Proceedings of 29th International Business Research Conference

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Proceedings of 29th International Business Research Conference
24 - 25 November 2014, Novotel Hotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, ISBN: 978-1-922069-64-1
Applying a Research Based Approach to Alignment of Business
Degree Graduate Attributes and Learning Outcomes
Alan Dymond
Graduate Attributes are often developed by higher education establishments
without any systematic approach to aligning generic or learning outcomes to
the actual subject content or teaching process. The purpose of this paper was
to examine how the Graduate Attributes of a smaller, private provider were
developed and the perceived extent to which the curriculum and assessments
for some Marketing and Management units aligned to the graduate attributes
and stated learning outcomes using Barrie’s Conceptual Framework and the
relevance to international students. The study found that despite an
appearance of conformity to concepts of alignment there were areas where
this was not the case. It also found that, despite a predominance of
international students, there was no evidence of systematic attempts to ensure
that course content and delivery are adapted to the diverse student cohort of
the institution
Business Education
1. Introduction
This study was undertaken in a Private Provider institution which is is the Higher Education
division of a larger private education group. At its Melbourne Campus, the institution offers
Bachelor of Business degrees, majoring in Accounting, Community Services Management
and Marketing. Over 90% of the student cohort are full time International students. The
ethnic mix of those students varies depending on the focus of marketing activity but currently
is dominated by students who are Filipino, Indian or Chinese (mainland and Hong Kong or
Taiwan). Local students are almost all part time students who attend evening and weekend
classes, which severely inhibits contact between the two groups. Local students tend to be
older and working full time whilst the international students typically work only part time (up to
20 hours). Many of the Filipino students already hold first degrees and often post graduate
qualifications. According to Ausdtralian Education International (2014) some 52% of all
student enrolments in Management and Commerce are international students and many
study at campuses which are overwhelmingly dominated by international students. In
discipines such as Business the needs of these students should be a major concern for
academics but research suggests that generally few academics plan and deliver their
courses in ways which cater for diversity in the student cohort
2. Literature Review
Universities have typically encapsulated the outcomes of their courses in a description of the
attributes graduates should have acquired. Universities must now demonstrate the quality of
their outcomes and processes by means of being subject to Government audits such as
TEQSA, in the same way that TAFE and Private Providers have always had to,
Alan Dymond, Lecturer in Business, Stotts‟ Colleges, 252 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3052, Australia, T 03 9663
3399 | F 03 9663 3517 Email [email protected]
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Proceedings of 29th International Business Research Conference
24 - 25 November 2014, Novotel Hotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, ISBN: 978-1-922069-64-1
and this has led to a re-examination of the generic graduate attribute outcomes which most
Australian universities have published. This re-examination of Graduate Attributes means
that Higher Education institutions have had to come to terms with how to develop curricula to
effectively achieve these outcomes,(Barrie, 2006)
Barrie(2006, p217) cites Bowden et al., 2000 in stating that Graduate Attributes “include but
go beyond the disciplinary expertise or technical knowledge that has traditionally formed the
core of most university courses. They are qualities that also prepare graduates as agents of
social good in an unknown future”. This concept has also been taken further by the process
of “Authentic Self-Realisation”(Moir, 2012). Authentic self-realisation is a lifelong process
involving the continual development of the individual as an investment from which added
value is gained (Moir, 2012). Students who are actively engaged in their courses both in and
out of the classroom are more likely to be successful than those who are disengaged and the
„will to learn‟ is a key aspect of the student experience that needs to be encouraged. (Moir,
2012)
The literature presumes that there is a common understanding by university academics
regarding graduate attributes compared to discipline-based knowledge outcomes but
research has found that academics hold distinctly different conceptions of such outcomes
(Barrie, 2007). According to Barrie (2007, p440 -441) there are four “increasingly complex,
qualitatively distinct understandings of generic attributes……
1. Precursor Conception;
2. Complement Conception;
3. Translation Conception;
4. Enabling Conception.”
The relationship between these concepts can be seen from the following diagram
Figure 1
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Proceedings of 29th International Business Research Conference
24 - 25 November 2014, Novotel Hotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, ISBN: 978-1-922069-64-1
(Barrie,
2007, p441)
The importance of recognising this variation in understanding is that if academics do not
understand their university‟s stated graduate attributes then they are unlikely to incorporate
them in their courses or teaching. (Barrie, 2007). Barrie (2007, p445-449) surveyed
academics who identified six ways in which they believed students acquired generic graduate
attributes
1.
