Embedding reflection on graduate attributes in the psychology curriculum: the impact on self-efficacy and the perceived value of graduate attributes

Gillian Hendry, Maxine Swingler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Psychology graduates face a volatile job market: promotion of their skills is increasingly important, yet they often lack awareness of and engagement with their Graduate Attributes (GAs); the employability skills developed throughout university in order to prepare them for the world of work.

Objective: To address this, we designed, implemented and evaluated a GA reflective activity in a UK university.

Method: Undergraduate psychology students completed a measure of their self-efficacy in GAs (GASE) before and after taking part in a GA reflective activity. Students were asked to provide qualitative feedback on the value of the activity.

Results: GASE was higher after the activity but this effect was relatively small. A thematic analysis indicated that the activity was valued, but students wanted clearer guidance on the development and application of GAs.

Conclusion: The GA activity had a marginal impact on GA self-efficacy and appeared to raise awareness of GAs and career goals. Further work is needed to support students in identifying opportunities for skill development.

Teaching Implications: The reflective activity is a flexible method of embedding work-readiness in the curriculum that can be implemented as a stand-alone workshop or as part of personal development planning.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPractice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • graduate attributes
  • employability
  • self-efficacy
  • psychology
  • personal development planning

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