Universities acknowledge that more work needs to be done to provide evidence that graduates have the requisite levels of oral and written communication skills. In summary, there are many initiatives and a range of practices is emerging across the sector but practices and approaches are varied and lack coherency. Work Integrated Learning (WIL), capstones, course mapping, e-portfolios and diagnostic tools are being increasingly used and stronger alignment of teaching and learning to skills for employment is being adopted. However, greater leadership and institutional policy settings are needed to articulate, influence and cultivate an environment to facilitate accountability for graduate communication skills.
For this project, high impact practices for student learning were identified as:
- incorporating assessment of communication skills within disciplinary teaching, and
- the inclusion of implications should a student fail to achieve minimum communication skill levels at key milestones across the program
High impact practices need to be integrated across a program in a whole-of-program approach. This creates a strong evidence-base that graduates have achieved threshold standards for that program in terms of communication skills.