Building Professional Skills through Peer Group Assessment: A Case of a University–industry Partnership Programme

By Paula Hodgson and Lai Kuen Chan.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

There has been growing demand for continuous improvements in the workplace to meet the needs of the knowledge economy of the twenty-first century in Hong Kong. Full-time employees are being challenged by greater demands on quality and the introduction of new practices mediated by the use of new technologies. To review what they have been practising, employers may consider promoting employee development through a partnership with universities. This paper discusses a feasibility study of the learning experiences of an employee development partnership course, ‘Basic Apparel Construction’, run by a university in Hong Kong. The course was structured as a mix of learning modes, with interactive lectures and practice-based workshops; this aimed to match employees with different work experiences and with different roles and responsibilities in a company. With 56 in-service students selected from over 500 staff, conventional lectures were modified so that they were given practical tasks to work on while theories were introduced. Students were also given multiple opportunities to provide peer feedback in the practice-based workshops and end-of-course project. As observed, these students required some time to adopt critical reflective practice during the course. Nevertheless, they were not hindered but rather were ready to review their current practice through the exercises when they reviewed both the basic concepts and the introduction of new technology. A paper-based survey was conducted when the course was finished. Results indicate that full-time employees benefit from this type of partnership scheme, particularly when they could make the connection between their work and the theories and with multiple opportunities to practise peer-group assessment.

Keywords: Continuous Professional Development, University-Industry Partnership, Peer Assessment

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.409-418. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 687.232KB).

Dr. Paula Hodgson

Research Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Paula Hodgson is a research assistant professor in the Faculty of Education of the University of Hong Kong. Studying in Human Resource Development, she received a Master degree from University of Manchester in 1997, and was awarded a doctoral degree from University of South Australia in 2005. Over a decade, she has been researching the use of learning technologies for learning, teaching and assessment in higher education. Her current research interests are assessment for learning, developing generic and professional competence through authentic and virtual learning environments, and case-based teaching and assessment.

Lai Kuen Chan

Lecturer, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Theresa Chan obtained her MPhil degree from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University on the basis of research on the ergonomics of sewing workstation designs in 1995. She had graduated from the Scottish College of Textiles, UK, with a Postgraduate Diploma in Clothing Studies in 1989. That same year, she was admitted as an Associate of the Clothing & Footwear Institute. In 1994, Theresa was admitted as an Associate of the Textile Institute, UK, and a Member of The Hong Kong Institution of Textile & Apparel (HKITA). She was then elected a member of the executive committee of HKITA in 1995. She is currently the Coordinator of the Education and Training Committee, and has organized the Institution’s examinations since 1996. Theresa is a Lecturer with specialism in garment manufacturing. She is keen on developing innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Apart from teaching, she is actively involved with organizing short courses for ITC. She is also a member of the Editorial Committee of the Research Journal of Textile and Apparel.

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