The Higher Education White Paper “Students at the Heart of the System” proposed ‘closer working between institutions, employers and students to create a better experience leading to better-qualified graduates’ (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 2011, p. 45). The resulting review made a number of recommendations for this, including collaboration in programme design, “contextualisation of subjects” and skills development (Wilson, 2012). It even recommended examples of appropriate tasks: “team project work, case study analysis, assessment through presentation and research tasks”, and suggests that professional or vocational students might be discouraged by “more traditional methods” (pp. 32, 46).
The particular assessment methods you choose will be determined by the learning outcomes you have set, but these could be informed and shaped by employability requirements. The University already requires the inclusion of Key Skills outcomes in every programme and module. To expand on these, you may wish to invite representatives from industry to participate in the design of your course, by attending a CAIeRO for example. You may also wish to use messy, ‘real world’ data and scenarios, and include group based activities, to help learners make the links between assessment and practice. You could also invite your industry representatives to take part in the assessment process itself, with guidance from you as appropriate.
Consideration of how key skills for employability and Changemaker are embedded across all our programmes is currently under review as an enhancement to the existing key skills as contained in the UMF. Why not find out more about the Changemaker in the Curriculum project and how you can build employability skills into your programmes/modules?