reduced module load in response to information on academic performance. At the Scottish business school many non-traditional students had taken up opportunities to enter university under the UK government's drive to widen participation. In that school load reduction was undertaken at twice the rate of the Australian business school. For women, reductions from full-time loads by one or two modules appear rational in that better average marks result. There are indications that status as a widening participation entrant, the learning and assessment environment, the funding regime and rest-of-life demands have influences on load reduction and on academic performance.