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Developing frameworks to embed graduate attributes in tertiary courses

Sue Sharp and Heather Sparrow
Edith Cowan University
Edith Cowan University (ECU) has clearly establish the intent that ECU students will be characterised by the high quality of their skills, knowledge and attitudes relevant to employment, particularly in the service and knowledge industries. One strategy to achieve this goal is the development and implementation of a University-wide approach to graduate attributes. Building on the experiences of earlier generic skills projects, both within ECU and in other institutions, a draft framework has been developed which outlines a range of graduate attributes which all students may be expected to demonstrate as a result of their ECU study.

The draft framework has been broadly accepted by the university community, but it was suggested that trials should be conducted to test the validity of the framework and to assess the practicality of its implementation. An extensive literature review was undertaken to investigate successful processes for identifying, developing and assessing graduate attributes (Sharp, 2000) and a set of principles was identified which clearly pointed to the significance of the ownership of the change process by academic course teams. As a result curriculum teams in the Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences were invited to join a one-year trial to apply the framework by using it to embed graduate attributes into their courses. Five projects have been selected and funded: In each case the process involves course review to identify, map, embed and assess graduate attributes in a course or units. Several projects intend to make use of portfolios for graduate attribute assessment. All projects are to be completed within the year. This roundtable will report on the projects, their experiences and findings.

Contact person: Heather Sparrow, Edith Cowan University. h.sparrow@ecu.edu.au

Presentation format: Roundtable

Please cite as: Sharp, S. and Sparrow, H. (2002). Developing frameworks to embed graduate attributes in tertiary courses. In Focusing on the Student. Proceedings of the 11th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 5-6 February 2002. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2002/abstracts/sparrow-abs.html

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