Friday, November 21, 2008

Graduate Attributes

As the semester winds down, we have been engaged in the task of mapping the University's graduate attributes to the major strands of study in the B.A. and B.SocSci. - a good opportunity to reflect upon just what it is, exactly, that students are learning, and how that meshes with what we think we are teaching.

Our Graduate Attributes Policy outlines how graduates from our degree program will demonstrate professionalism, community responsiveness, and scholarship. That is, they will have an approach to work and activity, to society, and to knowledge and learning, that identifies them as graduates of the University of Newcastle.

Operationalizing this policy is an ongoing process of unsuring that these domains are reflected in the objectives of individual courses, and their achievement tested through the assessment items; and of identifying the specific attributes that will developed in the major strands of study in the programs.

An agreement on these attributes has yet to be reached, but under discussion are the following:
  • Problem solving – an ability to identify problems and seek solutions from a range of sources
  • Communication – an ability to communicate in diverse forums and formats.
  • Receptiveness – an openness to new ideas and a sensitivity to different beliefs and opinions.
  • Information literacy – an ability to locate, evaluate and re-integrate information.
  • Self-direction – an ability to understand, monitor and control one’s own activities.

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