Jisc Employability Resources

One of the key education challenges for the UK is to develop a more highly skilled workforce which can compete in an increasingly competitive global market (Leitch Review 2006). Many universities and colleges are increasingly concerned to demonstrate that their courses can enhance a student’s future employment prospects.

Employability is a key area for Jisc moving forward and has already been the subject of significant investment through projects funded by the Jisc BCE programme and other areas of Jisc. This, in addition to work by Jisc Services to produce resources has resulted in useful outputs relating to the use of technology in improving employability:

Co-generative toolkit

This project (Co-genT) exploited the use of technology to support the co-generation of academic curricula by employers and academics, in particular, by embedding graduate attributes and employment-related skills within an institutional pedagogic framework, the Gloucestershire Shell Framework, for the creation of demand-led continuing professional development (CPD) and degree courses.

http://insight.glos.ac.uk/tli/activities/cogent/Pages/default.aspx

Shared architecture for employer, student & organisational networking (SAMSON)

The University of Nottingham piloted a low-cost technical infrastructure to support postgraduate students going into companies on placements, and employees entering universities to study for continuing professional development (CPD).

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ciepd/projects/completed-projects/samson/samson.aspx

Students FIRST

Students FIRST explored the impact of a unique and innovative way of delivering student bursaries at two universities. Eligible students were issued with SMART cards that carry credit to purchase learning tools in place of cash bursaries. The targeted bursary specifically enhanced the student’s learning and teaching and improved employability prospects, thereby enhancing the student experience.

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http://www.amosshe.org.uk/projects/Stu_1st

AGENT – Alumni Growth and Engagement across New Technologies

The Jisc AGENT project at Brunel University used social media for mentoring with the focus being on employability. Using Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter subject specific groups were set up for current students and alumni to join

Alumni sign up as a mentor, with current students as mentees, bringing in the past experience of Alumni at the institution together with their current experiences as working graduates for the benefit of students.

http://www.agent-project.org/

Jisc e-Portfolios infoKit

This comprehensive resource provides advice and guidance, including case studies, on the use of e-Portfolios in education. There is a specific section on Employability in Skills, which describes how e-Portfolios are a way of demonstrating evidence of ‘softer skills’ to employers, such as teamwork and communication skills. There are also case study examples from Newham College and Birmingham City University.

http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/infokits/e-portfolios/


Glamorgan e-Portfolios

The Glamorgan ePortfolios project aimed to explore the feasiblity of using an e-portfolio (Campus Pack) to enhance students’ employability skills. The project linked with the University’s Grad Edge strategy, which encourages students to undertake and reflect on a wide range of work-related activities to improve their chances of gaining graduate employment.

The project outcomes indicate that staff, students and employers view e-portfolios as beneficial in terms of improving employability and this will continue to be promoted in the future.

https://jiscinfonetcasestudies.pbworks.com/w/page/68192470/Transformations%20University%20of%20Glamorgan

Employability will continue to be of importance to Jisc its future activities. Keep an eye on this blog for news on future work.

Catch up on the Jisc OIA2R Webinar

Yesterday Jisc held a one-hour webinar on the Access to Resources and Open Innovation initiative.

During the session, speakers informed attendees about about the aims of the initiative and how they were achieved, together with examples of how projects brought about benefits to organisations:

  • Chris Batt OBE, Critical Friend to the initiative provided an overview and background to the activities and projects
  • Siobhan Jordan from Interface Scotland described how their project allowed them to embrace technology to allow Scottish Universities to engage online with businesses in rural South-West Scotland
  • Emma Nolan from Liverpool John Moore’s University talked about how the Open LivIn project has contributed to the success of the Innovation Commons
  • Simon Whittemore from Jisc summed up the webinar, describing how the initiative fits with current policy.

If you were unable to attend, you can access a recording of the session which took place using Blackboard Collaborate. You can also access ‘Partnerships for Progress’, our synthesis of the OIA2R initiative together with other resources and outputs from Jisc on the BCE resources page.

You are also invited to join us on our next webinar, Social Media for BCE – more details can be found here.

