Dr Catherine Manathunga (project leader)
Dr Catherine Manathunga (project leader)
Project: Research Student [Virtual] Portfolio (RSVP TM): a tool for student and advisor development – TEDI; School of Engineering; School of Medicine.

Project Team: Dr Catherine Manathunga (pictured), Dr Paul Lant, Dr George Mellick

The Research Student Virtual Portfolio grew from a 2002 study, which aimed to enhance the interdisciplinary teamwork and communication skills of research students. RSVP provides an effective method of evaluating postgraduate research student learning and development outside the thesis examination/oral defence process by introducing a process of graduate attribute development. The RSVP consists of a set of attributes, together with a “reflective review tool with key performance indicators for each graduate attribute, which provide students and advisors with tangible and practical means of addressing each attribute”. Throughout their candidature, students build a portfolio of evidence of achievement of key indicators. A resource package for students and advisors, together with a training program for supervisors complete the package.

Students and advisors have been closely involved in the development of RSVP from the outset. Positive feedback attests to its success and practicality. RSVP has informed the development of the University’s draft list of graduate attributes for research students accepted by the Postgraduate Studies Committee in mid 2004, and is being used to map and embed these attributes into research higher degree programs across the university.

The RSVP approach has attracted attention and positive response both nationally and internationally and several Australian universities have expressed interest in using RSVP.

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