If your course is intending to prepare students for a particular profession, perhaps a formal accreditation system at the end of their degree, it’s very important that at the very beginning of the course design process, you are aware of all the various facets of that profession that need to be built into the course at the beginning.
So, there are usually standards and frameworks that we can work around as course designers, and point our outcomes towards those at a programme level, subsequently to the course level. And obviously, all of the objectives that we teach to, will all be mapped back to those professional standards and frameworks.
There may not be a formal statement from the profession as to what they expect graduates to have at the end of their degree, but you can always piece these together, and map your degree programme accurately onto the professional expectations. Ethical guidelines are the obvious place to start in the absence of a formal standard. But, you will almost certainly find for any serious profession, there are competency statements available.
If your particular country doesn’t have one, it’s always worth looking to see what international standards are available, and map your design onto that. Your students will thank you for it in the long run.
Those standards, of course, can be varied. They can be quite specific to an aspect within a particular profession, or they could be quite generic. So it’s important that you do search quite robustly to make sure that you’ve got a good picture of what the guidelines are, what the competency statements are, and what standards do exist.
Failing that, it’s worth asking a professional body in your particular region or, country. Do they have frameworks? Are there particular competency frameworks for existing professionals in that particular domain? Is there anything you can learn from them?
Those professional associations will definitely have guidelines. Their websites are definitely the first place that you should go to try and get your head into this space. But you’ll also find that if you look at journals and conferences, they’re very often a little bit ahead of wherever the professional association is. If you think your undergraduate is going to take 3, 4, 5 years to get their degree, you need to be thinking a little bit ahead in terms of, what kind of outputs you want to give those students? The kind of outcomes that the student will want to leave your degree with, are possibly a little bit ahead of what the current profession is expecting of its current practitioners, and a good place to get a sense of the future travel in your discipline is to look at journals and conferences.
Handout: Professional Frameworks