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 10: Curriculum transformation for graduate connectedness and employability: perspectives from the University of Wollongong

Simon Bedford and Kenton Bell


The University of Wollongong (UOW) as an institution has moved towards a “whole of course approach” to curriculum design, progressively rolling out a transformational curriculum model that articulates design principles of transition, synthesis and broadening. This investigation explores how institution-wide curriculum design can be used to promote connectedness and develop employability across the student cohort. Focusing on the five transformational practices of first-year experience, blended learning, ePortfolios, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary learning, and capstones, this chapter explores how these approaches can be used to support students’ connectedness capabilities. The findings suggest that course learning outcomes which are scaffolded around real world learning experiences are key to promoting and evidencing employability. Tasks that are underpinned by social learning theory, help connect students, while intellectually challenging, authentically-focused tasks enable students to develop their communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills. These learning experiences are discussed with consideration towards future course design, and curriculum renewal.

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