2.
3.
4.
Remedial - not part of usual university teaching
Associated - taught as a discrete subset of the teaching in a university course
Teaching Content - taught in the context of teaching the disciplinary knowledge
Teaching Process – taught through the way the course disciplinary knowledge is
taught
5. Engagement - learnt through the way students engage with the course’s learning
experiences
6. Participatory - learnt through the way students participate in the experiences of
university life
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Proceedings of 29th International Business Research Conference
24 - 25 November 2014, Novotel Hotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, ISBN: 978-1-922069-64-1
Figure 2
(Barrie, 2007, p.445)
As part of this same, small sample phenomonographic study Barrie (2007) identified
academic‟s attitudes to the importance of Graduate Attributes and their relevance to their
own teaching, classifying them into two groups of two quadrants each.
1st Group
“Quadrant 1: Generic attributes are unrelated and relatively unimportant outcomes that
graduates might posses in addition to the usual learning outcomes of a university education
Quadrant 4: Generic attributes are important outcomes that interact with and transform the
other learning outcomes of a university education They can be taught in a teacher-focused
way or a learner-focused way”
2nd Group
“Quadrant 2: Generic attributes are unrelated unimportant outcomes that graduates might
possess in addition to the usual learning outcomes …. they are an integral part of the usual
university curriculum.
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Proceedings of 29th International Business Research Conference
24 - 25 November 2014, Novotel Hotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, ISBN: 978-1-922069-64-1
Quadrant 3: Generic attributes are important outcomes that interact with and transform the
other learning outcomes of a university education; as such they do not form part of the usual
university curriculum I teach.” (Barrie, 2007 p.451-453)
Barrie‟s findings appear are consistent with personal observation and anecdotal evidence
from practising academics at several universities and private provider institutions.
Observation and anecdotal evidence would suggest that there does appear to be a
dichotomy in attitude amongst academics. There are those who regard Graduate Attributes
as important and those who see them as merely an administrative inconvenience or box
ticking exercise. Universities and other educational institutions have over many years
undertaken curriculum audits or mapping exercises in order to demonstrate that students‟
experiences aid the development of their graduate attributes in all courses. These audits
frequently identify „remedial‟ initiatives, e.g. courses in academic English skills, or
„associated‟ approach initiatives, such as additional courses in library skills. (Barrie, 2007) My
experience with Australian Catholic University, whose GA‟s are based more on Catholic
dogma (see Appendix 2), suggests that those reviews are done on a “Top Down” basis and
imposed rather than being part of a wider consultative process
A further major influence on the development of Graduate Attributes by universities has been
the influence of employers‟ requirements of new graduates. At one time the majority of
graduates went into jobs in large organisations, often in a graduate training scheme. This has
changed as the number of graduates has grown. (Yorke & Harvey, 2005) It is probable that
most Australian graduates, entering study from school as opposed to mature age students,
like British graduates, are now employed by small and medium- sized enterprises which
means that recruits do not have extended training and must be productive
immediately.(Yorke & Harvey, 2005). There is extensive research in the field of general
undergraduate and postgraduate business studies, particularly that of Cornuel (2007) and
Grady & Schoenfeld (2006) which concluded that existing courses are seen by employers
and business professionals to be too theoretical and do not equip students to function
immediately on graduation. Crebert, Bates, Bell & Cragnolini (2004), stated that employers‟
wanted graduates to be able to function in the workplace, be competent communicators,
work well in teams, be able to think critically, able to solve problems and be adaptable and
transformative people.
