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 13: Integrating connectedness learning into institutional program review processes in an Australian regional university

Sara Hammer, Peter Ayriss, Marita Basson, Beata Batorowicz, Jo Devine, Melissa Forbes, Alexander Kist, Tessa McCredie, Amanda McCubbin and Bill Wade

Abstract

This chapter describes a pilot initiative in a Creative Arts and an Engineering program in a regional Australian University. We integrated Connectedness Pedagogies into institutional program review and enhancement processes and enabled wider institutional connections by including Careers and Employability staff. We used a qualitative social constructionist approach to review the effectiveness of this process and the experiences of select stakeholders. Findings highlighted the benefits of integrating connectedness learning into existing curriculum review and enhancement processes including the identification of relevant strengths, gaps and opportunities, the foregrounding of teaching and learning approaches, and the potential for conception change related to perceived curriculum and teacher roles. Challenges that emerged as a result of the way the integration process was implemented in each School highlighted the importance of balancing top-down visioning and cohesion with collaborative, inclusive review and design activities. Furthermore, whilst there were tangible benefits on both sides to Careers and Employability staff involvement, more work is needed to formalise their role in the program review and enhancement process.

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