DESIGN LEARNING OUTCOMES IN PORTUGUESE HIGHER EDUCATION CURRICULA: HOW ARE THEY DEFINED AND IMPLEMENTED?

D. Dias1, P. Carvalho2, D. Soares3

1Universidade Europeia I Laureate International Universities and Center for Research on Higher Education Policies (PORTUGAL)
2Universidade Europeia I Laureate International Universities (PORTUGAL)
3Center for Research on Higher Education Policies (PORTUGAL)
Since the Bologna Declaration, the operationalization of learning outcomes (LO) in Higher Education curricula has been a common challenge for European educational institutions. Despite the efforts undertaken so far, the LO definition and implementation are still to be assessed and accounted. Accordingly, this paper intends to systematically analyze the LO proposed in the scope of graduate and post-graduate programs in Design submitted to the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES) in Portugal, since 2004. Using Natural Language Processing methods and techniques, we will explore a corpus composed of the proposals submitted to A3ES, to find potential similarities and differences in the formulation of LO, taking into consideration the institution, the scientific program and the cycle involved. Specifically, we will use computational lexicons and grammars to gather information on word frequency, lexical density, syntactic distribution and the morphology used in texts. We will also analyze additional discourse dimensions, such as the length of texts and sentences, the frequency of specific linguistic patterns, and the presence of subjective items, like evaluative adjectives and nouns. This exploratory study will enable to draw some conclusions about the interpretation and implementation of LO in Design study programs in Portuguese Higher Education Institutions, and will give new insights on the extension of the analysis performed to other curricula, at national and international levels.