Presentation on theme: "Integrating generic attributes in the academic curriculum A/Prof Simon Barrie Institute for Teaching and Learning Hong Kong Polytechnic University 14 December."— Presentation transcript:
Integrating generic attributes in the academic curriculum A/Prof Simon Barrie Institute for Teaching and Learning Hong Kong Polytechnic University 14 December 2009
Generic attributes Generic attributes are an orientating statement of education outcomes used to inform curriculum design and engagement with teaching and learning experiences at a university (Barrie 2009). They are descriptions of the core abilities and values a university community agrees all its graduates should develop as a result of successfully completing their university studies (adapted from Bowden et al 2000).
Achieving generic attributes Meaningful curriculum renewal has proved elusive and in Australia there remains a 'national gap' between the rhetoric of generic attributes and the reality of the student learning experience. Why?
Three insights about the complexity of 1.Generic attributes outcomes as a guiding principle for curriculum design 2. Engaging a university community in curriculum renewal 3. Constructively aligning learners’ experiences of curriculum http://www.itl.usyd.edu.au/projects/nationalgap/introduction.htm
1. Complex Outcomes They are multilayered outcomes that require a combination of different teaching and learning strategies to achieve. Designing curriculum around these sorts of attributes requires teachers and learners to engage with them in an intellectual way.
Multilayered… Implicit dispositions attitudes & values, they grow from, but transcend the discipline Explicit ways of doing and thinking, using and applying discipline knowledge… they are the discipline Generic skills – ‘off-the shelf’, non-specialised foundation skills for university learning and work We need to think about GA as integrated – though heterogeneous outcomes
What does this variation look like? Global Citizens Implicit disposition/stance: Graduates will aspire to contribute to society in a full and meaningful way through their roles as members of local, national and global communities they will respect multiple perspectives and recongise the potential limitations of their own world view Explicit disciplinary way of doing/thinking: Apply ecologically responsible engineering techniques to promote sustainability Foundation skill – Will be aware of cross cultural communication strategies
A Hong Kong example to reflect on To enable students to develop their capabilities in: 1.Pursuit of academic / professional excellence, critical intellectual enquiry and life-long learning 2.Tackling novel situations and ill-defined problems 3.Critical self-reflection, greater understanding of others, and upholding personal and professional ethics 4.Intercultural understanding and global citizenship 5.Communication and collaboration 6.Leadership and advocacy for the improvement of the human condition
In some more detail… Aim 4: Intercultural understanding and global citizenship Heighten awareness of own culture and other cultures Develop cultural sensitivity and interpersonal skills for engagement with people of diverse cultures Perform social responsibilities as a member of the global community Aim 6: Leadership and advocacy for the improvement of the human condition Play a leading role in improving the well-being of fellow citizens and humankind Uphold the core values of a democratic society: human rights, justice, equality and freedom of speech Participate actively in promoting the local and global social, economic and environmental sustainability
And one more….. 1.Have up-to-date and in-depth knowledge of an academic specialty, as well as a broad range of general knowledge; 2.Have bilingual communicative competence in English and Chinese (including Putonghua); 3.Be able to think logically, critically and creatively; 4.Have the necessary numerical skills to function effectively in work and everyday life; 5.Be an independent and self-directed learner, motivated by an inquiring spirit; 6.Be well-developed as a ‘whole person’ – intellectually, morally, spiritually, culturally, socially and physically; 7.Be a responsible citizen with an international outlook, and willing to serve and lead.
12 Scholarship: An attitude or stance towards knowledge Graduates of the University will have a scholarly attitude to knowledge and understanding. As Scholars, the University’s graduates will be leaders in the production, application and communication of new knowledge and understanding through inquiry, critique and synthesis.
Research and Inquiry: Graduates of the University will be able to create new knowledge & understanding through the process of research & inquiry be able to identify, define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them be able to exercise critical judgement and critical thinking in creating new understanding be creative and imaginative thinkers have an informed respect for the principles, methods, standards, values and boundaries of their discipline and the capacity to question these be able to critically evaluate existing understandings and recognise the limitations of their own knowledge
Research and Inquiry at the Conservatorium of Music: be able to identify, define and analyse problems in written work, composition, teaching and performance and identify or create processes to solve them be able to exercise critical judgement and critical thinking in creating new understandings in relation to music analysis, music composition, music education, music history, music technology, and music performance be creative, imaginative and independent thinkers in their musical endeavours have an informed respect for the principles, standards, values and boundaries of current music knowledge, pedagogy and performance practice. be able to question critically and to evaluate current music knowledge and compositional, pedagogical and performance practices, acknowledging global and historical diversity and recognising the limitations of their own knowledge
Varied development strategies Multilayered teaching & learning strategies 1.Foundation skills - co curriculum 2.(multi)Discipline learning - curriculum 3.A learning community - extra curriculum
What might that look like at a Hong Kong University? Curriculum Renewal: PolyU elements 1.General University requirements, bridging courses 2.Strong professional curriculum, multidisciplinary studies, student centred pedagogies 3.Electives, freshman seminar, extra(co)-curricula activities……and what else? Curriculum Challenges: Align and integrate elements as a holistic curriculum ….Charting a learning pathway….creating a university community
Meaningful engagement by staff in curriculum renewal How might we engage the university community in thinking and talking about these complex outcomes and complex development processes…. in a more complex way. Why is meaningful engagement in curriculum renewal so hard to achieve?
