Using Assessment to Support Employability Awareness and Development

Wilson-Medhurst, Sarah (2005) Using Assessment to Support Employability Awareness and Development. Investigations in university teaching and learning, 3 (1). pp. 71-78. ISSN 1740-5106


This paper examines a teaching and learning approach to support employability awareness and development within a pilot employability module on the second year of an undergraduate degree (at London Metropolitan University). The module, QB212 ‘Professional Systems in Systems Development’, resides within the computing and information systems subject area (IT sector).

The view of employability taken on this module, and the courses it supports, is that whether or not a student is employable is determined by whether they possess the skills, knowledge and attributes to successfully acquire a ‘graduate’ job as opposed to ‘any’ job. This distinction between ‘graduate employability’ and ‘any employability’ is made by Yorke, as well as Knight and Yorke (cited in Lees, 2002).

The QB212 approach to supporting graduate employability awareness and development focuses on building upon the first year experience in two ways. Firstly by further developing subject skills and knowledge, and secondly by expanding the self awareness and self development (personal development planning) process started in the first year.

This emphasis on pdp for employability recognises that technical or subject knowledge on its own is, typically, not sufficient for graduate employability. Hence QB212 seeks to promote explicit self-reflection and self-evaluation around both technical (subject) knowledge, as well as the ‘soft’ skills valued by employers of graduates and many academics. Key to the teaching and learning approach adopted is the assessment mechanisms which include both group and individual coursework as well as a final examination.

InvestigationsInUniversityTeachingAndLearning v3n1 71-78.pdf - Published Version

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