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ERIC Number: EJ1161983
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0729-4360
Want Students to Engage? Contextualise Graduate Learning Outcomes and Assess for Employability
Jorre de St Jorre, Trina; Oliver, Beverley
Higher Education Research and Development, v37 n1 p44-57 2018
The ability of graduates to proactively develop, adapt and repackage their capabilities (or attributes) is an essential aspect of employability. This study was conducted at Deakin University, where graduate capabilities have been recast as graduate learning outcomes, and employability is frequently referenced. In light of significant curriculum reform to make graduate capabilities prominent, we investigated student perceptions of graduate capabilities and associated learning outcomes, as well as preparation for employment, to better understand how we can engage students in developing and showcasing their employability. We interviewed 45 students across 10 focus groups and qualitatively analysed their responses for commonly recurring themes. Focus groups were completed in two stages with data analysis and adjustment of questions between stages to enable validation and greater depth of understanding. Our analysis suggests that even with capabilities renamed as learning outcomes, students find graduate learning outcomes too generic to be meaningful and are most likely to engage with learning outcomes that are contextualised and assessed. Our case study illustrates ways to combat this--particularly the importance of assessment design and consistent, student-focused communication in engaging students in the development of capabilities and in the curation of evidence for employability. Students also suggest that advice from employers, professionals and recent graduates, and exposure to industry-related experiences could help make graduate capabilities more meaningful.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A