New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 345–356 | Cite as

Assessing Learning Outcomes of Course Descriptors Containing Object Oriented Programming Concepts

  • Diab AbuaiadahEmail author
  • Chris Burrell
  • Michael Bosu
  • Sue Joyce
  • Abdolreza Hajmoosaei


This study follows well-published educational criteria for assessing the quality of learning outcomes and investigates how these criteria are applied to descriptors of courses that include object oriented programming concepts. These quality criteria aim to ensure that learning outcomes are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-scaled. The study examined course descriptors from all universities in New Zealand and found a significant gap between the published criteria and the learning outcomes—it is clear that learning outcomes are widely open to interpretation and do not meet the criteria. There is a minimal level of detail provided in these outcomes that are insufficient to satisfy the stated criteria. This study then presents a new and more detailed implementation of outcomes augmented with assessment structure and marking criteria to show that adding more detail significantly increases the complexity of course descriptors. This highlights the need for robust discussions between the writers of course descriptors who look for simplicity and flexibility and quality assessors who expect precision and specifics.


Course design Learning outcome Assessment structure Marking criteria Object oriented programming 



We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their help and valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© New Zealand Association for Research in Education 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Information TechnologyWaikato Institute of Technology, WintecHamiltonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Information Technology DepartmentWellington Institute of Technology, WeltecLower HuttNew Zealand

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