The Development of Graduate Attributes
Despite the fact that there has been a great deal of discussion and “research”, usually
lacking quantitative justification, universities‟ attempts to formulate and describe their
graduate attributes “lack a clear theoretical or conceptual base and are characterized by a
plurality of view-points”(Barrie, 2012) p.79) In Australia, Barrie (2012) notes that most
definitions of Graduate Attributes are derived from the definitions in the Higher Education
Council (HEC) report Achieving Quality and that Australian Graduate Attribute statements
“explicitly emphasize the relevance of these graduate outcomes to both the world of work
(employability) and other aspects of life” (Barrie, 2012, p.80). Barrie, (2012 p.81) cites
Fallows & Steven (2000) and Bennett et al. (1999), when he states “approaches to the
teaching and learning of graduate attributes are hugely varied…. and, despite sometimes
extensive support, have not always met with success when considered at an institutional or
national university system level”, echoing his earlier findings (Barrie, 2007). Stark and
Lattuca, (1996, p.163) also made the point that faculty view courses on the basis of their
perceived support from society and their prestige within the university and one could
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Proceedings of 29th International Business Research Conference
24 - 25 November 2014, Novotel Hotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, ISBN: 978-1-922069-64-1
hypothesise that this affects the way in which those faculty regard the process of imparting
graduate attributes.
Barrie,2012 defines four conceptions or understanding of how academics formulate
strategies to target graduate attributes in their courses;
1. Precursor conceptions of attributes
Graduate attributes are undifferentiated foundation skills e.g. English language
proficiency or basic numeracy.
2. Complementary conceptions of attributes
Additional generic outcomes that complement discipline knowledge these are
“functional, atomistic, personal skills” (Barrie, 2012, p.83)
3. Translation conceptions of attributes
Graduate attributes are “specialized and differentiated forms of underlying generic
abilities which are developed to meet the needs of a specific discipline or field of
knowledge” (Barrie, 2012 p.83)
4. Enabling conceptions of attributes
These are the core attributes and integral to understanding and learning the discipline.
“Graduate attributes are understood as interwoven networks ……(which) give
graduates a particular perspective or world-view … attributes provide the skeleton for
discipline knowledge and are learnt as an integral part of that knowledge”. (Barrie,
2012 p.84)
The results of Barrie‟s work can be seen in the Graduate Attributes Policy of the University of
Sydney, first published in 2004. Based on the four levels of graduate attributes Barrie, 2012
defines three overarching graduate attributes - Scholarship, Lifelong Learning, and Global
Citizenship and those overarching attributes are derived from the next level of attributes
which are the focus of the teaching and assessment in the students‟ courses of study. In
their Graduate Attributes Policy the University of Sydney describes this level of attributes as
“five clusters of more specific attributes;
1.Research
&
inquiry,
2.Communication,
3.Information
Literacy,
4.Ethical
social
&
professional
understandings,
and
5.Personal & intellectual autonomy”
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Proceedings of 29th International Business Research Conference
24 - 25 November 2014, Novotel Hotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, ISBN: 978-1-922069-64-1
University of Sydney Institute of Teaching and Learning Graduate Attributes
URL: http://www.itl.usyd.edu.au/graduateAttributes/policy.htm viewed 11 Oct 2014
Barrie, 2012 cites his own findings from 2003 by stating that these top-level, enabling
attributes are, basically, only a different way of understanding the five translation-level
attributes which are interpreted by each of the faculties in the context of their disciplines.
