Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Looking for Graduate Outcomes

Greetings from the UNSW Canberra (at ADFA) where Tim Turner just opened the "Conveticle on Computing Education". This is a free, informal one day conference where researchers and practitioners can present and discuss.  The first speaker is Chris Johnson from ANU on "Academic Peer Assessment for Learning Standards". The issue is how you compare the educational product which different universities produce.  Interesting, while universities compare a lot of time and resources assessing their students, they do not like to be assessed themselves. ;-)

Chris went through some of the reasons for learning standards: for the university, government and employers (one not mentioned was the community). He suggested that the final capstone project which ICT students do would be one option for benchmarking.

I suggest that university, government and employers may have different priorities for what graduates should be able to do. Hamilton, Carbone, Gonsalvez, and Jollands (2015) have looked at what ICT employers want. In terms of the public interest I suggest that competence is sufficient: that is graduates should be able to do what they are supposed to do without accidentally killing anyone. Universities and employers might want some form of ranking above competent. Also, I suggest, that universities and employers may have different priorities.

One issue for employers have been the professional skills of the graduates. That is can they work in teams, deliver on time, understand business processes and communicate with non-specialists. Universities have responded by claiming students have these skills, by having them in extra-curricular activities, as separate courses or integrated. The latter two approaches I suggest could be implemented using e-portfolios.

Coming up are:
9:40 Evolving Content and Assessment for an International Moodle Course, Tom Worthington, ANU
10:20 Morning tea
10:40 Teaching Human Computer Interaction to International Students, Jennyfer Taylor, ANU
11:20 Teaching Technical Subjects on Moodle, Michael de Raadt, Moodle
12:00 Lunch
1:00 TechLauncher: A university course creating industry-ready graduates and entrepreneurship, Richa Awasthy, ANU
1:40 A Definitional Framework for curriculum
Lynette Johns-Boast, ANU
2:20 Afternoon tea
2:40 Potential for Secondary and Tertiary IT Pathways in the light of the Digital Technologies Curriculum, Bruce Fuda, Gunghalin College
3:20 Computing Ethics Education, Richard Lucas, UC
4:00 Close


Hamilton, M., Carbone, A., Gonsalvez, C., & Jollands, M. (2015, January). Breakfast with ICT Employers: What do they want to see in our graduates?. In Proceedings of the 17th Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE 2015) (Vol. 27, p. 30). Retrieved from http://www.tomw.net.au/education/online_professional_education/eportfolio/

ps: Most of the time the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA)  campus looks like any other university (except the students are in uniform). But today I noticed a sign pointing to a cyber-security course and there are helicopters landing on the playing field.

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