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Session Overview
Thursday, 26/Oct/2017:

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Preparing Career Aware Graduates by applying an ISA Model and Integrative Career Development Learning in Science Courses at UNSW Sydney

Jia-LIn Yang1, Patsie Polly2, Thomas Fath2, Nicole Jones2, John Power2

1Prince of Wales Clinical School, UNSW Sydney; 2School of Medical Sciences, UUNSW Sydney

The success of student employability post-graduation is not solely determined by obtaining an academic qualification. Other qualities are also important including: graduate attributes, professional skills and the ability for students to properly package and present their credentials and capabilities. The ISA - Image of potential own career, Self-directed life-long and life-wide learning as well as Assessment and adjustment model was implemented in senior third year science courses at UNSW using ePortfolio pedagogy to raise awareness and develop career relevant skills for undergraduates. The idea was to engage students recognizing their emerging identity and their images of own potential career, carry out a self-directed learning journey to understand and pursue their career goals, and take assessment and adjustment of their studies and get the most from them. We were the first to deliver integrated career development learning (ICDL) in a learner centred ePortfolio (a teaching ePortfolio in Moodle plus student ePortfolios in Mahara) utilising emerging technologies. We have used the internationally recognized assessment tool: Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy (CDMSE) Scale, which seeks to measure the confidence of a student in pursuing their career goals and assess the longitudinal impact of interventions in career development education. We have proposed an ISA model to deliver integrative career development learning (ICDL) in our teaching and research project approaches. The pilot application of ICDL in a cancer sciences course showed that students became significantly more confident in career associated self-efficacy, which formed the basis of the present study which delivered ICDL to students in four 3rd year senior science courses versus a control class across disciplines within the School of Medical Sciences, UNSW Sydney. The goal of our study was to evaluate effects of the ICDL on career associated self-efficacy of students from career-intervention classes that raise student awareness of potential career paths available to them, as well as whether there were observable effects between female and male students in each course, using an international standard career decision making and self-efficacy (CDMSE) score. Study outcomes indicated a significant improvement in the CDMSE scales pre- and post-course within four courses that received ICDL intervention individually or as an intervention group, but not in the control course. The improvement was noticed in either females or males pre- and post-ICDL intervention when analysed in single gender. Males showed slightly better improvement than females at the end of the ICDL intervention. The introduction of this pedagogy and model has proven t be successful in evidencing graduate learning outcomes for improving student confidence in CDMSE. Reflective practice that was integrated with career learning was a key aspect to this approach and facilitated student awareness of their emerging identities as scientists-in-the making. Implementation of ePortfolios to build student identity in the sciences supports them in developing reflective practice, metacognition, digital literacy, career awareness, knowledge of graduate employability and professional identity. Importantly, ePortfolios assist students in higher education to ultimately develop evaluative thinking allowing them to make sense of their learning. Students can then become owners of their professional identity and navigate their way towards future employment.

Visualising Teamwork Credentials in the Medical Sciences using ePortfolios and Badges as Symbols of Achievement and Skills Recognition

Patsie Polly1, Thuan Thai1,4, Jia-Lin Yang2, Annie Luo1, Cristan Herbert1, Nicole Jones1, Richard Vickery1, Trevor Lewis1, Suzanne Schibeci3

1School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney, Australia; 2Prince of Wales Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney, Australia; 3Science Administration Unit, Faculty of Science, UNSW Sydney, Australia; 4School of Education, University of Notre Dame Australia, Australia

How are graduate capabilities such as teamwork visualised and recognised within an undergraduate medical science degree program? This is a question that our team of medical research scientists who are discipline specific higher education teachers at UNSW Sydney collaboratively asked when we embarked on a project to capture and make sense of how our students develop this highly sought after professional skill. Development of informal, co-curricular professional skills and capabilities by undergraduates that are linked to formal academic learning is difficult to capture at the program level within higher education institutions. Feedback from employers, educators and students suggests that the teamwork graduate capability is a key competency, but it is hard for students to prove mastery and equally hard for us as teachers to warrant how that mastery is attained a part of an undergraduate learning experience. In the Bachelor of Medical Science (BMedSci) program at UNSW Sydney, a program-wide Comprehensive Teamwork Learning and Assessment (CTLA) model was initiated by aligning assessment tasks longitudinally across the program and transversely across discipline, with particular focus on building teamwork capabilities. This was addressed by combining formal curricular assessment of these tasks by academics and student peers, coupled with co-curricular assessment using self and peer evaluation of teamwork skills awareness and development by students, ePortfolio implementation for reflective practice and a teamwork student satisfaction survey. These CTLA model elements support student reflective practice and awareness of teamwork skills attainment as well as supporting their emerging identity as scientists-in-the-making. In particular, our CTLA model involved tracking, mapping and aligning assessment tasks that built relevant, authentic skills for teamwork and incorporated standards-based criteria that directly addressed teamwork skills development using an adapted Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) VALUE rubric for teamwork; the UNSW Teamwork Skills Development Framework. This process integrated content knowledge and technical skills that articulated with professional skills development across all the medical sciences disciplines. We implemented this system using Workshop UNSW in Moodle for teachers to monitor and students to evaluate teamwork skills progression for themselves and their peers. ePortfolio/reflective blogging using WordPress to document and reflect on their personal-professional development of teamwork skills was implemented as a key part of this approach for raising awareness of attaining the teamwork skill. Student satisfaction was surveyed at the completion of the teamwork assessment tasks across the program. Study outcomes demonstrated the innovative CTLA model and assessment approaches improved teamwork skills awareness and attainment in the medical science program at UNSW. A cross-disciplinary skills awareness and development capture strategy developed as part of a UNSW Innovation Research Project will be presented. The integration of ePortfolio/reflective blogging coupled to the Teamwork Skills Development Framework, for use in the medical science program to evaluate teamwork skills as well as application of the Reflective Rubric UNSW will be discussed. There is scope to implement this mechanism for extracting data across any ePortfolio platform and from a learning management system such as Moodle for application as metadata that sits behind badges as symbols of achievement and recognition of professional skills attainment. A pilot system of badging these teamwork credentials using the Cengage platform will also be discussed. Our approach for measuring informal co-curricular skills attainment when coupled to authentic assessment tasks will be useful across the sciences and indeed other disciplines at higher education institutions.

Badging formal degrees: we need critical mass

Paolo Cherubini, Laura Appiani

UniversitĂ  degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Italy

According to the First EUA Learning&Teaching Forum (Paris 28-29 September 2017), European Universities growingly acknowledge the usefulness of badging strategies for motivating students to engage in extracurricular activities and to acquire generic skills and competences. Beyond that, at the University of Milano Bicocca we are also badging formal graduation degrees. Graduation Badges (GB) are official certifications, easily portable and sharable, and less cumbersome than official diploma supplements/tracks of records. They synthetically report what a student learned in a degree, how he/she performed, and the jobs/professions relevant for that degree. GBs are aimed at improving the circulation/shared knowledge of the actual contents and learning achievements implied by acquiring a degree, for the sake of global employers. In time, endorsements (or lack of endorsements) by different employers will testify the high (or low) value of a specific degree issued by a specific university for employment in the global market. However, GBs will attain their goals only when many different universities will issue them, and as a consequence employers, graduated students, and job-oriented social forums will ask for them in electronic CVs as a substitute for the degree owner’s self-declaration (typical of traditional CVs).

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