How does a Private Provider institution formulate their Graduate Attributes
In discussion with the Dean of Studies for the Private Provider institution, regarding the
Graduate Attribute content and formulation, it was stated that the process which informed the
development of the graduate attributes was a review of
1. The Higher Education Council (HEC), 1992 report Achieving Quality
2. The AQF Framework
3. The graduate attributes of the Finnish Polytechnics derived from his own comparative research of
the Australian University and Finnish Polytechnic systems for an unpublished M.Ed. thesis for RMIT
University
4. Research undertaken for the development, and TEQSA accreditation, of the Bachelor of Business
(International) (e.g. Cornuel, 2007, Grady & Schoenfeld, 2006)
5. Review of the published Graduate Attributes for a range of Australian Universities.
The Private Provider institution Graduate Attributes are reproduced in Figure 3
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Proceedings of 29th International Business Research Conference
24 - 25 November 2014, Novotel Hotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, ISBN: 978-1-922069-64-1
3. The Methodology and Model
The paper is a case study and describes the results of applying Barrie‟s Conceptual
Framework to several units of a Bachelor of Business degree program at a Private Provider
institution in Melbourne during 2014
In this paper gathering information about the Private Provider Graduate attributes and
individual unit outlines and assessments and presenting the differences using comparative
tables serve as the primary methods of data collection and analyses. Similarities and
differences to the Conceptual Framework are highlighted as part of the exploratory research.
4. The findings
In many respects the Graduate Attributes of the Private Provider demonstrate the general
lack of a clear theoretical or conceptual base evident amongst most Australian Universities
but shows a higher than average emphasis on work readiness and the ability of students to
operate effectively in a multicultural environment. When compared to Barrie‟s conceptual
framework, however, the Private Provider Graduate Attributes show a relatively high degree
of conformity to the teaching and assessment level of attributes and an explicit adherence to
the top level, enabling attributes defined by Barrie in his various works from 2003 – 2012. It
may be hypothesised that this conformity to Barrie‟s conceptual framework may not be due to
conscious adoption of his principles but rather a reflection of the background of the Director
of Studies in Scandinavian Polytechnics, where the principles of lifelong learning and work
readiness in an international environment may be more deeply entrenched.
Figure 3 Comparison of the Graduate Attributes of the Private Provider institution and
those of the University of Sydney
Discipline
Specific The Private Provider
Attributes
Institution
Graduates
have
Research & inquiry
developed
academic
skills and attributes
necessary to undertake
research, comprehend
and
evaluate
new
information,
concepts
and evidence from a
range of sources
Graduates
have
Communication,
developed
interactive
skills to work well in a
multicultural
environment
University of Sydney
Faculty of Business
Graduates
of
the
Faculty of Business
School will be able to
create new knowledge
and
understanding
through the process of
research and inquiry
Graduates
of
the
Faculty of Business
School will recognise
and
value
communication as a tool
for
negotiating
and
creating
new
understanding,
interacting with others,
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Proceedings of 29th International Business Research Conference
24 - 25 November 2014, Novotel Hotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, ISBN: 978-1-922069-64-1
Information Literacy
Ethical
social
professional
understandings
Graduates can identify
and
solve
common
problems in business
using tools available to
them
& Graduates understand
the professional working
environment and have
developed
an
awareness of business
ethics that is consistent
with
the
Australian
business culture
Graduates
can
successfully work in
their chosen profession
and have the necessary
knowledge and skills for
an
entry/intermediate
level
position
after
graduation.
Personal & intellectual Graduates have an
understanding
of
autonomy
business that allows
them to identify and
develop
business
functions
and
understand their effect
on business outcomes
and furthering their own
learning
Graduates
of
the
Faculty of Business
School will be able to
use
information
effectively in a range of
contexts
Graduates
of
the
Faculty of Business
School
will
hold
personal values and
beliefs consistent with
their role as responsible
members
of
local,
national,
international
and
professional
communities
Graduates
of
the
Faculty of Business
School will be able to
work independently and
sustainably, in a way
that is informed by
openness, curiosity and
a desire to meet new
challenges
Graduates can develop
their KSAs to meet the
demands
of
the
workplace, their chosen
career path and a
changing environment
Graduates
have
recognised
potential
shortcomings in their
KSAs
and
have
developed the tools
necessary to engage in
self directed life long
learning to address this.
