As part of the development of both sound academic practice and lifelong learning skills, the ability to make self-evaluative assessments of competencies, attributes and learning preferences/needs are vital. Students need to have a clear understanding of these, and to develop these, as well as the confidence to apply them. They need opportunities beyond formal assessment and feedback to reflect on the competencies required, and to recognise their attributes, strengths, weaknesses and preferences in order to identify and plan for areas of development.

A new diagnostic tool has been created jointly by the Skills Centre and Centre for Learning & Teaching, which provides a mechanism for staff to create bespoke diagnostics, allowing students to align their levels of confidence around the skills, needs, preferences and competencies that they will need on their course (and/or placement or future employment). This enables them to (self) determine a plan of action to develop these skills and competencies alongside their studies.

The diagnostic also provides access to the anonymised response data, allowing for in-depth analysis.

How you can find out more?

You can find out more by signing up for the next demonstration event on Tuesday 17 September 2019, 1.15 – 3.05 pm.

After exploring the Demo Diagnostic, Dr Cassie Wilson, Vice-President (Students), said:

“This is a powerful tool that will be highly beneficial in supporting our students’ learning and skills development more effectively. It enables them to make their own decisions about the areas they most need to develop, and provides staff with valuable data to help us design and deliver more targeted, inclusive learning and teaching. I recommend colleagues test out this exciting new tool.”

Who is using the Tool?

A number of academic and Professional Services staff from across the University are testing out the Diagnostic Tool. Dr Steve Cayzer, Teaching Fellow, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, has been one of the early testers and used the tool last year on two of his programmes, Engineering Business Management and Innovation and Technology Management, both of which are centred around team-based learning. He is planning to use it again this academic year. Steve used the diagnostic to:

  • signpost skills and attributes required on the Courses
  • as a means to link student self-assessment to Practicum training sessions on the Course
  • provide insights in student levels of confidence on core elements of the Courses

Commenting on the Diagnostic Tool, Steve said: “Adopting this tool to support the team-based learning approach I take on these two programmes has enabled me to raise the awareness levels of my students and encourage them to take greater ownership of the skills development they need to meet the demands of their courses. So far it has proved very valuable and I am looking forward to using it further in the coming year.”

Other colleagues including Dr Nicholas Willsmer, Dept. for Health, Dr Maria de Valero, Electronic & Electricial Engineering, Dr Kostas Iatridis, School of Management, Dr Emma Cliffe, Skills Centre, Caroline Baldwin, Careers & Professional Development Advisor, School of Management, Louise Lynes, PG Student Experience Officer, Engineering & Design and Dr Eleanor Parker, Curriculum Development Officer (Inclusion), Centre for Learning & Teaching, are exploring use of the diagnostic in their different fields.