Preparing vocational students for future workplaces : towards a course evaluation of the Unitec Bachelor of Applied Engineering
Marsden, Nicholas; Singh, Niranjan
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Citation:Marsden, N. and Singh, N. (2017). Preparing vocational students for future workplaces: Towards a course evaluation of the Unitec Bachelor of Applied Engineering. (Unitec ePress Occasional and Discussion Paper Series 2017/4). Auckland, New Zealand. Unitec ePress. ISSN 2324-3635 Retrieved from http://www.unitec.ac.nz/epress
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/3942
This exploratory study set out to evaluate how well a particular course in automotive engineering is set up to enable students to develop skills necessary to enter the workplace. The research set out to identify trends in student expectations and in the needs of employers at a time when this field of work is characterised by disruptive technological developments such as computerisation and automation. The intended outcome of the research is that the findings will assist the critical thinking of course designers as they reflect on modifications that might be necessary for Unitec Bachelor of Applied Technology (BAT) graduate attributes to fully meet future workplace demands. It is also an aim that this exploratory evaluation of a small cohort of students can, despite its limitations, identify trends for future pedagogical research in the ITP (Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics) sector. Although not a full course evaluation, this study invited feedback from students and recent graduates in relevant employment regarding the alignment of the Unitec Bachelor of Applied Technology (BAT) course design with their perceptions of skills necessary in the workplace. Another intention was to highlight any misalignments between the realities of the automotive engineering sector and student expectations of the course: To what degree are work capability expectations in an agreement between the student stakeholders and the institution? Are the course goals realistic and in line with actual industry needs? How is the definition of work readiness changing? The paper also samples current speculative thinking about skills that are becoming progressively more important in the workplace, namely the so-called ‘soft skills’ in communication, problem-solving, management and collaboration, and in dialogic and creative attributes relevant to increasingly automated and globalised workplaces.
Keywords:New Zealand, Bachelor of Applied Technology (Unitec), vocational education, TVET students, critical thinking, automotive education, graduate employability
ANZSRC Field of Research:130213 Vocational Education and Training Curriculum and Pedagogy
Copyright Holder:Unitec ePress
Copyright Notice:Preparing vocational students for future workplaces: Towards a course evaluation of the Unitec Bachelor of Applied Engineering by Nick Marsden and Niranjan Singh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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