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Engaging students with graduate qualities

As graduate qualities are concerned with the development of studentsí personal characteristics, it is critical that students themselves be actively engaged in the processes and decision making.

The progressive development of individuals cannot occur in any substantial way unless the opportunities provided through the curriculum are complemented by commitment to, and enthusiasm for, these outcomes from the students themselves.

There are a number of actions that can be taken to increase student involvement.

Increasing student awareness

Perhaps the most basic requirement is that students be aware of the graduate qualities and the rationale for their inclusion in the curriculum. There are graduate qualities leaflets available for distribution to students, and your Academic Developer can provide advice about using the qualities in a more program specific way. They include a general introduction and links to printable leaflets covering each quality in depth. Graduate quality posters could be prominently displayed in lecture theatres and tutorial rooms.

Demonstrating the links between assessment and the development of graduate qualities

The motivation of students to engage in particular learning processes is directly linked to the benefits they receive from it. The most immediate benefits are those associated with the grades that students receive for assignments and so linking assessment to the graduate qualities is an obvious motivational strategy. The more direct the links the greater will be the student engagement.

Identifying the links between graduate qualities and professional practice

Since graduate qualities are closely linked to the expectations of the workforce, closer links between assessment and work related issues may also provide motivation for students. For example, a student assignment may be linked to a prospective client group such as giving a presentation to the parents of school children (Graduate quality 6) or discussing ethical issues associated with particular professional practice (Graduate quality 5). Such approaches are seen by students to be an investment in their professional future rather than the meeting of arbitrary criteria.

Monitoring and recording development of graduate qualities

Because graduate qualities are concerned with outcomes over the complete experience of a program, it is important that there be a clear developmental sequence of learning opportunities and the associated assessment.

Both staff and students need to be able to monitor the development of each of the qualities so that a well developed set of experiences and achievements can be presented to employers as evidence of employability. Students are able to use MyCareerPlan to record experiences in their personal profile. These can then be downloaded into a resume building tool to assist employment prospects.