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It really made me think about my own future: The potential benefits of an academically-orientated undergraduate careers module John Arnold & Laurie Cohen.

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Presentation on theme: "It really made me think about my own future: The potential benefits of an academically-orientated undergraduate careers module John Arnold & Laurie Cohen."— Presentation transcript:

1 It really made me think about my own future: The potential benefits of an academically-orientated undergraduate careers module John Arnold & Laurie Cohen September 2009

2 Aims and running order Aims of this session: 1. To outline the Analysing Careers module and our observations about it 2. For everyone here to share experiences and insights about running careers-related modules with undergraduates Our running order: 1. Description of module and related information 2. Student reaction and learning 3. Our learning 4. Open discussion

3 Analysing Careers module Context and history Students Aims & Content Assignment & Assessment Guidance to students Class sessions

4 Module aims as explained to students This module aims to enable you to understand and make use of: Alternative conceptions of career; Career issues faced by various groups of people; Ideas and techniques in the management of your own career and the careers of other people; How academics have addressed these issues.

5 Week by week topic titles (in ) 1 Introduction to module. Ways of analysing and describing careers I 2 Ways of analysing and describing careers II 3 Coursework assignment orientation and interview skills briefing 4 Making sense of academic articles on careers 5 Career success and career capital 6 Balancing work and personal lives 7 Making career decisions 8 Theories of career development 9 Career management by organisations 10 Relationships in careers 11 Review, queries and surgery

6 Assignment (in ) Select a person who you can get personal access to. The choice is yours, though its probably best if you choose someone who is at least 30…. Write a report which discusses the ways in which some of the career theories, concepts, research and practical interventions examined in class and the recommended reading can (or cannot) help to describe and understand the career of your chosen person. You should also provide a short critical reflection (maximum 500 words) on how well you gathered the information from your chosen person, and what you have learned from the experience…Your report should be an absolute maximum of 5,000 words…

7 Student reaction and learning Feedback scores are generally positive (mean 4+ on 1-5 scale) for all aspects under our control. Perceived as having a social science orientation (as opposed to business/management). Having two lecturers and the interactions between us are perceived as aiding learning and interest. Students often say they think the module will help them in their own career. Despite loads of guidance, some students still want more structure and certainty. The reading journal articles session is appreciated, though some students still have a very surface reaction to suggested reading.

8 What have we learned? That career really is a construct that can illuminate for students the inter-relationships between individuals and organisational/societal structures. It also makes abstract concepts and competing theories/interpretations more accessible. It also seems to contribute to students thinking about their own careers and to inter-generational understanding. The module does all this primarily via the experiences/observations of students and their interviewees, and the necessity to connect them with abstract ideas. Some topics strike more of a chord than others. Some students are not good at interviewing for this purpose. In class sessions we tend to get carried away and our timings go awry. Working together makes the teaching more enjoyable and effective.

9 Possible points for discussion What experiences of careers in the curriculum would you like to share? Do you have any suggestions for how we might develop the module? How can we help the students, within the confines of the module, be better interviewers faster?


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