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EDUCATING STUDENTS IN A WORTHWHILE WAY: Graduate Attributes, curriculum renewal and community engaged learning & teaching Australian Collaborative Education.

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Presentation on theme: "EDUCATING STUDENTS IN A WORTHWHILE WAY: Graduate Attributes, curriculum renewal and community engaged learning & teaching Australian Collaborative Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 EDUCATING STUDENTS IN A WORTHWHILE WAY: Graduate Attributes, curriculum renewal and community engaged learning & teaching Australian Collaborative Education Network NSW/ACT Forum 2 nd May 2011 A/PROF SIMON BARRIE, THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY

2 GRADUATE OUTCOMES Everybody is…. Developing 'new' statements of outcomes Renewing curriculum ……(to achieve such outcomes?) Demonstrating achievements …..( or is that measuring compliance?) 2

3 GRADUATE ATTRIBUTES POSSIBILITIES Developing statements of outcomes Renewing curriculum ……(to achieve such outcomes?) Demonstrating achievements …..(measuring compliance?) 3 If we are to avoid the trap of ‘graduate outcomes’ becoming unhelpful bureaucracy we need to engage the university in thinking in a more collaborative and scholarly way about teaching and learning 1. Collaborating on the outcomes we are describing

4 GRADUATE ATTRIBUTES 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). Graduate 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). Graduate attribtues are one way of starting a rich conversation, across the university, about how the university's intentions, values and mission are embodied in the learning experiences and outcomes of its students. 4

5 What ‘good’ is university supposed to deliver? ›personal benefit………..work ›personal benefit………..life ›public benefit …….. economy ›public benefit ………democracy ›The mix of intended 'goods' can influence our descriptions of the sorts of graduates universities should be producing and how they should be taught and assessed 5

6 What ‘good’ is university supposed to deliver? A.We do not need Universities to teach professional skills, we need them to teach people how to think and question the world we now live in B.Industry wants employees who have all the work competencies and professional skills rather than (graduates) who are still learning these skills C.The first duty of a university is to teach wisdom, not a trade; character, not technicalities D.Higher education has an essential role in furthering democratic culture; and the responsibility to educate each successive generation to renew and develop the attitudes, values and skills needed for this to become a reality E.This country cannot afford to educate a generation that acquires knowledge without ever understanding how that knowledge can benefit society or how to influence democratic decision making F.Universities have a key role in preparing graduates for their participation in a civil society 6

7 What ‘good’ is university supposed to deliver? LETTER 1. Business and Higher Education Round Table 2. A British Prime Minister 3. A graduate recruiter for a major financial firm 4. Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe 5. University WIL expert 6. Presidents of American Universities 7 Different ‘goods’ can be ‘exaggerated’ when we get together with a small group of like-minded people to ‘concisely’ describe graduate outcomes

8 What ‘good’ is university supposed to deliver? LETTER 1. Business and Higher Education Round Table F 2. A British Prime Minister C 3. A graduate recruiter for a major financial firm A 4. Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe D 5. University WIL expert B 6. Presidents of American Universities E 8 The longer people spend thinking about these intended outcomes… and the more they talk to people who have a different perspective on the same question…. the more complex & ‘enabling’ those statements of outcomes become.

9 9 Collaborating with other researchers….ever heard of Blooms taxonomy? Graduate Attributes are actually several different sorts of types of ‘understand’ Statements describing these graduate attributes, and universities’ efforts to foster the development of these attributes, need to accommodate these differences (Barrie 2004, 2007) 1.Precursor 2.Complementary 3.Translation 4.Enabling

10 We need to collaborate and pay attention to many ‘goods’ when writing outcomes ›Citizenship – educated members of local, national and global societies who can usefully contribute to shaping those societies as well as Employment - contribute through, and derive satisfaction from, their work - and work connects to other parts of their life and to society. ›But......The education process itself can be a 'good' 10

11 Social ‘good’ is achieved through more than our graduates’ attributes ›The choice of education process itself can make a positive contribution to society 11

12 12 PART 2: Collaboration and learning The interest in statements of outcomes often stops at the articulation of a list…..it does not get translated into the sorts of pedagogical conversations and curriculum actions that have any impact on student learning.

