Embedding technology skills for student employability

Poster 7

Adrian Moody
University of Wollongong

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Tuesday 5 December 3pm – 3.45pm

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While conducting a literature review for a research project into best practices for technology-enhanced learning, a regularly recurring theme was identified around the need for students to be career ready on graduation. Many courses are not addressing employability skills, leaving students with skills gaps, particularly with regard to familiarity and competence with ‘real world’ technologies, along with critical thinking and collaborative skills.

The “New Work Mindset” report by the Foundation for Young Australians (The Foundation for Young Australians, 2016) identifies:

  • traditional linear career paths as increasingly obsolete.
  • 7 new job clusters in the Australian economy with closely related skills; These are the: Generators, Artisans, Designers, Coordinators, Technologists, Carers and Informers.
  • the need to give young people portable generic skills which can be applied throughout a cluster

Taken together, it can be seen that graduates need a suite of transferrable digital skills to have competitive advantage in the current job market. Some examples are; spreadsheets for data storage and analysis, calendars/project management software for task management and scheduling, audio and video hardware and software for presentation, training or promotional materials, word processing skills for cloud-based documents in collaborative projects.

This has major implications for higher education. The required skills suites will impact upon and inform course and assessment design to provide authentic learning and assessment, directly applicable to real world requirements. (Department of Education, Employability Skills Framework, 2006)

If academics are required to incorporate these skills into their learning and assessment, will they also need to acquire these skills? What strategies/resources are available to assist academics in providing these training needs?

This poster will focus on the real world digital skills and literacy required by the current job market and explore options available to academics for embedding them in course and assessment design.

  • In house resource development and technical support
  • External sources (eg Lynda.com, YouTube)
  • Active learning tasks using relevant technology
  • Student collaborative research
  • Assessment incorporating varied presentation formats (Oral presentation with slides, video, audio podcast, spreadsheet charts)

About the authors

Adrian Moody

Adrian currently works for the Science, Medicine & Health Faculty at the University of Wollongong as an Education Technology Assistant, providing support to academics in the application of technology-enhanced learning. He previously worked for TAFE NSW as a teacher of Business Administration and Information Technology, as well as an Education Support Officer, creating and maintaining digital learning resources for TAFE Online.