Bajada, C., Jarvis, W., Trayler, R. & Bui, A.T. 2016, 'Threshold Concepts in Business School Curriculum – A Pedagogy for Public Trust', Education + Training, vol. 58, no. 5, pp. 540-563.
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– The purpose of this paper is to explore some of the implications for curriculum design by operationalizing threshold concepts and capabilities (TCC) in subject delivery. The motivation for undertaking this exploration is directly related to addressing public concerns for the business school curriculum.
– A post facto analysis of a compulsory subject in finance that is part of an Australian business degree and the impact on a subsequent finance subject.
– Customary approaches to granting part-marks in assessing students, (fractionalising) understanding of content can mean students pass subjects without grasping foundational concepts (threshold concepts) and are therefore not fully prepared for subsequent subjects.
– Students passing subjects through fractionalization are poorly equipped to undertake deeper explorations in related subjects. If replicated across whole degree programs students may graduate not possessing the attributes claimed for them through their qualification. The implications for undermining public trust and confidence in qualifications are profound and disturbing.
– The literature has exposed risks associated with operationalizing threshold through assessments. This highlights a risk to public trust in qualifications.
– Operationalizing threshold concepts is an underexplored field in curriculum theory. The importance of operationalizing customary approaches to assessments through fractionalising marks goes to the legitimacy and integrity of qualifications granted by higher education. Operationalizing assessments for TCC presents profound, inescapable and essential challenges to the legitimacy of award granting institutions.
Over the last decade there has been a growing interest in the area of threshold
concepts and its relevance for curriculum design and for teaching and learning.
The seminal work of Meyer and Land (2003a, b) and papers that followed have
sparked an interest in and a realization that the notion of threshold concepts not only
improves the quality of instruction but can also help shape the strategies necessary
to help students through the liminal stages of learning. The growing interest by
governments in a number of countries on the standards of qualifications
have resulted in a focus on monitoring and regulating the quality of higher
education, whether implicitly or explicitly (as in the case of Australia) on developing
learning standards (or threshold concepts) that a student should attain at
the completion of their studies. Threshold concepts are seen as a way to foster a
deeper engagement with the learning process both at a discipline and non-discipline
level. They are also seen as an effective way for preparing graduates for the everchanging
needs and expectations of employers and industry. Threshold concepts
can be thought of as the lights along a tunnel leading to the attainment of the
graduate attributes, which can be thought of as the light at the end of the tunnel
(i.e. graduate's qualification). The linkage between the two ensures a thorough and
complete learning experience that produces work-ready graduates demanded by
employers, government and industry
Purpose - A modern business graduate is expected to have strong disciplinary skills as well as the soft skills of communication and team work. However today's business graduate needs to be more than the traditional I-shaped graduate of the past and more of the T-shaped graduate employers are looking for. Many undergraduate business degrees profess to offer integration of the curriculum but on investigation this occurs mainly through a capstone subject at the end of the degree. Today's business graduates need a more integrated approach to their learning. This paper aims to outline the transformation of a traditional business curriculum to one that is inter-disciplinary, outlining the necessary steps and conditions including the most challenging faculty buy in. Design/methodology/approach The review of the Bachelor of Business degree at University of Technology Sydney (UTS) provided an opportunity to explore the option to embrace an integrated curriculum. The authors outline how the review was shaped, the need for change and the approaches to interdisciplinary business education, and an approach to designing an interdisciplinary curriculum. They also provide two case studies. - See more at: http://www.emeraldinsight.com.ezproxy.lib.uts.edu.au/journals.htm?issn=0040-0912&volume=55&issue=4&articleid=17090874&show=abstract#sthash.JPFwHdEe.dpuf
Jones, R.K., Nielsen, J.F. & Trayler, R.M. 2002, 'The bank selection process and market definition in Australia', Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 22-30.
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Trayler, R.M., Nielsen, J.F. & Jones, R.K. 2000, 'How small business firms select a bank: comparisons between the United States and Australia', Journal of Financial Services Marketing, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 73-85.
Nielsen, J., Terry, C. & Trayler, R.M. 1998, 'Business banking in Australia: A comparison of expectations', International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 253-263.