Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, First International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Learning from Feedback on Work-Related Learning: Skills Acquisition and Reality Check
Dominic Palmer-Brown, Fang Fang Cai, Preeti Patel

Last modified: 10-06-2015


An increasingly strong focus of higher education is now placed on the acquisition of skills that will strengthen the employability prospects of learners. This has led to, among other provisions, the embedding of work-related, work-based and project-based components into the academic curriculum for which newer forms of assessment and assessment feedback are necessary.

This paper reports on a pilot study which aims to understand the relationship between learning development in the last stages of an undergraduate’s journey and their first experiences of employment. The study was conducted with a small cohort of computing graduates whose degree includes an embedded final year work-related learning module. The outcome of this study shows that whilst employability skills were reported to have indeed improved through this module, the graduates felt ill-prepared for the productivity demands of the workplace. There was also a strong reflection among them now in employment that an additional exposure, as part of the module, to formal appraisal techniques and competency terminology utilised throughout industry sectors would have had an added benefit.


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