The importance of digital skills and practices to support students’ employability has been established. Bathmaker et al (2015) identified that students’ digital identity and the online networks and connections were one of the things that had an impact on a graduate’s outcomes. These networks represent a form of social and cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1986) that can support and facilitate the graduate’s transition to employment. However a challenge remains in relation to the importance that academic staff place on developing students’ digital identity and online presence. Indeed this is a challenge that learning technologists have been grappling with for many years (UCISA, 2015).
This case study provides a model for a curriculum planning workshop which helps to embed employability, with a particular focus on digital skills, into the curriculum. It illustrates how Appreciative Inquiry (Fifolt & Lander, 2013) can be used to frame the workshop. The case study will present some resources to support course planning based on Jisc’s Viewpoints (2014) cards. This short paper will explain the workshop’s philosophy and design and will introduce materials and resources.
The paper will be of particular interest to learning technologists who want to find ways to engage academic staff in issues of digital skills, to academics who want ideas for embedding employability in the curriculum and to senior managers who are interested in promoting the employability agenda within their HEI.
Bathmaker, A.-M., Ingram, N., & Abrahams, J. (2015). The labour market transitions of recent graduates: narratives of classed experiences. Paper presented at the Converging Concepts in Global Higher Education Research: Local, national and international perspective, Celtic Manor, Newport. https://www.srhe.ac.uk/conference2015/abstracts/0184.pdf
Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In Richardson, J. (ed) Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education. New York: Greenwood.
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (2015), TEF Green Paper: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/474266/BIS-15-623-fulfilling-our-potential-teaching-excellence-social-mobility-and-student-choice-accessible.pdf
Fifolt, M. and Lander, L. (2013). Cultivating Change Using Appreciative Inquiry. New Directions for Student Services, 19–30. doi: 10.1002/ss.20056
Higher Education Academy. (2016). Embedding Employability. Retrieved from Higher Education Academy: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/embedding-employability-in-he.pdf
Jackson, D. (2013). Student perceptions of the importance of employability skill provision in business undergraduate programs. Journal of Education for Business, 88(5), 271.
Jisc (2014). ViewPoints Toolkit, http://jiscdesignstudio.pbworks.com/w/page/29473453/Viewpoints%20Workshop%20Toolkit