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Academic, industry and student perspectives on the inclusion of 'vocational knowledge' in a Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Statement for agriculture


Botwright Acuna, T and Kelder, J-A and Able, AJ and McDonald, G and Guisard, Y and Bellotti, B and Wormell, P and Doyle, R and Meinke, H, Academic, industry and student perspectives on the inclusion of 'vocational knowledge' in a Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Statement for agriculture, The 20th Annual UniServe Science Conference, 29 September - 1 October 2014, Sydney, Australia, pp. 6. ISBN 978-0-9871834-3-9 (2014) [Conference Extract]


We report on the perspectives of academic, student and industry stakeholders identified through a national project to develop a Leaming and Teaching Academic Standards (L TAS) Statement for the Agriculture discipfine. Agricultural teaching (and research) relies on strong links with industry due to the applied nature of the discipline. Without these links, sustainable and profitable practice change in agricultural systems cannot be achieved. A pilot project, in 2011-2012, with academic staff from three Australian universities, identified vocational knowledge (or appfication of practical knowledge that is very industry-specific) as a potential focus for a Threshold Leaming Outcome (TLO). The AgL TAS project provided the opportunity to validate or refute this proposed focus by seeking input from a wider group of stakeholders, including industry. National consensus was sought by a process of iterative consultation with academics, students across four Australian universities and industry stakeholders. Both qualitative and quantitative data was collected from industry participants who attended a series of workshops across most Australian States and Territories and via an online survey. Surprisingly, and contrary to the findings of the pilot project, industry representatives considered vocational knowledge of lesser importance than the need for students to attain highly developed problem soMng and communication sknts, based on the rationale that these skills can generate new opportunities and innovation in agriculture. Industry-specific (vocational) knowledge was generally regarded as attainable during on-the-job training after graduation. The next phase of the project will trial the Standards Statement for Agriculture by benchmarking the academic standards achieved in four universities that teach Agriculture and related disciplines, using a Curriculum Mapping Tool, developed as a deliverable of the project. The tool is fully editable and can be used to map curriculum for what is taught and assessed against any set of standards statements.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:threshold learning outcomes, curriculum mapping
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum
UTAS Author:Botwright Acuna, T (Associate Professor Tina Acuna)
UTAS Author:Kelder, J-A (Dr Jo-Anne Kelder)
UTAS Author:Doyle, R (Associate Professor Richard Doyle)
UTAS Author:Meinke, H (Professor Holger Meinke)
ID Code:96135
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2014-10-21
Last Modified:2014-10-21

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