Graduate attributes in the undergrad physics curriculum David Mills with thanks to Susan Feteris and Mario Zadnik What they’ll need - Skills used in workplace by US Physics majors Adapted from an American Institute of Physics Work-place study (1997) Physics know ledge, concepts Problem solving What we do: Written communication Australian physics dep’ts priorities (AUTC Report Computational skills 2005 Fig 4.4) Teamw ork Informational retrieval student time spent Oral communication assessment w eighting Research methodology Project planning Ethical and social issues 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Percentage “What we got…”- our u/g physics students view Laboratory skills Problem solving Experimental design 60% Written communication 40% Teamw ork Information retrieval a lot Computational skills some a little Research methodology not at all Project planning Oral communication 20% Ethical and social issues 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Number of responses The Graduate Careers Australia take – Physics … “On a Personal Level: A physics education emphasises problem-solving and abstract thinking …very desirable employees in a wide variety of areas... work in high tech companies, … training in practical subjects such as optics, lasers …image processing, Personal qualities ...(required) include curiosity, imagination, inventiveness and, above all, honesty in dealing with data, theory and colleagues. An ability to communicate one's ideas in spoken and written form is essential … The enjoyment of problem-solving & working with maths & computers ….. Typical science graduate outcomes … A quick list of key generic skills • I T / computer literacy • Numeracy/ Data analysis • Problem solving • Critical thinking • Communic’n & presentation • Team work 3rd year 4th year Students’ fortune lines for prac Data Analysis Group work Data from Susan Feteris, Monash Uni. Flexibility Independent planning Typical Science Graduate Outcomes We would want to add: Quick list of key generic skills • Ethics • IT • Cultural awareness • Numeracy/ Data analysis • Internat’l perspective • Problem solving • Experimental design • Critical thinking • Planning, Flexibility • Communic’n & presentation • Multidisciplinary • Team work • Self-evaluation • Life-long learning • Time management • … more Who says? Grass roots up or top-down approach? E.g. Engineer’g Australia requirements for BEng course/grads Ability to apply knowledge of basic science and engineering In-depth technical competence in one engineering discipline. Ability to communicate effectively (peers & community) Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation, solution. Ability to utilise a systems approach to design and operation … effective as an individual and in multi-disciplinary & multi- cultural teams … as leader/manager as well as team member. Understand social, cultural, global environmental responsibilities Understand principles of sustainable design/development. Commitment to professional and ethical responsibilities. Expectation and capacity to undertake lifelong learning. Velcro Things stick when: * Tasks are close to real life/work * Hooks & eyes are designed into task skill e.g Self- Communic’n Teamwork task e.g. evaluation Poster Interview Miniproject Getting it right & Showcase examples • Style of assessment needed – differ from usual assignment/test/report – Staff / demonstrators need explicit training • Good models can often be drawn from other disciplines – E.g. Uniserve Science conference proceedings. • Several showcase examples follow – more in the Projects and Assessment workshops – & resource booklet to be provided by end of 2005 1. Experimental Design & Inquiry Skills Outcomes R Millar (ICPE 1997-8) • ...become more expert in selecting productive questions • design suitable experiments; data reliable, accurate, valid? • analyze / interpret data, draw conclusion • evaluate quality of support for their conclusion In our programmes • Are these outcomes achieved? • How are they assessed? • How do students get feedback (to improve)? Examples: projects, miniprojects, micro-projects, …. 2. Student Conferences used at ANU & UWA, and at Curtin in past Various versions possible. As the central activity of a semester-long subject at Curtin this included: • Whole class prepares & stages a scientific conference, e.g. for a high school audience • Realism – Task & Roles • Peer review, Publication, Finances • Planning, time management, accountability 3. Teamwork in Project component, 3rd Yr Observational Astronomy, Monash (Susan Feteris) Project = 35% of assessment of this unit, Hence care needed for fair marks. Key elements are: • Team selection- students can’t choose their friends • Peer- & self-assessment of their contribution • Monitoring: 3 progress reports sent in by email on • How many times they’d met • which phase were they at (forming, storming, norming, performing…) • any difficulties being faced 4. life long earning project in Faculty of Science, Univ of Sydney (Chris Stewart) A faculty initiative • Helping students see the relevance of the broader generic skills … e.g. when compiling a CV • Giving a practical tool to build awareness. On line, a student can construct a portfolio and see the contribution made by each subject undertaken. • www.lifelongearning.science.usyd.edu.au Chris is the project officer. Making sure it sticks • Whose responsibility? Wait for top-down directives or be proactive from grass-roots up? • Reality check – new modes of activity/assessment need planning & students need time to take it in • Resources – only works well when adequately planned and staffed (including training for sessionals) • Sharing ideas & resources – Key references adjacent, on the AUTC project website – Including samples mapping Physics physics discipline & subject outcomes against faculty/university graduate learning outcomes.