Proposal for Incorporating Professional Skills in the ANU Master of Computing

Tom Worthington

Version: 1.1 of 25 February 2013


The purpose of this document is to outline a proposal for incorporating  professional skills courses in a new Master of Computing degree for the Australian National University. This would be designed to meet the requirements of the “Professional Knowledge” sub-component of the Australian Computer Society's ICT Profession Body of Knowledge (and the Engineers Australia equivalent) so as to meet the requirements for course accreditation.


Detailed reasoning behind  the proposal is in a separate “Report on Incorporating Professional Skills in the ANU Master of Computing”. The aim is to use e-learning and eportfolios to develop communication, teamwork and staff management skills of the student alongside technical courses, throughout their program. While proposed for one new ANU program, it is envisaged that the same courses would be used in engineering (replacing ENGN8150 Professional communication I  and ENGN8160 Professional communication II) and could be adapted for other professional masters degrees. As the courses will cover the basics of teaching, they could also replace the ANU Engineering Teaching Quality Program and the ANU Foundations of University Teaching and Learning course (EDUC8100). The aim would be to have all professional masters graduates be skilled in training and assessment, to a level suitable for tutoring and lecturing at a university or teaching at a TAFE.


This work is being undertaken as part of the ANU course “Enhancing Your Academic Practice” (EDUC8001). It has not been solicited by the ANU, nor is it an official part of a current university program proposal. The views expressed in this document are those of the author and may not be those of the ANU. The ANU is not obliged to accept any of the recommendations in this document. For background see Learning On-line Tertiary Teaching for Research-Led Education” and “The Application of On-line Professional Pedagogy at a Research-Intensive University: Lessons from Professional Coursework.

Proposed ANU Master of Computing Use of e-learning and an ePortfolio

It is proposed to use e-learning an ePortfolio in the ANU Master of Computing. The content would be similar to the professional communication courses currently run for the ANU Engineering Masters, combined with a modified version of the Engineering and Computer Science Teaching Quality Program. It would would use an e-portfolio similar to that already used for ANU's undergraduate engineering degrees. The current face-to-face course format would be replaced with on-line delivery. Progressive assessment would be used to ensure that students progress, applying on-line delivery and assessment techniques used in the ANU course “ICT Sustainability” COMP7310 (Worthington, 2012a). Students who have already acquired the skills required by the assessment items can present evidence via their eportfolio.

Course descriptions

Course Title: Professional Skills 1: Communication and Teamwork &  Professional Skills 2: Assessment and Feedback

Offered By

Research School of Computer Science

Academic Career


Course Subject

Computer Science

Offered in

All terms

Unit Value

6 units

Course Description

The aim of this course is to enable students to develop and document their professional skills and practice. Students will take part in on-line forums and complete an e-Portfolio using a template aligned with the skills required for their program. Students are required to take part in online forums, prepare and present individual and group seminars. They are required to prepare evaluation and assessment tools and provide feedback to other students on their performance. The course is designed to meet the requirements of the “Professional Knowledge” sub‐component, ICT Profession Body of Knowledge (Australian Computer Society, 2012).

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. 1.Document their skills using an e-portfolio. 

  2. 2.Demonstrate relevant professionals skills for their professional accreditation: Ethics, Professionalism, Teamwork concepts and issues, Interpersonal communication, Societal issues/Legal issues/Privacy, History and status of discipline 

  3. 3.Plan, deliver, evaluate and assess an online learning activity 

  4. 4.Provide individual feedback to peers. 

Indicative Assessment

Weekly contributions to forums and seminars (24%); e-Portfolio (38%); Preparation and delivery of an individual seminar (19%). Preparation and delivery of a group seminar (19%). Students who have already acquired the skills required by the assessment items can present evidence via their eportfolio.


To complete the subject you will need to spend 150 hours reading, communicating with colleagues and tutors and preparing your e-portfolio, over the span of your program.

Other Information

On-campus workshops are available. No attendance is required. All materials and assessment are on-line.