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Shifting emphasis from content to skills

03 Feb 2021 | Advance HE Following her contribution to the recently published 'Employability: breaking the mould' case study compendium, Dr Maria Romero Gonzalez discusses how academics should consider moving from a content-based curriculum to one based on skills.

Over the next few weeks we will be publishing blogs and videos from the contributors to the 'Employability: breaking the mould' case study compendium, discussing their contributions and the work they have done to embed employability skills in their teaching programmes.

The first of these is from Dr Maria Romero Gonzalez from Queen Mary University, who talks about the importance of shifting from a 'content-based approach to a skills-based approach'.

She says: "One of my main goals in academic life is to make sure students get good jobs and careers at the end of their studies. I use a methodology known as 'programme level approach' that tries to shift the emphasis from a curriculum based on content to a curriculum based on skills. 

"Students need to know what are the skills that will set them on the way to a professional life, and academics need to make skills explicit and relevant within the knowledge content."

She introduces her 'skills map' approach with a five-step plan for 'identifying the existing and missing skills within your programme'.

The five steps are:

  1. Define graduate attributes

  2. Perform an audit of modules

  3. Seek feedback

  4. Create skills map

  5. Integrate and refine

Listen to Maria discuss the approach in more detail below:

To find out more about Maria's Skills Map approach, download the 'Employability: breaking the mould' case study compendium, which brings together practices from across the sector to embedding employability in student learning.

Book your place on our Employability Symposium 2021: 3Es for Wicked Problems, 09:30-16:30, Thursday 22 April 2021.

Find out more about Advance HE's work to support institutions prepare graduates for life beyond higher education through effectively embedding employability both in the curriculum and within extra-curricular provision.

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