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Promoting Excellence Network - Graduate Attributes at CQUniversity Australia
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Promoting Excellence Network - Graduate Attributes at CQUniversity Australia


This presentation provides an overview of the initial stages of the Graduate Attributes Project at CQUniversity Australia.

This presentation provides an overview of the initial stages of the Graduate Attributes Project at CQUniversity Australia.

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  • TaskIntroducing graduate attributes to CQUni’s curriculum
  • The challenge:Getting academics to see value in graduate attributes – why should I care about Gas? It’s not just a tick ‘n’ flick (changing attitudes)Motivate academics to map their curriculum,analyse their programs & make changes (why should I do this? What benefits will come of it?)
  • Coming up with a pedagogical framework for evaluating curriculum against the graduate attributes that is not overcomplicated, but still meaningful
  • A technological solution to collecting the information and facilitating analysis, reflection and remedy
  • A collection of underlying philosophies around how we operate and engage with academic staff:“If you want academics to do something, make it easy, not hard”“Nobody likes to do meaningless tasks”“Rather than provide fish, teach to fish”“Evolutionary rather than revolutionary”“Work smarter, not harder” – AUTOMATION
  • The contextThe 8 attributes were already decided, along with 3-level of depth for each attribute (introductory, intermediate, & graduate)High workload for many staff (academic & professional)Under-resourced IT department
  • So what did we do?Start with mapping the status-quo – a bottom up approach – what do we currently haveAnalyse the status-quo at program-level and make decisions about how to improve the curriculum ensuring rounded development of 8 attributes
  • Pedagogical Framework for mapping the graduate attributes into the curriculumMap the attributes against learning outcomes and assessment, but not (at this stage) the learning activities – a compromise – baby stepsMapped to 3 levels, so there was a dimension of breadth across the curriculum and depth – so development of graduate attributes can be scaffolded
  • Academic Engagement
  • It is no surprise that managing academics is difficultBy the nature of their job, they are required to be critical thinkersHappily challenge any institutional directiveThey work largely autonomouslyThey are also very pragmatic when it comes to teachingQuote:“I think I’d rather manage a large software development project”And so we did (sort of)Moving onto the technology
  • Why make the academic staff copy & paste learning outcomes and assessment information into spreadsheets, when we already have this information in computer systems?How were we going to manage the dissemination and collation of spreadsheets across xxx courses & yyy programs?How would we track our progress on this activity?
  • So what did we do?
  • Centrally stored data collectionSecureBacked up
  • Tried sharing an MS Office document?Multiple copies need to be merged againWhich is the latest version?
  • Distributed Word or Excel documents will need to be collated againNot necessary with web approach
  • Because centrally storedAnytime track progress of data collection
  • Collected data can be easily shared with others.
  • Learning objectives & Assessment info providedDon’t have to hunt for itExtract LO & Assessment from ITD databases80% of LO have been extracted automatically by script
  • Reports/Analysis can be provided centrally and updated/improved centrallyNo need to redistribute files. Just visit updated website.
  • Data collected could be made available for download into Excel spreadsheetMore detailed/custom analysis by program directors if desired
  • Allocation to courses for mapping could be based on ASA rolesEg. Course co-ordinators assigned to their courses for mapping
  • ITD have all the info, so let’s re-use it (share)Features of systemSimple & Easy to useProvide all the information required to do the evaluation and map the course:learning outcomesassessment infoCourse profileMoodle course siteStudent handbook entry for programsDon’t make academics search all over for info (meaningless task)Don’t make them copy & paste information (such as LO & assessment) (meaningless task)No submit buttons – each change is automatically saved (easy to use – simple)Centralised shared reportsTransparent system – everyone can see everyone’s mapping
  • Let’s take a look at the actual system and how it works and what it does


  • 1. Improving student outcomes by promoting whole of university good practice
    Graduate Attributes @ CQUni
    Damien Clark
  • 2. Presentation Outline
    The challenges
    Underlying philosophies
    How we went about it
  • 3. Task
    Integrate graduate attributes into curriculum
    of all undergraduate programs across CQUni
  • 4. The Challenges
    Academics to see value in graduate attributes
    Not a tick ‘n’ flick exercise
    Changing attitudes
  • 5. The Challenges
    Pedagogical Framework
    Integrate GAs into Curriculum
  • 6. The Challenges
    Technical Solution
    Collect information
    Facilitate Analysis
  • 7. Underlying Philosophies
    If you want academics to do something, make it easy
    Nobody likes to do meaningless tasks
    Rather than provide fish, teach to fish
    Evolutionary rather than revolutionary
    Work smarter, not harder
  • 8. Context
    8 Attributes already decided
    3-levels (Introductory, Intermediate & Graduate)
    High workload (academic & professional)
    Under-resourced IT Department
  • 9. How did we do it?
    Map the status-quo
    Bottom-up approach
  • 10. How did we do it?
    Pedagogical Framework
    Balancing Act
    Mapped GAs against:
    But not:
    Learning Outcomes
    Learning Activities
  • 11. How did we do it?
    Academic Engagement
    Solicit Feedback
    School meetings
    Simple technology
    Reference Groups
    Hard Yakka
  • 12. Managing Academics = Herding Cats
    Critical thinkers
    Why should I …?
  • 13. How did we do it?
    Conventional Wisdom
  • 14. How did we do it?
    A Web-based Solution
  • 15. Centrally Stored & Backed Up
  • 16. No version control issues
  • 17. No collecting necessary
  • 18. Progress tracking
  • 19. Shared access
  • 20. Tools and materials provided
  • 21. Improvements centrally
  • 22. Export data to Excel
  • 23. Assigned access to courses
  • 24. Re-use existing Information
    If you want academics to do something, make it easy
    Nobody likes to do meaningless tasks
  • 25. Show & Tell – CQUni Graduate Attributes Mapping