Title

Road testing graduate attributes and course learning outcomes of an environmental science degree via a work-integrated learning placement

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Whelan, M 2017, 'Road testing graduate attributes and course learning outcomes of an environmental science degree via a work-integrated learning placement', Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, vol. 18, no. 1.

Article available on Open Access

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Graduate attributes and course learning outcomes are an integral part of higher education in Australia. Testing the performance of graduates in the workplace with regard to graduate attributes and course learning outcomes is a not a common occurrence. This study has road tested the graduate attributes and course learning outcomes of a bachelor degree in environmental science via students participating in a work-integrated learning (WIL) placement. Comparisons of importance and perceptions of students’ skill level between host-supervisors, students and teaching staff were made. On the whole teaching staff perceived students’ skills as “adequate” while the students and hostsupervisors perceive students’ skill level to approach “proficient”. Students on WIL placements appear to meet hosts’ expectations and there appears to be no significant gap in the curriculum. Road testing graduate attributes and course learning outcomes has led to changes in the curriculum. A recommendation is made to define the skill level of a workready graduate that is quantifiable rather than use terms such as “well-developed”.