What Does a Xxxxxx Graduate Look Like?

representation of valuesI have been challenging academics with that question for many years. The Xxxxxx part is their discipline e.g. What does a Perioperative Nursing Graduate look like?  It is all about defining excellence in students who complete a program or discipline. It is about the difference between good and excellent not between good and unacceptable.  “What do you mean?” is the usual response.  I am talking about values and skill sets, about who graduates are and what they believe to be the drivers of life. What they value and how they will make a difference and impact their world. I am about to leave on a three week tour of mainland USA to ask Christian universities and colleges how they map their values (graduate attributes) to their programs and courses.  I have chosen Christian educational institutions as they have a mandate as part of the foundational beliefs to “make disciples” the Bible calls it.  To shape their students to “be”, live and work, modelling the life of Christ.  A big ask and I am particularly interested in how they use elearning methods and technologies and whether they believe the new pedagogies and technologies support their graduate attributes. Some links from the Podcast episode and Online Resources to think About: Richard Morris, a mate and colleague is travelling with me for a large part of the trip.  Richard is director of Missions Aviation Fellowship Learning Technologies or MAFLT which has as its focus learning and teaching support in the Majority World. Richard’s perspective will be very valuable to ensure the focus is Global and will help students who not only come from what used to be called the “developing countries” to learn in such countries as the USA and Australia but help them make a difference to their world … the Majority World Finally Universities in Australia have been defining and working with graduate attributes for some years and Murdoch University in Western Australia has even a software program to help them map their attributes to their programs.


  1. Werner

    Great trip objectives. We wish you success in developing rubrics for how graduates appear to the world after they graduate.

  2. allan Post author

    Thanks Werner.
    You will be actively involved in working on this in the San Francisco Area. Looking forward to some podcasts on that amazing after school project you guys are working on with the International Space Station no less! …. there will be some readers from the Higher Education space that will be incredibly jealous that they are not involved 🙂 Quantifying the assessment of excellence in graduates is a thought provocative idea … building rubrics to do it even more so. Got any opinions about their strengths and weaknesses … how would this help the student/graduates?

  3. Amanda

    How exciting that this day has finally arrived! I think you are setting out on an important mission, and I will be eager to hear more about your findings when we meet in person. You are proposing a very fascinating inquiry into perceptions about how elearning and technology affect the formation of students, and in relation to this, I also think it could be fascinating to explore perceptions about effective pedagogical methods and how students learn best, since people may not even be aware of the ways that elearning and technology can utilize these pedagogical methods and cater to effective student learning. Kind of like a needs assessment that would provide better understanding around what college educators desire to cultivate in their students, and then devising ways to cater to those desires through technology. Regardless of these off-topic musings, though, your proposed inquiry sounds fascinating and I pray blessings over your trip!

  4. allan Post author

    Looking forward to meeting you in Miami as well. You know I am not sure how well developed the concept of graduate attributes are in the USA HE system . I will be looking forward to each uni/college’s position on this too. The idea that you can quantify or at least define how for example integrity looks in a graduate or leadership or particularly in the case of Christian education what transformation looks like and is the graduate equipped to make a difference to their world and help reshape culture … these are big issues and fascinating to explore – they are a researchers dream and the findings could change how we do Christian Education. Then of course how do we use elearning to help students be excellent in these areas? Is Face-to-Face (F2F) the only way we can impart these attributes?….. hmmmm Hope others join this conversation

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