13 Collaborative learning experiences ›To achieve certain sorts of learning outcomes, univeristies need to offer certain sorts of learning experiences (Alignment) ›For students to learn to thrive on uncertainty, to be able to work with multiple perspectives in culturally diverse teams, to deal with the plurality of world views that will characterise any problem of social, national or global significance in their work…then those sorts of things need to be scaffolded into their learning experiences at university – not left until they graduate 13

14 Certain sorts of learning experiences?....A renewed role for ‘collaborative’ (in its broadest sense) education ›Students need to learn about more than just their own discipline – they need to learn about the perspectives offered by their fellow students' fields of study Without that collaboration - how else will they know the limitations of their own field? ›Students need to learn in collaboration with other students - in ways that promote and benefit from their independence and collegiallity. ›Students need to learn about their discipline from more than one perspective – how do practitioners, consumers, 'Others’ understand their discipline? We need to collaborate with others as teachers… and students need to collaborate with others as learners. › Students need to learn about their discipline in relation to consequential issues … not just ‘in abstract’ or ‘in theory’ or 'in isolation'……..but 'in collaboration' –its learning in an engaged and meaningful way in relation to something. ›They need to learn…. Students need to be active, inquiring, seeking that learning – it is no good us teaching if they don’t approach learning in that way…..we need to collaborate with them as their teachers. ›And of course, strategies such as WIL potentially offer all this and more…… 14

15 FROM OUTCOME STATEMENTS TO LEARNING EXPERIENCES ›Two ‘collaborative’ strategies that might help: ›1. To get traction on the curriculum and influence student learning experiences ›2. To bypass the bureaucracy of ‘audits’ to build engagement by identifying sources of data that encourage, rather than shut down, conversations 15

16 Getting ‘traction’ on the curriculum ›Signature learning experiences: What does the university want to be known for in terms of the learning experiences it will provide for its students? ›A research intensive university…….. ‘Engaged enquiry’ through two pedagogical strategies ›Research enriched learning and teaching (RELT) ›Community engaged learning and teaching (CELT) 16

17 Getting ‘traction’ on the curriculum WHAT DOES CELT LOOK LIKE IN THE CURRICULUM? ›Curriculum content. Community based, external sources of knowledge, research and application examples are included in curricular content. ›Curriculum teaching and learning processes. learning through experiential interaction with information and expertise derived from sources external to academia that connects their discipline to its external contexts of application, interpretation and adaptation. This can invovle internships, practica, field studies, service learning, work integrated learning, and other models of experiential learning. ›Curriculum learning outcomes reflect the impact of engaged and experiential learning processes on student learning. Our graduate attributes describe these. ›Curriculum is more than the class room (wherever that might be) - it is about the what is learnt through the broader experience of learning as a member of the university community and as a member of the wider community be it local, regional or global. 17

18 Getting ‘traction’ on the curriculum (sequences) DIMENSIONS OF INCREASING LEARNER CHALLENGE 1. Complexity of learning outcome  Learning outcomes the activity develops and demonstrates  Prior learning the activity assumes 2. Challenge to learner  Difficulty of task (learning process, multi-part activity, scale, time required, familiarity of task)  Scaffolding (Independence, autonomy of learner, level of teacher support, modelling etc)  Role (learner as research subject, author, initiating agent)  Integration (connections to other learners, community and research partners or to other ideas) 3. Significance for system  Risk (to the student, the university, the community)  Impact (on the student’s learning, benefit and usefulness to the university, the discipline or consequence for the community)  Cost (resources, time, expertise) 18

19 Getting ‘traction’ on the curriculum UNIVERSITY WIDE PROCESS OF CURRICULUM REVIEW 1.Engaged enquiry is part of the agreed strategic plan for the next five years 2.The graduate attributes, Sydney signature learning experiences of RELT & CELT and the idea of increasing learning challenge will provide the framework which will support the development of curricula and side-stepping bureaucracy to build engagement 1.Resources to support engagement in those sorts of strategic curriculum conversations (STEPs) 2.Identify and provide sources of data that encourage, rather than shut down, conversations 19

20 Building engagement SUPPORTING CURRICULUM RENEWAL ›$M1.2 competitive grant scheme to support curriculum development projects: 1.Renewal of curricula to provide RELT /CELT experiences that foster greater student engagement 2.Implementation of RELT /CELT teaching strategies that foster greater student engagement 3.Implementation of RELT /CELT assessment activities that foster greater student engagement 4.Development of faculty / school / department activities that offer students greater engagement with the research culture of the faculty / school / department or greater engagement with the professional / broader community. 20

21 Building engagement Curriculum Mapping & Audits ›Students gathering other students' experiences of engaged enquiry as a 'map' ›A collaboration with students….. ›Explained 'engaged enquiry' to students ›Trained the students to conduct & write up focus groups ›Supported the students to analyse data & validate the curriculum framework 21

22 COLLABORATIVE LEARNING GRADUATE OUTCOMES 1.Collaborate to encompass multiple views on what a univeristy education is for when developing statemtns fo graduate outcomes 2.Collaborate by using the research on graduate outcomes in developing statements 3.'Collaborative learning' comes in many guises and most are well aligned with achieving graduate outcomes 4.Collaboration might hold the key to getting past the bureacracy that seems to accompany efforts to use graduate outcomes to drive T&L change 22

23 Life after university…. what does it hold for our graduates? 23 Thank you! GRADUATE OUTCOMES Educating students in a worthwhile way


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