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The challenge of articulating student skills! Ellen Cocking, The Open University. Arti Kumar, University of Bedfordshire. Damien Fitzgerald, Nick Nunnington.

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Presentation on theme: "The challenge of articulating student skills! Ellen Cocking, The Open University. Arti Kumar, University of Bedfordshire. Damien Fitzgerald, Nick Nunnington."— Presentation transcript:

1 The challenge of articulating student skills! Ellen Cocking, The Open University. Arti Kumar, University of Bedfordshire. Damien Fitzgerald, Nick Nunnington Sheffield Hallam University.

2 What is STARS? A well known formula often used by employers seeking personal and specific evidence of ‘skills’ in CV, application form and interview Situation, Tasks, Actions, Results & Skills A web-based, interactive, employability resource: Contains definitions, examples, guidelines, audio-visual clips, questions and prompts. Takes users through a process of constructively aligned learning

3 Constructive alignment (Biggs, 2003) Based on 2 main theories, twin principles: – constructivism: students are active in constructing meaning (instead of passive recipients of knowledge) – alignment in what teachers do to promote learning and what students do to learn Advantages: –The STARS tool creates a VLE where the learning activity is clearly in accord with the learning outcomes to be achieved –teachers and students share understanding of end-goals and expected results

4 Why did we create STARS? In the employability context, students need to know employers value skills, attributes and results gained from a range of situations, tasks and actions in addition to academic activities their non-work and extra-curricular experience has ‘employability value’ how to link and promote their skills and experience effectively they have many more options and potential destinations than narrowly perceived discipline-specific job opportunities Careers advisors and tutors are under considerable pressure to cope with demand. This resource is designed to help.

5 “A lot of new graduates forget to tell me at interview about the extra- curricular things they’ve done, and when I’m giving them feedback on the phone about why they didn’t get the job, they say ‘oh but I’ve done that’… They should be able to make more of their experience.” Employer

6 Skills-development in multiple situations as a ‘meta-model’ : - students critically appreciate and develop behavioural competencies - learn from the ‘life- wide curriculum’ How captured - (e)-portfolio? - HE Achievement Report (HEAR)? At home Researcher/ evaluator Problem solver Decision maker Critical/ creative thinker Communicator Team player In the community In study At work At leisure

7 The STARS tool

8 The STARS tool in practice

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29 Administrator view Reports: »active accounts/users »By situation Edit content: all stored in a database. »adapt old situations or add new ones. »Include additional skills Maintenance: managing inactive accounts

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35 Examples of use at UoB Alongside careers guidance / education Curriculum approaches related to personal and career development - in subject areas Student Union activity Preparation for the Bigger Fish event (students’ presentations on ‘skills’) In Communication/Language Studies, used to practise articulating skills for employability purposes or work-related learning

36 Making STARS available for your students… Currently available for trials with your staff and students - evaluation and feedback much appreciated! Use the ‘contact us’ button to an expression of your interest. Diane Foster at SHU will provide access for two months. Later available for £ – to have and host on your server, develop and use with all students. We will create a STARS members’ club for mutual support and sharing of ideas for good practice, etc.

37 References Archer, W. and Davison, J. (2008) Graduate Employability: what do employers think and want? Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE). Available online, last accessed 25 Feb Burgess, R. (2007) Measuring and Recording Student Achievement: report of the Scoping Group. London, Universities UK and SCOP. Stefani, L., Mason, R. & Pegler, C. (2007) The educational potential of e-portfolios London and New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis. Kumar, A.(2007) Personal, Academic and Career Development in Higher Education – SOARing to Success London & New York, Routledge Taylor & Francis. Companion website last accessed 25 Feb. 09


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