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Boosting Student Employability

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Career development learning (CDL) encourages students to develop their career ambitions through reflection and through participation in career-related activities such as work-integrated learning. The literature recognises the benefits of incorporating CDL into university curricula, but institutions often struggle to create materials that academics can adapt and incorporate into existing programmes 

Edith Cowan University (ECU) partnered with Curio to develop a suite of CDL modules that boost student employability and that ECU colleagues can use in their teaching. In our approach, we:

  • Brought in perspectives from across the university to leverage the institution’s expertise.
  • Tested early ideas with current students to refine and iterate the materials 
  • Delivered a fully customisable set of resources that academics can adapt to suit the context of their units.

 

Figure 1: A suite of six modules covers the breadth of Career Development Learning

 

 

Curio worked with a multistakeholder team at ECU to develop the materials. This allowed colleagues across the institution to contribute their expertise and perspectives before Curio’s learning designers worked with the materials to enable active learning and an engaging learner experience. Regular check-ins with the team ensured alignment as the project progressed and provided early opportunities for feedback and iteration.

 

 

“They were very well received by our students, who commented on their professionalism, applicability, and engagement.”

-ECU Undergraduate Course Coordinator 

 

 

 

Throughout the resources, students reflect on their experiences, identify their strengths, and explore their career ambitions. Curio wanted a way for students to record this work, but without a tool such as the Learning Journal, needed to explore other options such as OneNote, fillable PDFs, or a Word document. We ran a focus group with ECU students to explore their preferred methods of notetaking when studying online and how they might expect to interact with career development learning. In the focus group, we tested three prototype notetaking methods and landed on a solution—a simple templated Word document—that aligned with student preferences. 

To ensure that academics could use the CDL resources in their teaching regardless of discipline, Curio created materials that reflected many different sectors and careers. Each section of the resource contains guidance for academics on how they can adapt the resources for their context and advice on how to incorporate the resources into their teaching. The result is an impactful set of resources that embed career development learning into the curriculum, engage and empower students, and reflect ECU’s diverse discipline areas.

 

 

 

 

 

about the writer

Josh Valeri

Principal & Learning Services Lead

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