This section presents the Distributed Expertise Model (DEM) (pictured right) developed for this project. It introduces the overarching Model, presents the four different approaches that were found to typify the program variations that exist within universities, and offers strategies that can inform whole-of-program approaches for graduate communication skills.

Two main findings from the project led to the implementation of a whole-of-program approach.

  1. The highest impact on student learning is when communication skills are included in disciplinary assessment tasks throughout a student’s program.
  2. Universities know that their graduates have achieved threshold standards of communication skills because of the cumulative milestones that students must meet before they can graduate.

In order to action these findings, we developed the Distributed Expertise Model that offers a way for universities to provide evidence that graduates have achieved threshold standards required for communication skills. The DEM incorporates six action points for strengthening the evidence-base for graduate communication skills within a whole-of-program approach.

Next: Principles underpinning the DEM