Understanding graduate attributes

What are graduate attributes?  Graduate attributes are broad characteristics which we hope to see in our students when they graduate.  In professional degrees these could be specified by the accrediting body, or in others they are decided when planning the programme of study.  While not every paper will contribute to the development of every one of the attributes, over the course of the whole programme it’s important that they all be covered and reinforced.

Who decides which attributes appear against my paper?  Attributes are assigned to entire programmes of study, not to papers in isolation.  The attributes shown against your paper will be the attributes which are assigned to all the programmes in which your paper is listed.  If your paper can be taken by students in more than one programme, the attributes from all those programmes will be shown at once.  The planners and department heads have the ability to change which attributes are associated with programmes, and these in turn are fed to the papers within those programmes.

How are attributes mapped?  We use heatmaps of the papers in a programme to show where and to what extent the teachers on the papers consider the graduate attributes to be covered.  This information comes from the scores which teachers set on their papers’ homepages.  You can see the instructions for teachers here, or see an example of the heat-mapping for a programme here.

Why are some attributes listed in red on the paper’s homepage?  We use a linking system between attributes, intended learning outcomes, and assessments.  If, in your paper, you have set the slider next to an attribute to indicate that it’s covered in your paper, but have not associated a learning outcome with that attribute, the attribute will remain in red to remind you to finish the linking process.  This is done on the learning outcomes tab of your paper.

How can attributes be used in planning a programme?  Attributes are associated with trajectories and milestones, and so the overall development of each attribute throughout a course of study can be followed from a design side (ie: what the planners intend for the programme) as well as from a performance side (ie: what actually happens in the papers).  Milestones and their associated attributes are shown to the teaching staff so as to further reinforce the planners’ design intentions for the paper.

Who can edit or add new attributes to the database?  Planners, department heads and superusers are able to create new attributes within the Compass database.  Please see this page for details.