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Teaching and Learning to achieve Learning Outcomes. Preparing & Developing Graduates. Graduate Attributes are the qualities, skills & understandings a university community agrees its students should develop during their time with the institution.

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preparing developing graduates
Preparing & Developing Graduates

Graduate Attributes are the qualities, skills & understandings a university community agrees its students should develop during their time with the institution.

These attributes include, but go beyond, the disciplinary expertise or technical knowledge that has traditionally formed the core of most university courses.

my key question in designing any course or programme
My key question in designing any Course or Programme

What kind of teacher, biochemist, sociologist, historian are you trying to prepare for- the 21st century, the workplace, for citizenship, for change?

Take 5 minutes to jot down a few notes. Share your thoughts with a colleague.

graduate attributes will be
Graduate Attributes will be:

Subject specific and generic; Learning Outcomes must be subject specific and generic

QAA encouraged benchmarking groups to focus on attributes in formulating subject benchmark statements. Outputs a high priority.

In the UK largely located in subject benchmark statements

profile of attributes
Profile of Attributes

Knowledge, skills, abilities & personal

Driven by employers’ demands?

Is the list getting longer?

Are attributes communicated to all staff & students? How?

What learning, teaching & assessment experiences enable students to develop & demonstrate the attributes?

examples of attributes
Examples of Attributes

Graduates should demonstrate evidence, as appropriate to their disciplines, that they can:

Apply discipline knowledge, principles & concepts

Think critically, creatively & reflectively;

Access, evaluate & synthesise information;

Communicate effectively;


5 Use technologies appropriately

Utilise lifelong learning skills

Recognise & apply international perspectives;

Demonstrate cultural awareness & understanding

Apply professional skills

employers want graduates with a range of personal attributes
Employers want graduates with a range of personal attributes:

Intellect- analysis, critique,synthesis, problem solving

Knowledge-basic principles of a subject discipline

Willingness to learn, continue to learn

Flexibility & adaptability

Self-Regulatory Skills such as time keeping, ability to deal with stress


Self-motivation, resilience, tenacity, determination

Self-assurance, self-confidence, self-direction, self-promotion


Interactive attributes-interpersonal skills team working

Social skills

how do graduate characteristics relate to programs levels and learning outcomes
How do Graduate Characteristics relate to programs, levels and learning outcomes?

National Qualifications Framework for HE in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Pages 15 to 27

how do graduate attributes relate to learning outcomes
How do graduate attributes relate to learning outcomes?

Example of a learning outcome at final year Hons Degree

At the end of the module (course) the student is expected to be able to:

  • Describe & explain the function of the basic devices of optoelectronics; optical fibres; liquid crystal displays; bipolar & surface field effect transistors & MOS light emitting diodes

Final Year Bachelor of Arts in English:

At the end of the module (course), the learner is expected to be able to:

  • Demonstrate detailed understanding of the influences of the historical & social context within which the chosen text is set, both from the study of the text itself & from the study of other contemporary literature

Bachelor of Education Second Year of Degree

At the end of the module (course) the learner will be expected to be able to:

  • Explain the more common reasons for difficult behaviour in primary school children in class situations, indicating standard techniques for ameliorating that behaviour
how to write the attribute
How to write the attribute
  • The graduate will be able to......
  • Clear, concise, demonstrable, action verbs
  • Explicit & specific about whether it is implicit in the entire curriculum or a part of the curriculum, i.e. generic or subject specific
definition of learning
Definition of Learning

It is a relatively permanent change in our potential for performance as a result of our past interaction with the environment; a change in observable behaviour.

Different Types of Learning require different types of Teaching and Facilitation

This idea is at the centre of NCAAA documentation

ncaaa documentation focuses upon 4 domains specifies conditions for learning in each of the domains
NCAAA Documentation focuses upon 4 Domains & specifies conditions for learning in each of the domains
  • Knowledge
  • Cognitive Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills and Responsibilities
  • Communication IT & Numerical
  • Psychomotor Skills. Where applicable
what is the purpose of the learning
What is the purpose of the Learning?
  • Adding to your existing knowledge?
  • Transforming your existing knowledge?
  • Revising your existing knowledge?
  • Accumulation of facts or reorganising underlying schemata?