Register now for our free webinar – Social Media for BCE

Registration for this webinar has now closed.

Join Andrew Stewart and Marc Dobson from the Jisc BCE Team for a free lunchtime webinar on Social Media for Business and Community Engagement.

The session will include:

  • A brief overview of social media, including some of the platforms available and its use across Education as a whole
  • The need for a social media strategy, and what to consider
  • General guidance and best practice when using social media channels, including some pitfalls to avoid
  • Specific examples of the use of social media in a BCE context

There will of course be opportunities for delegates to ask questions, and a package of resource links will be made available after the webinar.

The webinar will take place on Thursday 24th April from 12-1:30pm. We will be using BlackBoard Collaborate to carry out the webinar. Collaborate is free to use and accessible through a web browser – instructions will be provided to attendees and a brief orientation will be offered before the webinar begins to allow you to familiarise yourself with how the platform works.

To attend, please complete the brief registration form (Now Closed). Registered delegates will receive joining instructions including the link to join the webinar shortly before the event.

Getting engaged with stories

A lively group of public engagement professionals joined Jisc Netskills trainer, Chris Thomson, and I to discover how digital storytelling could add a new dimension to their activities.

Holdups due to the London tube strike meant a bit of a delayed start, but Chris soon had the room buzzing with excitement about their new exercise books (for recording story ideas) and telling each other why they loved, or hated, particular things. What’s not to like about peas…? Well one participant felt that it’s likely they are alien clones from outer space – undeniably they do all look the same. We realised early on that the group was unlikely to lack creativity!

‘Digital Storytelling’ refers to a combination of approaches and technologies that help people with little or no professional experience of digital media to produce short, narrative-based videos. Despite the simplicity of the approach, these stories can be highly engaging and often emotionally powerful. People like to hear and tell stories. Stories are a great way of making complicated ideas meaningful to a wide audience. This means the technique could be highly effective as a tool for public engagement.

Chris encouraged the group to think about the story they thought they wanted to tell in terms of saving the world. He outlined different types of stories, and that there are different starting points and structures for stories. As Tolstoy commented, “All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town”. Ultimately stories are always about change.

And so we set to drafting a story, choosing a topic and thinking about the shape of what we wanted to put across. In just a couple of hours most participants were already starting to think about how they could illustrate their story, and had developed a reasonable first draft.

The comprehensive workbook and set of online resources should act in support of the further development and final production of the stories. We will also be running a follow up session online with the group to discuss draft stories, and ideas and issues around production.

If you’d be interested in coming to a session to explore how digital storytelling could be used in your public engagement work, then book onto our next training session at the King’s Centre in Manchester on Tuesday 29th April. This event is now fully booked.

Access to Resources and Open Innovation Webinar – register now

Join Jisc and colleagues from projects for a free one-hour webinar on the Access to Resources and Open Innovation initiative.

Find out about the aims of the initiative and how they were achieved, together with examples of how projects brought about benefits to organisations:

  • Chris Batt OBE, Critical Friend to the initiative will provide an overview and background to the activities and projects
  • Siobhan Jordan from Interface Scotland will describe how their project allowed them to embrace technology to allow Scottish Universities to engage online with businesses in rural South-West Scotland
  • Emma Nolan from Liverpool John Moore’s University will talk about how the Open LivIn project has contributed to the success of the Innovation Commons
  • Simon Whittemore from Jisc will sum up the webinar, describing how it fits with current policy and where we go next with the initiative.

The webinar will take place on Wednesday 26th March from 12-1pm. We will be using Blackboard Collaborate to carry out the webinar. Collaborate is free to use and accessible through a web browser – instructions will be provided to attendees and a brief orientation will be offered before the webinar begins to allow you to familiarise yourself with how the platform works.

To attend, please complete the brief registration form (NOW CLOSED). Registered delegates will receive joining instructions including the link to join the webinar shortly before the event.

Want to find out more before the webinar? Read Partnerships for Progress, our synthesis of the overall initiative from 2010 to 2013. A two page summary is also available.