A way of thinking about generic attributes curriculum renewal in (institutional) context 1.Conceptualisation 2.Stakeholders 3.Implementation 4.Curriculum 5.Assessment 6.Staff Development 7.Quality Assurance 8.Student Centred http://www.itl.usyd.edu.au/projects/nationalgap/introduction.htm
Curriculum Curriculum structure & organisation can be limiting Rather than a linear sequence of isolated content blocks need a whole degree approach – the Hong Kong 4 year structure delivers this 1. ‘Curriculum’ as the lived experience of students learning across/around the whole degree 1. Include new ‘elements’ (co/extra curriculum) PD theme, skills courses, WIL, internships, Freshman seminars) 2. Change and diversify the existing learning experiences (inquiry learning, CBL, GA focused teaching and assessment)
Change and diversify the existing learning experiences High impact educational practices (Kuh, 2008) First-Year Seminars and Experiences Common Intellectual Experiences Learning Communities Writing-Intensive Courses Collaborative Assignments and Projects Undergraduate Research Experiencing Diversity/Global Learning Service Learning, Community-Based Learning Internships Capstone Courses and Projects
Defining curriculum qualities With your neighbor…..what are 3 things that might characterise a student’s learning experience at university if we wanted to foster the development of generic attributes like: global outlook, professional competence, leadership
A Sydney example….. To foster the generic attribute of scholarship …… the Sydney curriculum (student learning experience) should be characterized by active, inquiry based learning – learning in a research like way With your neighbor…..what are 3 things that might characterise a student’s learning experience at university if we wanted to foster the development of generic attributes like: global outlook, professional competence, leadership Please be ready to share some of your ideas with the group in 5 minutes……. s
What are the defining features of some local university curricula? Broad based curriculum Strong fundamentals in professional education Multidisciplinary Flexible admissions Flexible curriculum design Articulation with NSS curriculum Freshman Year experience Integrated learning Enhanced communication skills Active learning Global learning experience Work Integrated Education Capstone Experience OBE
What are the defining features of some local university curricula? The following distinctive features will characterise the new curriculum: (inter)disciplinary inquiry multidisciplinary collaboration poly-contextual inquiry diverse learning experiences multiple forms of learning and assessment engagement with local and global communities development of civic and moral values.
Engaging staff A curriculum model is not enough when… Quality Assurance does not support or inform engaged curriculum enhancement Staff development does not support or encourage staff to engage intellectually in curriculum renewal Other stakeholders are marginalised Implementation is not planned, resourced and stratified (complex outcomes multi-layered strategy) Underlying conceptualisations remain unaddressed in policy or practice
Quality Assurance Quality Assurance strategies which do not support engaged curriculum enhancement include: 1.QA measures are teacher focused 2.Curriculum mapping is used on its own 3.Rewards are based on indicators that are unrelated to intellectual engagement in curriculum renewal 4.Measures privilege a focus on only some GA Challenge: Evidence of actual student learning is often missing (assessment)
A local insight on QA – evidence of student learning……. The range of learning activities that comprise the student experience: students’ learning does not take place only through their academic program. In the areas of personal development, citizenship, cross-cultural sensitivity and so on, campus life and the co-curriculum are significant contributors to students’ development. The range of sites where learning occurs: while students’ departments are the obvious location for an effort to evaluated overall achievement of “graduateness”, Schools, other departments, the Language Center, the Library, SAO, residential halls, and others all contribute to activities relevant to the achievement of desired outcomes. The range of the potential sources of evidence for the achievement of outcomes, including: assessments embedded in courses; sample data of students’ achievement of generic outcomes in standardized tests; and students’ self-report of the achievement of outcomes through questionnaires, focus groups. (HKUST)
Achieving student engagement for graduate attributes Involve students as partners in the conversations about the learning potential of university early on. Provide engaging teaching learning and assessment experiences that make these conversations real and help students come to understand what university learning can be. Encourage students to create learning opportunities for themselves
34 Three messages for engaged curriculum renewal 1.Graduate attributes are complex – we should treat them that way 2.Our systems might preclude meaningful staff engagement 3.Our students care about this too, we should engage them from the start