Preparing Graduates for the Professions: Achieving Employability through the Exploration of Near-world Scenarios

By Edward Peter Errington.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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

Scenario-based learning (SBL), founded on situated learning theory and the valuing of contextual knowledge, may provide one stratagem for getting students closer to the realities of their intended profession via the construction and deconstruction of near world scenario experiences in university settings. Scenario-based learning processes present students with realistic sets of circumstances, true-to-life professional tasks, authentic challenges and work-oriented role engagement - transacted through communication styles and within cultural parameters similar to those found in the actual setting. The literature suggests there are four main kinds of near-world scenarios used to enhance the prospects of employability in the professions; namely skills-based, problem-based, issues-based, and speculative-based scenarios respectively. Although each is designed to achieve particular purposes, the author’s experience as an academic development adviser in five universities (three countries), suggests that scenario approaches may be chosen arbitrarily, or habitually, by teachers selecting options from a limited knowledge of those available. Given the above, this paper focuses on two fundamental questions: Which SBL features are likely to promote graduate employability? Secondly, how might specific scenario-based approaches embed particular graduate attributes/skills?

Keywords: Higher Education, Scenario-based Learning, Employability, Graduate Preparation

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 642.483KB).

Dr. Edward Peter Errington

Academic Development Adviser, Teaching & Learning Development, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Edward Errington is an academic development adviser based in the Teaching and Learning Development section of James Cook University (JCU). He has a background as a primary & secondary drama teacher, arts educator, teacher educator, and academic development adviser in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. At JCU, he works with teachers from all disciplines to help them provide authentic and relevant learning opportunities for their students. He has presented scenario- based work in 12 countries so far, and has published six non-fiction books and numerous book chapters and articles on the efficacy of scenario-based learning approaches in higher education.

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