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5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES
It is generally recognised that Higher Education students should be afforded a range of formal and informal learning opportunities to develop skills, or graduate attributes, that have the potential to enhance their success both in their chosen career choice and as active global citizens. This requires a shared understanding of these graduate attributes among programme team members, students and external stakeholders.
The DIT Graduate Attributes policy (2012) therefore requires that all programmes make explicit an agreed set of graduate attributes intended to be fully integrated within curriculum design, with their development clearly mapped across programmes. To facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experience across the Institute, initiatives such as the Graduate Attributes Toolkit are being developed.
The online toolkit draws on a database of case studies collected from lecturers across a broad range of disciplines. Users of the Graduate Attributes Toolkit are invited to select one of five overarching attributes – enterprising, engaged, enquiry-based, expert and effective; and then explore each of these further through associated, detailed attributes such as excellent communicator and digitally literate. Toolkit users are provided with a description and rationale for each of the 20 detailed graduate attributes, and then a tool to help them recognise the degree to which their practice currently supports students in developing this attribute. They are then provided with access to case studies which demonstrate how the objective of developing this attribute can further inform the development of their practice. The case studies are accompanied by lists of suggested learning outcomes which can help the lecturer both recognise how their current activity contributes to the development of key graduate attributes, and can also encourage them to further develop their modules to reflect those attributes. The DIT Graduate Attribute Toolkit is a growing resource which is available at http://dit.ie/teaching/graduateattributes/
Harvey, J. et al. (2015) Constructing a Practice Informed Graduate Attributes Toolkit: built in not bolt-on. EdTech 2015,University of Limerick, Ireland, 28-29 May.