Source: Author
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Proceedings of 29th International Business Research Conference
24 - 25 November 2014, Novotel Hotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, ISBN: 978-1-922069-64-1
Student Diversity and Graduate Attributes
The University of Sydney, on their website, state that of their 50,206 students only 10,092 or
approximately 20% are international students drawn from 147 countries. It may be assumed
that their composition is similar to Melbourne University, in that students are more likely to be
from Western cultures and generally better qualified academically than those at Private
Provider or lesser prestige universities. This compares to this institution‟s which has over
90% international students, predominantly from the Philippines, India and China. Anecdotal
evidence would suggest that the motivations of local and international students may differ. It
is possible that local students may have more intrinsic motivation and identify more closely
with their chosen discipline, whilst international students may be driven more by visa and
residency considerations, thus attributes such as Lifelong Learning may have less relevance.
In order to achieve the functional level of attributes students need to understand the
language of their discipline. Literacy in their chosen discipline is a means to an end not the
ultimate objective(Billman, 2013). Understanding the language and identifying with their
discipline may vary between local international students. There are conflicting views on the
degree of variation among local and international students towards the perception of
graduate attributes and discipline literacy and the extent to which they thought discipline
literacy was important. In an Australian study of Psychology students there appeared to be
no significant difference amongst the two groups (Morris, Cranney, Jeong, & Mellish, 2013).
Another Australian study, this time of Nursing students, however, found that there was a
difference and that perhaps Australian universities should consider strategies that enhance
specific areas of self-concepts which may be less developed in some cultural groups (Angel,
Craven, & Denson, 2012). One of the problems which faces the development of discipline
literacy amongst international students could be that in classes dominated by international
students they have little interaction with locals and if subject to little interaction then
leadership skills, psychological well-being and intellectual engagement do not grow and may
actually decline (Bowman, 2013). If students experience diversity this interaction has a
positive impact on the attributes of problem-solving, ability to work with others, and
appreciation of and respect for diversity but this benefited local students more than
international students.(Denson & Zhang, 2010)
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to the Curriculum (see Figure 4)
Figure 4 (following) shows the degree of alignment of the institution‟s Graduate Attributes
using the framework of Academics‟ conception of how students develop generic graduate
attributes (Barrie, 2007). In summary, however, it would appear that, whilst the institution has
addressed the question of alignment of Remedial and Associated (Precursor) attributes
amongst a student cohort mainly comprised of international students, there appear to be
deficiencies in the integration of attributes in Teaching Content, Teaching Process,
Engagement and Participatory integration.
Teaching Content is heavily influenced by Government Policy, usually in the way that the
curriculum and texts etc are chosen (Polikoff, 2012). In this institution‟s case this is
demonstrated by the fact that Business Communications had to be changed to be more
“academic”, which involved inclusion of abstract concepts which added nothing to attainment
of the graduate attributes, in particular, relevance to the workplace. The other area is in
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Proceedings of 29th International Business Research Conference
24 - 25 November 2014, Novotel Hotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, ISBN: 978-1-922069-64-1
choice of text books and readings, there is perceived by practitioners in the field that
government policy demands that texts must be the most up to date versions, preferably of
the most commonly used texts, regardless of the actual worth of the chosen text. Australian
universities typically base their courses around Anglo-American texts and publisher materials
which does not adequately address the question of relevance or inclusivity for international
students. This cultural bias in academic materials plus the fact that the majority of academic
staff are casuals on short term contracts (Bexley, 2011), severely inhibits the time they can
spend on curriculum development.
