Using Critical Incidents to Create Learning Pathways Between the Real World and Places of Learning: Findings from a 2 Year Funded Project Aimed at Improving Understanding and Capability in Key Employability Skills

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This paper starts with a short introduction to the project, before discussing and illustrating new teaching resources which will be available for use across a wide range of disciplines. We are offering these for participants to use with their own students. The paper concludes with a summary of our three part evaluation process.

This project aims to bridge the gap between the experience of students on courses in higher education and the expectations of employers. Our starting point was to interview employers about the problems that newly qualified graduates experience and rather than merely present this as a list of skills, we then captured these as critical incidents. In doing so the project team, working with our employers, have produced resources which illustrate a range of critical incidents which provide triggers towards deeper learning and the development of transferable employability skills, using a range of high and low technological solutions. The result is a suite of resources which address eight themes including issues as diverse as networking, managing ethical dilemmas and dealing with extreme emotions. These are available for use and adaptation in the full range of academic disciplines. The project has been evaluated in a three way process, including evaluation by and of the project team, evaluation of the project as a whole and finally evaluation of the individual products.

The accompanying paper explores each of the processes for investigating, developing and evaluating the project in greater depth and analysis.


Keywords: Employability, Critical Incident, Resource, Evaluation
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Using Critical Incidents to Create Learning Pathways Between the Real World and Places of Learning


Dr. Celia Popovic

Head of Educational Staff Development, Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching, Birmingham City University
Birmingham, UK

With over 20 years experience in educational staff development, Celia has a passion for learning and teaching, and is constantly seeking new ways to enhance the learner experience.

Prof. Anne Hill

Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow, Faculty of Education, Law and Social Sciences, Birmingham City University
Birmingham, UK


Dr. Carmen Tomas

Research Assistant, Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching, Birmingham City University
Birmingham, UK


Ref: L09P1081