Developing students' employability in work placements

Jollands, M, Boles, W and Peterson, J 2017, 'Developing students' employability in work placements', in 28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2017) Order of Proceedings, Sydney, Australia, 10-13 December 2017, pp. 362-368.

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

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Title Developing students' employability in work placements
Author(s) Jollands, M
Boles, W
Peterson, J
Year 2017
Conference name 28th Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) Annual Conference
Conference location Sydney, Australia
Conference dates 10-13 December 2017
Proceedings title 28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2017) Order of Proceedings
Publisher School of Engineering, Macquarie University
Place of publication Sydney, Austalia
Start page 362
End page 368
Total pages 7
Abstract SESSION C1: Integration of theory and practice in the learning and teaching process CONTEXT Employer feedback consistently reports gaps in graduate professional capabilities. Developing graduates' work readiness is a goal of growing importance in the tertiary sector. Institutions are embedding curriculum and co- and extra-curricular activities to better develop student employability capabilities. While work placements are widely viewed as the best way to develop employability, employability learning activities in the curriculum can augment experiential learning. PURPOSE The aim of this study was to explore the question What preparation can develop student communication, networking and reflection skills before undertaking an engineering work placement? APPROACH A number of frameworks were used to guide development of new curriculum for employability. Eyler's reflective practice framework was used to enhance learning from experience, and an affordance model framework was used to scaffold learning, to prioritize learning during workshops to higher order skill development. A cultural values framework was used to guide learning about workplace culture. RESULTS A workshop was developed for students looking for a placement that focuses on the application, networking and interviewing. A second workshop was developed for students who had already sourced a placement that focuses on key workplace learning opportunities: meetings, networking and reflection on experience. CONCLUSIONS Well designed workshops can be an effective way to enhance student learning. Evaluation of outcomes and impact of the teaching innovation in employability lag interventions by several years, so longitudinal studies need to be carried out for a full evaluation.
Subjects Engineering Practice
Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
Keyword(s) Work readiness
work placement
reflective practice.
Copyright notice © 2017 Australasian Association for Engineering Education. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit
ISBN 9780646980263
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