Candidature plan process

I’ve been involved with the implementation of the candidature plan process since the start; it has  been a big change that we’re still working our way through. First there was a University working party maybe five years ago and then there was the pilot and then the drafting of the documentation and then the rolling it out. What that did was to give me a structure, a kind of an external structure to try to get people to engage in thinking about their own learning in a more formal way. So in the early stages of the retreat, because my background was in Engineering and teaching I used all sorts of resources, around critical thinking, the whole idea of learning outcomes, and getting people to think about ‘how would you know?’ and ‘how do you find out what you don’t know?’. We’ve used these resources lots of times both in projects and with the students to give them a language to decide what it is that they’re seeking to do and to help them understand that you can learn at different levels. The PhD requires you to, at some point at least, think at the higher level of critical thinking and learning kind of skills. So I have introduced those at different points but what the candidature plan does is to institutionalise those more so.

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