In terms of Teaching Process, whilst the theoretical basis of course delivery is adequate,
when compared to Laird‟s, (2011), questionnaire on faculty diversity inclusivity responses
tended to show “some” attempt to ensure that course content and delivery are adapted to the
diverse student cohort of the institution, a result which is not adequate. Lecturers do not often
seek to address the cultural heritage of the international students rather than ignore them, a
trait which is likely to diminish the learning experience of the international student (McCarthy,
Rezai-Rashti & Teasley, 2009). Similarly, if their approach to Teaching Process and
Engagement is compared to the Framework of Individual Diversity Development (Guo &
Jamal, 2007) they fall somewhere between Dualistic Awareness and Questioning SelfExploration
Where the institution is particularly deficient is in the area of Participation and Engagement
with the University experience. This failure impacts on the development of two Graduate
Attributes in particular, the Professional attribute “Graduates understand the professional
working environment and have developed an awareness of business ethics that is consistent
with the Australian business culture” and the Personal attribute „Graduates have developed
interactive skills to work well in a multicultural environment”. To overcome this the institution
needs to address the whole question of community within the higher education student
cohort. International students invariably work part time and are pre-occupied with visas and
Permanent Residency. The failure to engage with students beyond the utilitarian provision of
classes and library facilities and the lack of a systematic collaborative approach advocated
by (Chanock, 2012) between Learning Skills and teachers in first year subjects may mean
that students fail to engage in their subsequent years. The curriculum does not demonstrate
adequately how it addresses the attribute of Lifelong Learning.
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Figure 4
The Private Provider institution’s Conformity to Barrie’s Conceptual GA Framework
How Generic Supplementary
Integrated
1st Year
1st Year
2nd Year
Attributes are
Business
Marketing
Marketing Mix
developed
Communication
Principles
Not part of any
curriculum
1.REMEDIAL:
Not
usually
part
of
university teaching
A
secondary
curriculum
2.
ASSOCIATED
Generic attributes are
taught as a discrete
subset
of
the
teaching in university
courses
Disciplinary
Curriculum
content
3.
TEACHING
CONTENT: Generic
attributes are taught
in the context of
teaching
the
disciplinary
knowledge
Disciplinary
Curriculum
Process
4.
TEACHING
PROCESS: Generic
attributes are taught
through the way the
course disciplinary
knowledge
is
taught
Course
experience
5.ENGAGEMENT:
generic
attributes
are learnt through
the way students
3rd Year
Business
(Capstone)
Plan
All students take an
English test in addition
to IELTS.
Free remedial English
classes are mandatory
before
commencement
All
students
are
required to attend the
free Learning Skills
course. This is a
compulsory,
nonassessed course
Students
are
encouraged to seek
help
from
the
Learning Skills Unit
for
their
assessments
Students
are
encouraged
to
seek help from the
Learning Skills Unit
for
their
assessments
Students
are
encouraged to seek
help from the Learning
Skills Unit for their
assessments
There are no formal
courses beyond the
compulsory hurdle
requirements
There
are
no
formal
courses
beyond
the
compulsory hurdle
requirements
There are no formal
courses beyond the
compulsory
hurdle
requirements
TEQSA required the
original course to be
“more academic” so
Reasoning etc was
added and the latest,
academically
fashionable text and
readings are used
Lectures are used as
a framework with the
text and readings used
as support. Teaching
is primarily by means
of individual and group
tasks
and
presentations
Content is based
around the chosen
text and publisher
materials
Texts are updated
regularly to satisfy
external audits
The course uses a
standard
lecture
and tutorial format
using
individual
tests and individual
and group breakout
exercises
Content is based
around the chosen
text and publisher
materials
plus
selected readings
Texts are updated
regularly to satisfy
external audits
The course uses a
standard
lecture
and tutorial format
using
individual
tests and individual
and group breakout
exercises
Students engage with
the academic content
primarily as a result of
extrinsic motivation via
In a cohort of
international
students concerned
with visa and PR
In a cohort of
international
students
concerned
with
Although using a major
text
and
selected
readings as the basis
content
is
communicated in small
group
workshops
focused
on
their
project
Lecture
based
workshops are used at
various milestones in
the
assessment
project with weekly
tutorials
with
the
individual or group
members focusing on
their specific project
Students are required
to
attend
weekly
tutorials and discuss
progress
in
their
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Proceedings of 29th International Business Research Conference
24 - 25 November 2014, Novotel Hotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, ISBN: 978-1-922069-64-1
University
experience
engage with the
course’s learning
experiences
assessed
literature
reviews
and
examinations.
