Reflective Summary

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University of UlsterCareer Development Centre

Summary Evaluation Report

Employability Development Opportunities Review Tool
(EDORT)

Sharon Milner

April 2008

Table of ContentsPage

1.0Executive Summary…………………………………………………………3 1.1Key Findings…………………………………………………………………3

2.0Methodology
2.1 Research Instruments…………………………………………………………7 2.2Research Methods…………………………………………………………7

Appendix 1Staff Employability Development Opportunities Review (EDORT)

Appendix 2Student Employability Development Opportunities Review

Appendix 3Examples of good practice

Appendix 4Action plans

1. Executive Summary

As part of Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund (TQEF) monies have been made available from February 2007 by the Department for Employment and Learning to support the University’s key strategic objectives relating to employability. The Career Development Centre on behalf of the University has been funded to undertake a range of activities to enhance student employability. One of these activities was to develop and pilot a tool to explore the employability development opportunities available for students within the University. In June 2007 each Faculty identified Schools/ Programmes to participate in the pilot. In total eight Schools with 12 programmes were nominated.

This document briefly highlights the key findings from the piloting of the Employability Development Opportunities Review Tool (EDORT) which occurred between October to November 2007 (see Appendix 1 & 2). The focus of the tool was not just about identifying skills but about identifying the structures in place to support student employability.

In particular the tool sought to:

• establish the extent to which a School/Programme was promoting student employability in an explicit and effective way; • identify employability development opportunities available to students; • collect examples of good practice;

• identify gaps in provision and areas for future action; and • establish training and support needs for both staff and students.

Key Findings

I. Staff perceptions of the employability development opportunities provided to students in the majority of cases tended overall to be rated higher across all 9 subscales of the questionnaire (curriculum; learning from work; personal development planning, enterprise/innovation/creativity, transfer learning between contexts, real world activities engagement, graduate employment, career development learning/ Career Development Centre engagement, extra-curricular activities) than students perception ratings.

II. Key areas were identified that are effectively enhancing student employability skills and those that need development[1]:

Table 1 below provides (in rank order) a broad comparison of the areas that both staff and students collectively perceived in their programmes of study to be the ones providing the student with opportunities to develop their employability skills and attributes and enhance their job and employment opportunities. As can be seen to a large degree both staff and students agree on the areas that are effectively enhancing the students’ employability skills; curriculum, real world activities and graduate employment. However staff overall feel that their programme provides a range of opportunities for transferring learning between contexts whereas students collectively feel this is an area that needs development. In contrast, students identified PDP as being well developed as part of their programme of study whereas staff feels that this area needs development.

Table 1: Staff versus student perceptions of the areas providing opportunities to enhance student employability

|Category |Areas that are effectively enhancing the students employability|Areas that need Development | | |skills...
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