Using Curriculum Mapping to Articulate Transferable Skill Development in Science Courses: A Pilot Study

Erica Smith, Jackie Reid

Abstract


Work Integrated Learning (WIL) activities are designed to provide students with a range of opportunities to develop employability capabilities. Many of these capabilities are transferable skills. Embedding contextualized and scaffolded WIL activities throughout undergraduate science programs allows students to integrate disciplinary knowledge with industry practices and to develop non-discipline specific transferable skills without requiring industry placements. Integrating the development of core discipline knowledge with transferable skills in this contextualized setting will enhance the student experience and learning outcomes. Universities cannot teach all of the applications that exist, so the ultimate goal is to equip students with a stronger understanding and ability in the core discipline concepts and skills that, in conjunction with transferable skills, will enable graduates to ‘learn on the job’, and adapt to a wide range of employment opportunities. This paper reports on a process that maps the development of transferable WIL skills in a Chemistry major and identifies gaps in the curriculum where opportunities for skills development are missing. Suggested enhancements to the process include cataloguing relevant learning activities. This will provide academics with a useful resource that will facilitate the embedding of WIL into the curriculum.

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