Learning in partnership: embedding employability in a connected curriculum

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Embedding employability in the curricula is argued to be an effective approach towards meeting sectoral and institutional graduate employment priorities. However, as Knight and Yorke (2004: 9) argue, employability is ‘clearly not the same as graduate employment rates’ and, while institutions may measure performance against these rates, the real challenge is to embed employability in a meaningful way within the curriculum. Whilst embedding employability may be ‘ideal’, the successful implementation is not without challenges (Yorke and Knight, 2006; Tibby, 2012; Chatterton and Rebbeck, 2015). Learning and teaching strategies need to adopt a ‘holistic’ approach towards curriculum development that provides students with an authentic and transformative learning experience that promotes the development of discipline knowledge and understanding while developing key transferable skills and competencies that both prepare students for further study and enhance employability (Pegg et al., 2012). As Chatterton and Rebbeck (2015: 77) observe, this is best achieved through the adoption of a ‘connected curriculum’ that embeds employability into ‘programme design, learning outcomes and assessment.’ This workshop will build on research undertaken at the University of the West of Scotland and evaluate the impact of a learning in partnership methodology used to develop a connected curriculum within the School of Media, Culture and Society. It will articulate how the learning in partnership methodology supports the development of the attributes and ‘research-mindedness’ required of the 21st century graduate. It will also present empirical evidence collated from the pilot project, using the student voice to provide evidence that by facilitating the active participation of students in the development of their own learning experience and through working with others in the building of learning communities, students are encouraged to be culturally aware, socially responsible and participating citizens, who are globally facing, work ready and prepared for a contemporary world increasingly characterised by uncertainty, unpredictability and ‘super-complexity’. The workshop will promote critical discussion in relation to the challenges of embedding of employability within a connected curriculum. It will do this within a framework that engages pedagogy and learning design and that promotes participation, providing a forum for reflective engagement and evaluation of policy and professional practice.


ConferenceHigher Education Academy Arts and Humanities Annual Conference 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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