Published on February 24, 2014
Developing Employability Skills through the Curriculum Give someone a fish and they will eat well for a day. Give them a fishing rod and they will eat well for life. Anon. Sarra Saffron Powell Educational Development Curriculum Review Coordinator Team Sarrasaf@liv.ac.uk xt. 41180
Learning Outcomes • Participants will explore ways in which Employability impacts curricula s and will consider skills and attribute development through a range of frameworks including the CBI Framework, Learning and Digital Literacies, and professional & statutory bodies. • Participants will consider implementation, integration, learning activities and assessment. • Participants will be introduced to a tool to get started, other information sources and who can help (curriculum review support structure).
Introductions Briefly introduce yourselves… School and teaching responsibilities?
What are the drivers for employability? Sector wide? Local (University of Liverpool)? Professional Bodies? 10 mins
Fees (economic contracts and consumer choice) Access Agreements (Panel on Fair Access to the Professions 2009) HEFCE funding Student expectation Digital technologies NSS – Guild agendas Employment Strategy Russell Group Competitors UoL Strategy and Policy (Strategic Aims) Improving Student Experience Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) Internationalisation (global economy) QA standards Professional Bodies and Councils Co/extra curricula (Liverpool Life) Curriculum Review Employers – CBI skill sets …others? Low economic growth ……
Employability is high on the agenda Embedding employability into the core of higher education will continue to be a key priority of Government, universities and colleges, and employers. This will bring both significant private and public benefit, demonstrating higher education’s broader role in contributing to economic growth as well as its vital role in social and cultural development. (HEFCE 2011, p5) Pegg A, Waldock J, Hendy-Isaac S, Lawton R, (2012) Pedagogy for employability, HEA, York NB: HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) allocates funding from the Government to universities and colleges
Challenges for HEIs – Employability is a significant response In an environment of high tuition fees and low economic growth, student expectations of both the qualification, and the experience of higher education (HE) itself, have been raised and questioned. Many HEIs are now adopting a renewed focus on the student experience and in engaging students as partners in learning. The challenge for HEIs is to address this through enhancing the quality of pedagogical approaches: the context of delivery, curricula construction and recognition of the impact that co-curricular and extra-curricular activities have in encouraging students to become confident learners and individuals capable of making a full contribution to society. Pegg A, Waldock J, Hendy-Isaac S, Lawton R, (2012) Pedagogy for employability, HEA, York
So what is Employability?
Two definitions and a starting point A set of achievements – skills, understandings and personal attributes – that makes graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations, which benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy. (ESECT*, based on Yorke 2006) Pegg A, Waldock J, Hendy-Isaac S, Lawton R, (2012) Pedagogy for employability, HEA, York * Higher Education Academy and the Enhancing Student Employability Co-ordination Team (ESECT) An employment approach
Employability is not just about getting a job. …Employability is more than about developing attributes, techniques or experience just to enable a student to get a job, or to progress within a current career. It is about learning and the emphasis is less on ‘employ’ and more on ‘ability’. In essence, the emphasis is on developing critical, reflective abilities, with a view to empowering and enhancing the learner. (Harvey 2003) Pegg A, Waldock J, Hendy-Isaac S, Lawton R, (2012) Pedagogy for employability, HEA, York An employability approach
The “skills” debate… What are the differences between skills and attributes? (no clear, agreed definitions in lit.) How can we ensure they are adequately developed?
So what is Employability at UoL?
UoL Employability Strategy A set of skills, knowledge and personal attributes that make an individual more likely to secure and be successful in their chosen occupation(s) to the benefit of themselves, the workforce the community and the economy ((HEA, 2006). The development of University wide Employability Strategy requires an integrated approach based in a curricular, co curricula and extra curricula collaboration. University of Liverpool, Employability Strategy, 2012
CBI skills sets NUS, CBI (2012) Working towards your future: Making the most of your time in higher education, http://www.nus.org.uk/Global/CBI_NUS_Employability%20report_May%20201 1.pdf
CBI skills sets 1. Self-reliance skills: self-management, readiness to accept responsibility, flexibility, resilience, time-management; 2. People skills: teamwork, communication skills, listening and questioning, respecting others, contributing to discussions; 3. General employment skills: problem solving, literacy, numeracy; 4. Specialist skills: business and customer awareness, application of IT. University of Liverpool, Employability Strategy, 2012
Overlap and synergy with Digital Literacy and Learning Skills Strategy* *In consolation Nov 2012
Digital Literacy and Learning Strategy* all students are given the opportunity to develop learning and study skills students are able to develop the digital learning skills they need for study and employment the contribution that the development of learning and digital literacy skills makes to the enhancement of student employability is clearly articulated The University of Liverpool, Learning and Digital Literacy Learning Strategy, 2012 Draft, *in consultation - revised Learning and study Skills Strategy
digital learning competences ensure students are adequately equipped for living, learning, working and researching in a continually developing digital world Employers are increasingly expecting graduates to be conversant with a range of information, communication and media tools.
