Article Title

Using standards rubrics to assure graduate capabilities within the context of undergraduate liberal arts programmes


In 2011 members of the School of Philosophy and Theology at The University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA) Sydney campus, designed two standards rubrics as part of a project aimed at undertaking research within the area of assuring graduate attributes and capabilities in Australian universities. The standards rubrics designed were oriented towards developing particular graduate attributes intrinsic to the Core Curriculum programme in philosophy, ethics, and theology; all students at UNDA are required to undertake this programme, which reflects a ‘liberal arts’ or ‘liberal education’ approach to university education.

In this paper, we engage in an institutional case study of this project, discussing the advantages and challenges of developing and using these standards rubrics with a specific focus on: how they have already been used, how we plan to use them in the continuing development of our Core Curriculum programme, and the particular challenges we face in developing standards rubrics within a ‘liberal arts’ or ‘liberal education’ environment. In doing so, we will attempt to demonstrate the usefulness of developing standards rubrics as a basis for careful and systematic review of our pedagogical approach, and curriculum and assessment design so as to assure the achievement of graduate attributes and capabilities.


rubrics, graduate capabilities, graduate attributes, curriculum design, assessment

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