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Blended Design and Project Based Learning: a future for engineering education
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Tuesday, December 8 • 1:30pm - 1:45pm
| 5C | Learning beyond the curriculum: Academics’ perspectives on ICT student employability skillsorning tea

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The employability of ICT graduates is declining, according to Australian Government figures [ICT skills 2014], with a large number of employers claiming they were unable to find applicants with the right mix of technical and communication skills. Recently, the Australian Federal Government Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) set employability as a priority strategic area for Australian graduates and funded three projects around this theme. In one of these OLT projects, we set out to explain the gap between employer, graduate, academic and professional body in their expectations of employability skills in graduates. As part of this project, we developed and published an employability framework [Jollands 2015, Dacre Pool & Sewell, 2007], which helped to identify and highlight some good practices. 

In this paper, we present the research into the ICT academics and their expectations around the development of employability skills in their prospective graduates. This research entailed focus groups and interviews with academics who were asked how they were developing employability skills in their students, as well as what they were doing to maintain their own knowledge and skill currency. This can be compared with student perspectives, as well as with the attitudes of employers who were previously invited to explain what they look for when recruiting ICT graduates. 

We aim to explain the push for improved employability goals for ICT students and provide directions for further research into professional development initiatives for academics and educational developers to encourage inclusion of employability into curriculum and teaching practice.

Tuesday December 8, 2015 1:30pm - 1:45pm
Zeally Room RACV Torquay map C5

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