ESECT Key findings • Development takes time – months and years. • Development takes practice. • Students need to hear, repeatedly, what it is intended that they learn in order to understand what that means, to know ways of judging what they have achieved, and to see how to improve. • Ideally, this would mean programme-level planning having priority over planning at the level of the module. Mantz Y, Knight P T, ( 2006) Embedding employability into the curriculum, HEA, York * Higher Education Academy and the Enhancing Student Employability Co-ordination Team (ESECT)
So how might employability in the curriculum look?
Employability through the whole curriculum? Employability in the core (key skills) curriculum? Work-based or work-related learning incorporated as one or more components within the curriculum? Employability-related module(s) within the curriculum? Work-based or work-related learning in parallel with the curriculum? Mantz Y, Knight P T, ( 2006) Embedding employability into the curriculum, HEA, York
So how does employability in your current curriculum look? Does it support digital literacy ad learning skills? When is employability introduced to your students – how and who by?
In reality hybrid models most effective
Skills auditing – a common auditing tool for employability Skills auditing identifies the gaps Foregrounds programme <>module correlations Based on pedagogical model: curriculum alignment
Underpinned by ‘Constructive alignment’ (outcomes based approach), Biggs, (2003) Learning Outcomes (LO) – Taught activities most likely to lead to LO - Practice assessment of LO - Assess arrive at final grade
Curriculum mapping – Module Leaders discuss interpretation of terms (what they mean and is there synergy with Digital Literacy and learning skills?) – Check understanding of proformas (e.g how much evidence constitutes confirmation that a skill is taught/practised/assessed?) – Module leaders undertake mapping exercise where skills are explicitly taught/practiced assessed
Curriculum mapping Information from the mapping performance can collated into the chart/spreadsheet to look at the overall picture (see example) Issues/questions can then be discussed - e.g. are all skills covered; are there any instances where the students are assessed the skill level not been taught their skill; are there issues of skill development and progression from years 1 to 2 in 2 to 3 (for undergraduate courses)
Curriculum mapping The information from the mapping for the modules could not be used to revisit the learning outcomes each patrol/programmes. The whole process can often highlight skills may not previously explicitly stated as learning outcomes
You are not alone….
Curriculum Review Team firstname.lastname@example.org
iLearn (student skills development) 250+ resources Skills diagnostic Subject specific: Management Key lab skills Physics Stats for Psychology email@example.com
Developing Digital Literacies Working Group Tunde Varga Atkin firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
iTeach (relaunch Aug 2013) Sarrasaf@liv.ac.uk
Sources of support, resources and tools • Careers Faculty Employability consultants (Employability Strategy Implementation Plans) • Student facing workshops • Employer led programmes • Online Programme and Module Planner (coming soon!) • eLearning Unit • Educational Development (workshops) • PGCert – 402 Module Design and Evaluation • Guild input • Professional Bodies guidance and Subject Benchmarking • Higher Education Academy • ESECT literature etc
Summary • In response to economic conditions, Employability is high on all national and local agendas • Employability is defined variously and not always helpfully • Employability can take many shapes in the curriculum • Employability Strategy to be implemented across University • The strategy is based on CBI skills sets which must be included in curriculum • The strategy adopts a curricula, co curricula and extra curricula model • Employability is closely related to digital literacy and learning skills development • Skills auditing is a useful starting point to embed Employability into the curriculum • There are a range of resources to develop curriculum
• Feedback please
References Pegg A, Waldock J, Hendy-Isaac S, Lawton R, (2012) Pedagogy for employability, HEA, York Educational Development and Developing Digital Literacies Working Group (Feb 2012), Learning and Digital Literacy Skills Strategy, draft version 7, Educational Development and Developing Digital Literacies Working Group Mantz Y, Knight P T, ( 2006) Embedding employability into the curriculum, HEA, York [accessed 29/11/2012] http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/employability/id460_embedding_employability_into_the_cu rriculum_338.pdf NUS, CBI (2012) Working towards your future: Making the most of your time in higher education, [accessed 29/11/2012] http://www.nus.org.uk/Global/CBI_NUS_Employability%20report_May%202011.pdf University of Liverpool, Employability Strategy, 2012, Biggs, J (2003) Aligning Teaching and Assessment to Curriculum Objectives, (Imaginative Curriculum Project, LTSN Generic Centre)
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