About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1595-1605
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain

THE ROLE OF WORK PLACEMENT, ITS PREPARATION AND ASSESSMENT IN ENHANCING STUDENT LEARNING AND GRADUATE EMPLOYABILITY: A CASE EXAMPLE OF AN UNDERGRADUATE LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY CHAIN DEGREE

M. Farrell, C. Wagner

Dublin Institute of Technology (IRELAND)
It is recognised that if Ireland is to recover and develop within an innovation-driven economy, it is essential to create and enhance human capital. The 2011 Report on National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 expands on the role that Ireland’s higher education system has to play in the development of Irish society and the economy, in the rebuilding of an innovative knowledge-based economy, that provides sustainable employment opportunities and a good standard of living for all our citizens.

While the context in which higher education takes place has changed dramatically, the core mission of higher education remains the same. That is, to enable people to learn (Modernisation of Higher Education Report, June 2013). However, this report also highlights the short shelf-life of knowledge, and how "in a changing world, Europe’s graduates need the kind of education that enables them to engage articulately as committed, active, thinking, global citizens as well as economic actors in the ethical, sustainable development of our societies".

It is within this context and in planning for the future graduates of 2015 and of 2030, that the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) has developed the DIT Student Graduate Attribute Policy. This policy requires all programmes to "provide students with a range of opportunities to develop, practice and be assessed on an agreed range of key employability skills or graduate attributes". DIT has identified five key sets of graduate attributes, these are: being Engaged, Enterprising, Enquiry-based, Effective and Expert in chosen subject discipline.

Work-placements are a form of cooperative education and involve students embarking on a structured in-company internship as an integrated component of their third level course. Designing and assessing the learning of students undertaking internships can be complex because students are exposed to different and very often unique workplace settings that are subject to the context of the particular in-company work-placement experience. Hodges (2009) points out that “most forms of summative assessment are based on adherence to the principles of criterion-referencing, which require using the same criteria and set of standards for all students”. However, in-company placements take place away from the formal, and structured environment of an educational setting. In addition to that, third level institutes are focusing more and more on developing employability skills for graduates and thus are identifying a range of desired generic employability skillsets, which are embedded or made explicit and assessed in academic programmes.

This paper presents and analyses the learning which occurred during the implementation of this policy on a four year undergraduate honours degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. It focuses on the enhancement of the work placement module(s) in terms of student preparation, the development of employability skills and attributes, and the assessment methods employed. The paper outlines how, through action based research, a new professional development module and work based assessment model were developed. Finally, it will analyse how this programme provides students with a range of opportunities to develop, practice and be assessed on an agreed range of key employability skills.
@InProceedings{FARRELL2014ROL,
author = {Farrell, M. and Wagner, C.},
title = {THE ROLE OF WORK PLACEMENT, ITS PREPARATION AND ASSESSMENT IN ENHANCING STUDENT LEARNING AND GRADUATE EMPLOYABILITY: A CASE EXAMPLE OF AN UNDERGRADUATE LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY CHAIN DEGREE},
series = {6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN14 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-0557-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {7-9 July, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {1595-1605}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Farrell AU - C. Wagner
TI - THE ROLE OF WORK PLACEMENT, ITS PREPARATION AND ASSESSMENT IN ENHANCING STUDENT LEARNING AND GRADUATE EMPLOYABILITY: A CASE EXAMPLE OF AN UNDERGRADUATE LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY CHAIN DEGREE
SN - 978-84-617-0557-3/2340-1117
PY - 2014
Y1 - 7-9 July, 2014
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN14 Proceedings
SP - 1595
EP - 1605
ER -
M. Farrell, C. Wagner (2014) THE ROLE OF WORK PLACEMENT, ITS PREPARATION AND ASSESSMENT IN ENHANCING STUDENT LEARNING AND GRADUATE EMPLOYABILITY: A CASE EXAMPLE OF AN UNDERGRADUATE LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY CHAIN DEGREE, EDULEARN14 Proceedings, pp. 1595-1605.
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