Using self assessment to integrate graduate attribute development with discipline content delivery

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of 36th European Society for Engineering Education, SEFI Conference on Quality Assessment, Employability and Innovation, 2008
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Professionals, in addition to being technically competent, require skills of collaboration, communication and the ability to work in teams [1,2]. There is a reported competency gap between these skills required by employers and those developed by students during their undergraduate courses [3,4]. In response to this gap Universities have introduced graduate attributes which their students should develop during the course of their degree. Some of these attributes are discipline specific, others are generic to all professions. Generic attributes include teamwork skills, being able to think both critically and independently, being able to critically appraise their work and the work of others, and an appreciation of the need and value of critical reflection in one's academic, personal, and professional life. The development of all these attributes can be promoted by employing self and peer assessment. Thoughtful use provides opportunities to practise, develop, assess and provide feedback on these attributes and develop students' judgement [5] even within subjects where traditional discipline content is taught. Our research involves using two assessment metrics produced from confidential student self and peer evaluations. These metrics are shared between all group members in structured feedback sessions several times a semester. This allows students to identify their individual strengths and weaknesses and address any competency gaps in their development. These metrics also allow progress to be assessed not only within a single subject but throughout an entire degree program.
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