Higher Education and the Future of Graduate Employability
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Higher Education and the Future of Graduate Employability

A Connectedness Learning Approach

Edited by Ruth Bridgstock and Neil Tippett

This book challenges the dominant ‘employability skills’ discourse by exploring socially connected and networked perspectives to learning and teaching in higher education. Both learning and career development happen naturally and optimally in ecologies, informal communities and partnerships. In the digital age, they are also highly networked. This book presents ten empirical case studies of educational practice that investigate the development of learner capabilities, teaching approaches, and institutional strategies in higher education, to foster lifelong graduate employability through social connectedness.
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Chapter 9: The capstone experience: five principles for a connected curriculum

Mitch Goodwin, Kay Are, Michael 'Maxx' Schmitz, Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins, Wajeehah Aayeshah and Elizabeth Lakey


This chapter’s focus is on the redesign and re-imagining of a selection of final-year capstone units in the Bachelor of Arts program at the University of Melbourne. In response to the Connectedness Learning Approach, we describe the five principles that were our blueprint for reinterpreting the capstone as a sequence of authentic, reflective, creative, celebratory and networked experiences. Further, we view connectedness as having broader social and industrial implications beyond just purely reinforcing disciplinary knowledge. Therefore, we see a need for capstone subjects to incorporate authentic experiences that emphasise creativity, social mindedness and critical awareness. By sharing insights into the challenges and successes of the curriculum (re)design process, we hope to embolden other teachers and learning designers to pursue change in their own programs. We believe strongly that connected, productive and meaningful capstone experiences are vital for all students emerging into an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world.

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