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While online courses provide opportunities for a range of assessment tools and resources, little is known about how lecturers might best provide assessment cues to support diverse cohorts. This study explored how lecturers communicate messages about assessment expectations to first-year students in two courses at an Australian regional university (Nursing, n = 323; Engineering, n = 153), and how students accessed the assessment resources. A comparative case study methodology was used. Data included interviews with course coordinators to identify the assessment cues provided, course online content related to assessment and data recording student access of assessment resources. Diverse messaging systems were observed and verbal and written cues were abundant and embedded throughout both courses; however, not all students accessed all cues. What remains unclear is how students might bring together these cues in a productive way. Further research must explore the extent to which students can be better supported to improve their learning.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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