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Conference Paper: Aligning the learning activities and assessments with learning outcomes and students' perception for transferable skills

TitleAligning the learning activities and assessments with learning outcomes and students' perception for transferable skills
Authors
KeywordsTransferable skills
Soft skills
Employability
Key-skills
Learning outcomes
Learning activities
Issue Date2009
PublisherIATED.
Citation
The 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference, Valencia, Spain, 9-11 March 2009. In INTED2009 Proceedings, 2009, p. 2938-2945 How to Cite?
Abstract
Transferable skills are now considered to be the ‘x-factors’ by employers, even beyond having excellent academic discipline knowledge. In a world where discipline specific knowledge rapidly becomes obsolete, and that a large percentage of graduates are entering employment unrelated to their primary degree subject area, it seems that it is absolutely necessary for them to possess certain aspects of the skills portfolio which are transferable, regardless of discipline, when they complete college. All this is evidenced by the external forces from the Government whom in turn have been lobbied by employer demands to introduce transferable skills development strategy in higher education. Numerous white papers, from the Council of the European Union (2001) to the Dearing Report in UK (1997) have impacted significantly on the need for undergraduates to be better prepared for the world of work in order to ensure international competitiveness towards a knowledge-based economy. Of course, it is not merely about making students more employable, it is about making students more capable. Recently, the Irish engineering professional body – Engineers Ireland has embraced a number of transferable skills criteria in their expected programme learning outcomes for engineering programme accreditation. Problem solving, creativity, teamwork, lifelong learning, communications and research ability are all expected transferable skills for a well-rounded engineering graduate. Higher education institutions are given the tasks to re-design the curriculum in order to embed and embrace these skills in the curriculum. This has caused numerous issues and concerns across the sector as there is a lack of information (Atlay and Harris, 2000) in general about the extent to which transferable skills may be perceived by students to be valuable and similarly by teachers. Often transferable skills courses are designed and delivered without the understanding of previous and current academic and work experience of students, and with little concern on how students may engage with the learning. They are often designed as quick fix add-on courses to address the immediate issues such as credits, learning outcomes and diversity from the management top-down. There is a certain amount of haziness from the perception of both the students and the teachers on the awareness, the understanding, the delivery of learning and the assessment of such skills. It is important to remember transferable skills are not by tradition part of a degree curriculum. Many academic professors do not actually have the personality or skill-sets to demonstrate such wisdom (Chan, 2005). Often the learning methods are not relevant to the skill-sets they try to teach or not related to authentic examples, there is little coherent link between course outcomes, methodology and assessments. This study enhanced our conceptual understanding of both students’ and teachers’ perceptions of transferable skills in an undergraduate electrical engineering degree. The findings have raised transferable skills awareness and allow potential improvement amongst staff for aligning students’ perceptions of transferable skills with the learning activities and learning outcomes. This has also provided a pathway for designing and embedding some diverse teaching activities and assessment for transferable skills in the curriculum.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/64197
ISBN
ISSN

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChan, CKYen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-07-13T04:42:37Z-
dc.date.available2010-07-13T04:42:37Z-
dc.date.issued2009en_HK
dc.identifier.citationThe 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference, Valencia, Spain, 9-11 March 2009. In INTED2009 Proceedings, 2009, p. 2938-2945-
dc.identifier.isbn9788461275786-
dc.identifier.issn2340-1079-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/64197-
dc.description.abstractTransferable skills are now considered to be the ‘x-factors’ by employers, even beyond having excellent academic discipline knowledge. In a world where discipline specific knowledge rapidly becomes obsolete, and that a large percentage of graduates are entering employment unrelated to their primary degree subject area, it seems that it is absolutely necessary for them to possess certain aspects of the skills portfolio which are transferable, regardless of discipline, when they complete college. All this is evidenced by the external forces from the Government whom in turn have been lobbied by employer demands to introduce transferable skills development strategy in higher education. Numerous white papers, from the Council of the European Union (2001) to the Dearing Report in UK (1997) have impacted significantly on the need for undergraduates to be better prepared for the world of work in order to ensure international competitiveness towards a knowledge-based economy. Of course, it is not merely about making students more employable, it is about making students more capable. Recently, the Irish engineering professional body – Engineers Ireland has embraced a number of transferable skills criteria in their expected programme learning outcomes for engineering programme accreditation. Problem solving, creativity, teamwork, lifelong learning, communications and research ability are all expected transferable skills for a well-rounded engineering graduate. Higher education institutions are given the tasks to re-design the curriculum in order to embed and embrace these skills in the curriculum. This has caused numerous issues and concerns across the sector as there is a lack of information (Atlay and Harris, 2000) in general about the extent to which transferable skills may be perceived by students to be valuable and similarly by teachers. Often transferable skills courses are designed and delivered without the understanding of previous and current academic and work experience of students, and with little concern on how students may engage with the learning. They are often designed as quick fix add-on courses to address the immediate issues such as credits, learning outcomes and diversity from the management top-down. There is a certain amount of haziness from the perception of both the students and the teachers on the awareness, the understanding, the delivery of learning and the assessment of such skills. It is important to remember transferable skills are not by tradition part of a degree curriculum. Many academic professors do not actually have the personality or skill-sets to demonstrate such wisdom (Chan, 2005). Often the learning methods are not relevant to the skill-sets they try to teach or not related to authentic examples, there is little coherent link between course outcomes, methodology and assessments. This study enhanced our conceptual understanding of both students’ and teachers’ perceptions of transferable skills in an undergraduate electrical engineering degree. The findings have raised transferable skills awareness and allow potential improvement amongst staff for aligning students’ perceptions of transferable skills with the learning activities and learning outcomes. This has also provided a pathway for designing and embedding some diverse teaching activities and assessment for transferable skills in the curriculum.-
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherIATED.en_HK
dc.relation.ispartofINTED2009 Proceedings-
dc.subjectTransferable skills-
dc.subjectSoft skills-
dc.subjectEmployability-
dc.subjectKey-skills-
dc.subjectLearning outcomes-
dc.subjectLearning activities-
dc.titleAligning the learning activities and assessments with learning outcomes and students' perception for transferable skillsen_HK
dc.typeConference_Paperen_HK
dc.identifier.emailChan, CKY: cecilia.chan@caut.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityChan, CKY=rp00892en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros155021en_HK
dc.identifier.spage2938-
dc.identifier.epage2945-
dc.publisher.placeValencia, Spain-

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