Engineering critical conversations to enhance the generalist degree

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Abstract
In generalist degrees such as the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts, students can take any number of combinations of subjects according their own learning goals. Tracking their progress in regard to graduate attributes development is therefore particularly difficult. Over half of our undergraduate science and arts students are enrolled in the flagship generalist degree programs (BSc and BA), and most of our staff teach into these degrees, which provides a powerful incentive to examine where and how students are being offered opportunities to develop graduate attributes (GA) within their program. This work builds on our previous initiatives to demonstrate how we mapped GA development across programs for both commonly chosen pathways (goat tracks) within the generalist BSc and BA and professionally-defined pathways or specialist degrees. Engineering space for critical conversations, with staff and students, to explore student learning requires a catalyst. In the case of the BA at UNSW, the catalyst was provided by a complete BA program renewal, a management-driven process. The catalyst for staff to engage in GA mapping in BSc at UNSW was provided by scholarly leadership from within the discipline. From these critical conversations, regardless of the type of catalyst, staff were able to become more explicit in identifying where and how the GA were linked to the students' learning activities and assessment tasks.
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Kofod, Michelle
Brawley, Sean
Rifkin, Will
Quinnell, Rosanne
Whitaker, Noel
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Publication Year
2009
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Conference Paper
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