Add some purposes to this list…….

historical overview behaviourism
Historical Overview: Behaviourism
  • Stimulus(environment)-response(organism)-reward
  • Stimulus=inputs:learned behaviour=outputs
  • What they do, rather than think
  • Passive rather than active
  • Thorndike, Pavlov, Watson
  • Guthrie


  • Pigeons!
  • Organism operating on the environment
  • Secure particular consequences
  • Search for rewards, following a response
  • Reinforcers-behaviours can be shaped by control of rewards


cognition 1
Cognition 1
  • Focus on meaning, the development of ability to demonstrate understanding of what has been learnt
  • Focus on thinking: stimulus-thinking response
  • Focus on perception, memory, attention, concept formation, pattern formation
  • Process which transforms, reduces, extends, stores, recovers &uses


cognition 2
Cognition 2
  • A change in the way we see the environment
  • Transact with environment- dynamic
  • Perception-select cues, draw inferences, to make sense of experience
  • Dewey,Bruner,Piaget, Ausubel,Koffka, Kohler
  • Howard Gardner “Multiple Intelligences”

Enjoy listening to this music.


howard gardner

Howard Gardner

How do you teach to learner’s multiple intelligences? Are you reaching all seven categories?


ausubel 1968
Ausubel (1968)
  • The most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach him accordingly.
  • How important do you consider this to be?
  • Pre-existing knowledge, anchoring concepts, advance organisers, structuring


norman 1977
  • Tasks related to demand on learner
  • Accretion - add to existing knowledge
  • fine-tuning: refine knowledge
  • restructuring-extend or alter conceptions

Which do you think is the hardest to achieve?


  • People are human beings, not human doings
  • thoughts, feelings, experiences, attitudes;
  • personal meaning of experience
  • self-actualisation;
  • Desires to do something& goals;

“Human nature is essentially positive, productive& growth oriented. It is essentially trustworthy”


abraham maslow hierarchy of needs
Abraham Maslow: Hierarchy of Needs
  • Self Actualisation
  • Aesthetic Needs
  • Cognitive Needs
  • Esteem Needs
  • Love& belongingness
  • Safety Needs
  • Physiological needs


carl rogers 1902 1987
Carl Rogers (1902-1987)
  • Realness or Genuineness in the facilitator of learning
  • Prizing, Acceptance, Trust
  • Empathic understanding


studies of student learning

Studies of Student Learning

Marton 1974

Hounsell & Entwistle 1984

Pask 1976

Entwistle & Ramsden 1983

Biggs 1987

Entwistle 1986

Entwistle & Tait 2003

meaning approach
Meaning Approach
  • Deep approach
  • Use of evidence
  • Relating ideas
  • Intrinsic motivation
reproducing orientation
Reproducing Orientation
  • Surface approach
  • Syllabus-boundness
  • Fear of failure
  • Improvidence
strategic orientation
Strategic Orientation
  • Strategic approach
  • Extrinsic motivation
  • Achievement motivation
non academic orientation
Non-academic Orientation
  • Disorganised study methods
  • Negative attitudes
  • Globetrotting
effective learning is
Effective Learning is:
  • Active
  • Relevant
  • Safe
  • Objectives
  • Needs Arson
why active learning
Why Active learning?
  • Linked to deep approach
  • Student actively engaged with the content
  • Student actively engaged with the process
  • Student actively engaged with the outcome
  • Not a passive observer
  • Combat too much teacher talk, note research; avoid micro sleep, enhance motivation, attention, memory
what is active learning

What Is Active Learning?

“Active learning implies above all that whatever specific physical activities are involved, students are encouraged to engage with the content and to take responsibility for their own learning. They have to think about it for themselves, be alert and independently critical, and care about the quality of their own emerging understanding.”

Entwistle1992, Enabling Active Learning inHigher Education, UCOSDA

matching teaching learning assessment strategies to learning outcomes
Matching teaching, learning & assessment strategies to learning outcomes

Wide repertoire to draw upon:


  • Small group work in large classes
  • Peer learning, peer tutoring, peer assessment, peer support
  • Collaborative learning
  • Portfolio based learning
  • Work based learning
  • Fieldwork
  • Project based work
Large number of examples of effective practice on the Higher Education Academy website,

The Australian equivalent, the Carrick Institute

in Ireland , All- Ireland Society for Higher Education

Many Australian, Irish, South African and UK universities have centres for educational development which have good practice guidelines and examples of innovative approaches

key questions
Key Questions

How can we help our students to learn effectively/successfully?

What prohibits learning?

Why do we learn?

Where do we learn effectively?

What do we learn?

What are the implications of this study of learning for your teaching, assessment, policy making?

how will teaching learning assessment be evaluated for quality assurance enhancement
How will Teaching, Learning & Assessment be Evaluated for Quality Assurance & Enhancement?

Range of mechanisms suggested in NCAAA documentation

some references for getting started
Some references for getting started

Fry,H Ketteridge,S & Marshall, S(2008) AHandbook for Teaching and Learning inHigher Education. Kogan Page, London. Up to date & A number of relevant chapters on learning

Ramsden, P(1992) Learning to Teach inHigher Education, Routledge, London. Still much valuable discussion of student learning, despite date

your follow up to the session
Your follow up to the Session
  • Observe and talk to a couple of your students or colleagues about how they approach a new learning task. What do they say helps them to learn? Are there implications for you as a Policymaker/ Senior Manager/Teacher arising from their comments?
  • Find out about the research on teacher/tutor talk. What does it say? How will this impact upon your practice?