Student perceptions of graduate attributes in the Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience

Melanie Collier, Sarah Jobbins, Rosanne Taylor

Abstract


While undergraduate degree programs are intended to ensure all students achieve core Graduate Attributes (GA), students do not always appreciate their importance or understand how they are developed. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience program were surveyed over a three year period and asked to report their perceived importance of the 31 graduate attributes of the degree. These attributes were clustered aroundfive5 themes, Research & Inquiry (RI); Information Literacy (IL); Personal and Intellectual Autonomy (PIA); Ethical, Social and Professional Understanding (EPSU); Communication (C). Their reported importance was higher for second year compared to first year students for all clusters, but fell among third year students slightly for all clusters except for C. Fourth year students, who were engaged in honours projects, reported an increase in importance of all clusters and when compared to first years were more likely to report all clusters as important particularly for the RI, IL and C clusters. This pattern of variation in perceptions across a program indicates that experience of tasks with a strong emphasis on GA and repeated assessment increases students understanding and appreciation of the value of GA development in their programs.

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