Students are forced to
confront their innate
embarrassment
by
regular presentations
in a fun atmosphere
engagement
is
primarily a function
of
extrinsic
motivation by formal
assessments and
exams but they are
also engaged by
extensive use of
ads to demonstrate
concepts
and
practical exercises
6.PARTICIPATORY:
Generic
attributes
are learnt by the
way
students
participate
and
engage with all the
experiences
of
university life
Students
do
not
generally participate in
college life beyond
attending
classes.
There is little attempt
by the institution to
generate
social
interaction beyond a
few day or weekend
trips/activities.
Interaction
between
local and international
students is almost nil
beyond classes
Students do not
generally participate
in
college
life
beyond
attending
classes. There is
little attempt by
Stott‟s to generate
social
interaction
beyond a few day or
weekend
trips/activities.
Interaction between
local
and
international
students is almost
nil beyond classes
visa
and
PR
engagement
is
primarily a function
of
extrinsic
motivation
by
formal
assessments and
exams but they are
also engaged by
extensive use of
analysis of ads and
practical exercises
Students do not
generally
participate
in
college life beyond
attending classes.
There
is
little
attempt by the
institution
to
generate
social
interaction beyond
a few day or
weekend
trips/activities.
Interaction
between local and
international
students is almost
nil beyond classes
capstone project, each
stage builds on the
theoretical framework
of the unit. Extrinsic
motivation in the form
of mid semester and
final exams is used to
engage with learning
experiences
Students
do
not
generally participate in
college life beyond
attending
classes.
There is little attempt
by the institution to
generate
social
interaction beyond a
few day or weekend
trips/activities.
Interaction
between
local and international
students is almost nil
beyond classes
2
5. Summary and Conclusions
Barrie‟s conceptual framework provides a coherent, systematic basis on which higher
education institutions can examine the relevance of their attributes. Despite the subjective
nature of The framework at least forces academics to consider how their curriculum aligns
with learning and generic outcomes, but provides no basis on which they can assess the
extent of alignment.
Assessment of alignment is subjective and in areas such as teaching content and process
it is easy for academics to rationalise texts, assessments, teaching as aligning to learning
and generic outcomes because they are not subject to a more perceptive framework or
methodology based on research which considers student diversity or the requirement of
other stakeholders. The academic literature in Education tends to view the development of
attributes in the context of the classroom experience but has only lately begun to address
how attributes such as lifelong learning, global citizenship or employability can be
developed. Similarly the Education literature implies that students are intrinsically
motivated but this has been questioned by (Bennett, 2003, 2009). Whilst the question of
work readiness has been extensively addressed (Beverley Oliver et al., 2010; Beverley
Oliver, Jones, Ferns, & Tucker, 2007; B Oliver & Whelan, 2010; M. B. Oliver, Tucker,
Jones, & Ferns, 2007) the question of the ability of academics, who frequently have no
significant business experience, to prepare students for work has received scant attention
(Bergstom 2014).
This study was of a single institution and there is a need for a more extensive quantitative
study covering both private providers and universities to assess whether the issue of non
alignment of graduate attributes and learning outcomes may be more widespread.
Perhaps there is also a need to look at the student‟s learning experience from a more
holistic viewpoint which incorporates the formal and informal social experience of the
higher education experience for international students.
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24 - 25 November 2014, Novotel Hotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, ISBN: 978-1-922069-641
Appendix
Figure 5
1st Year
Business Communication
In this unit of Study this Not
Graduate Attribute is
focus
(0)
1
Research
and
Inquiry
Graduates have developed
academic skills and attributes
necessary
to
undertake
research, comprehend and
evaluate
new information,
concepts and evidence from a
range of sources
2
Information
Literacy
Graduates can identify and
solve common problems in
business using tools available
to them
3
Personal and Intellectual
Autonomy
Graduates can develop their
KSAs to meet the demands of
the workplace, their chosen
career path and a changing
environment
and
have
recognised
potential
shortcomings in their KSAs
and have developed the tools
necessary to engage in self
directed life long learning to
address this.
