The European Educational Researcher

Character Building at Bachelor's Psychology Program: Findings Based on a Natural Approach

The European Educational Researcher, Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2023, pp. 19-33
OPEN ACCESS VIEWS: 419 DOWNLOADS: 172 Publication date: 15 Jun 2023
Character building (CB) is a crucial aspect for basic psychologists who need to carry out their consultation tasks effectively. At Tilburg University, lecturers have the freedom to interpret the five CB dimensions and implement them in courses, including intellectual independence, critical mindset, social responsibility, scientific responsibility, and entrepreneurship. This study aims to investigate how the five CB dimensions are interpreted and implemented in the three-year Bachelor Psychology program at Tilburg University. As part of the regular quality assurance of assessment, we made a full program assessment plan in 2021-2022 and collected extra data on course practices of CB. At the program level, the five CB dimensions were related to the 13 program learning outcomes by reviewing the self-reflection report. At the course level, a template thematic analysis was used to code the course learning goals, instructional activities, and assessment. Two-thirds of the courses formulated CB-related learning goals, mostly delivered through interactive lecture forms. The instructional activities were categorized into six themes: academic standards, application, evaluative judgment, self-regulation, societal relevance, and taking initiatives. The five CB dimensions were mostly assessed by coursework method, but there was a lack of assessment of CB elements such as reflection. The five CB dimensions were implemented in most educational processes at the course and program level, despite the absence of a standardized implementation plan. We advise to focus on the assessment design for character education, particularly through the use of more authentic and performance-based assessment methods.
Character education, constructive alignment, course assessment design, instructional design, program curriculum design
Soedamah-Muthu, S., & Hsiao, Y. P. (. (2023). Character Building at Bachelor's Psychology Program: Findings Based on a Natural Approach. The European Educational Researcher, 6(2), 19-33.
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