Integrating "employability" into the HE curriculum: case studies of online portfolio implementation in the UK @lisaharris, @drpaulharrigan (University of Southampton) @annettenaudin (Birmingham City University) PLE Conference, Barcelona, 8th July
Lisa Harris Teaches Digital Marketing at the University of Southampton Programme Director for the MSc in Digital Marketing. Qualified e-tutor for the University of Liverpool online MBA. Lisa has run a research project with Alan Rae called ‘Punch Above Your Weight’ which tracks how small firms promote themselves, network and grow their businesses using Web 2.0 technologies. Various projects to develop personal learning environments around the MSc curriculum at Southampton Currently developing workshops encouraging the growth of digital presence for career or business development
Rationale for our paper Significant gap between the skills required by employers and the way universities currently prepare students for employment. Employers are seeking high level skills of communication and networking in their potential employees, such as competence in online methods of engagement, at a disadvantage. Research has shown that today’s students are amenable to the increased use of technology for educational purposes, but the extent of their skills is currently very variable (Jones and Cross, 2009). It has been recommended that universities rethink their learning environment to improve digital literacy, among both staff and students (JISC, 2009). We suggest that (following the example set by Curtin University) modern applications of technology-enhanced learning such as e-portfolios can facilitate a higher level of student participation, creativity and engagement that meets the needs of employers in today’s global knowledge-based economy.
21st Century Careers (JISC, 2009) Competition for employment in a global knowledge economy increased levels of self-employment and portfolio working growth of multi-disciplinary teams focused on specific tasks whose members might be physically located anywhere in the world life within a networked society blurring of boundaries between ‘real’ and ‘virtual’, public and private increasingly ubiquitous use of digital technologies.
“Life-wide” and “life-long” learning
Bloom’s (Digital) taxonomy
Southampton PLE Initiatives Optional careers sessions from 2008 Undergraduate Digital Marketing module – development of online communities by student groups using blogs, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook (from 2008, assessed by oral presentation) Digital Presence Workshops for staff and students from 2009 Student blogs to support personal tutor/tutee relationship from 2009 Integration into Intro to Marketing and Digital Marketing Comms modules from Sept 2010 Blog, Delicious, Netvibes, PBWorks
Potential scope of the PLE
Benefits Identification of particularly strong students when opportunities arise (eg participation in company projects) Identification of absent/low performing students at early stage Enables students to showcase their work and activities for potential employers Useful feedback for tutors on what students liked/disliked about their programme
Challenges “Issues” with staff... “Russell Group” arrogance Student expectations of “traditional” methods of teaching and assessment Reluctance to share ideas with others Most were comfortable only with the more passive aspects of online learning
The Big Question! How can we “sell” this approach more effectively to both staff and students?