4
Ethical,
Social
and
Professional Understanding
Graduates understand the
professional
working
environment
and
have
developed an awareness of
business
ethics
that
is
consistent with the Australian
business culture
5
Communication
Graduates have developed
interactive skills to work well in
a multicultural environment
a Minor
focus
(1)
Major
focus
(2)
1
1
1
1
2
4
Proceedings of 29th International Business Research Conference
24 - 25 November 2014, Novotel Hotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, ISBN: 978-1-922069-641
1st Year
Marketing Principles
In this unit of Study this Not
Graduate Attribute is
focus
(0)
1
Research
and
Inquiry
Graduates have developed
academic skills and attributes
necessary
to
undertake
research, comprehend and
evaluate
new information,
concepts and evidence from a
range of sources
2
Information
Literacy
Graduates can identify and
solve common problems in
business using tools available
to them
3
Personal and Intellectual
Autonomy
Graduates can develop their
KSAs to meet the demands of
the workplace, their chosen
career path and a changing 0
environment
and
have
recognised
potential
shortcomings in their KSAs
and have developed the tools
necessary to engage in self
directed life long learning to
address this.
4
Ethical,
Social
and
Professional Understanding
Graduates understand the
professional
working
environment
and
have
developed an awareness of
business
ethics
that
is
consistent with the Australian
business culture
5
Communication
Graduates have developed
interactive skills to work well in
a multicultural environment
a Minor
focus
(1)
Major
focus
(2)
2
1
1
2
5
Proceedings of 29th International Business Research Conference
24 - 25 November 2014, Novotel Hotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, ISBN: 978-1-922069-641
2nd Year
Marketing Mix
In this unit of Study this Not
Graduate Attribute is
focus
(0)
1
Research
and
Inquiry
Graduates have developed
academic skills and attributes
necessary
to
undertake
research, comprehend and
evaluate
new information,
concepts and evidence from a
range of sources
2
Information
Literacy
Graduates can identify and
solve common problems in
business using tools available
to them
3
Personal and Intellectual
Autonomy
Graduates can develop their
KSAs to meet the demands of
the workplace, their chosen
career path and a changing
environment
and
have
recognised
potential
shortcomings in their KSAs
and have developed the tools
necessary to engage in self
directed life long learning to
address this.
4
Ethical,
Social
and
Professional Understanding
Graduates understand the
professional
working
environment
and
have
developed an awareness of
business
ethics
that
is
consistent with the Australian
business culture
5
Communication
Graduates have developed
interactive skills to work well in
a multicultural environment
a Minor
focus
(1)
Major
focus
(2)
2
2
1
1
2
6
Proceedings of 29th International Business Research Conference
24 - 25 November 2014, Novotel Hotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, ISBN: 978-1-922069-641
3rd Year
Business Plan
In this unit of Study this Not
Graduate Attribute is
focus
(0)
1
Research
and
Inquiry
Graduates have developed
academic skills and attributes
necessary
to
undertake
research, comprehend and
evaluate
new information,
concepts and evidence from a
range of sources
2
Information
Literacy
Graduates can identify and
solve common problems in
business using tools available
to them
3
Personal and Intellectual
Autonomy
Graduates can develop their
KSAs to meet the demands of
the workplace, their chosen
career path and a changing
environment
and
have
recognised
potential
shortcomings in their KSAs
and have developed the tools
necessary to engage in self
directed life long learning to
address this.
4
Ethical,
Social
and
Professional Understanding
Graduates understand the
professional
working
environment
and
have
developed an awareness of
business
ethics
that
is
consistent with the Australian
business culture
5
Communication
Graduates have developed
interactive skills to work well in
a multicultural environment
a Minor
focus
(1)
Major
focus
(2)
2
2
2
1
2
7
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