Employability has never been more important for learning providers, and digital skills are vital to support employability in the twenty first century economy. Even the most unlikely jobs may require digital skills, as these recycling lorry loaders can assure us.
There are several key ways you can use technology to support student employability, which will provide significant benefits to students, employers and learning providers.
Develop authentic learning experiences
Using technology to provide real-world learning experiences can help students develop their employability skills. See our getting started with immersive technology guide for ideas about how to get started.
Technologies such as virtual or augmented reality simulations, games, collaboration and social media tools can all be used to develop authentic learning experiences.
Help engagement with employers
Social media, professional networks and online portfolios can help students build relationships with employers, develop their digital identities and showcase their skills.
Support lifelong learning and employability skills
Lifelong learning is key to employability capability. Developing the ability to become independent, self-regulating learners are skills that will be essential for success in any chosen path.
Online portfolios, social media posts or blogs can enable learners to gain feedback from multiple audiences, reflect on their ongoing development, and make sense of their learning.
Our guide to enhancing student learning, progression and employability with e-portfolios illustrates the many benefits e-portfolios can bring to lifelong learning and employability.
Develop digital capability
Digital capability can help students understand how technology can be used appropriately in the workplace. Consider how blended and hybrid learning might help here – digital tools and techniques can be embedded into teaching, learning and assessment to build up skills and experience.
Jisc’s digital pedagogy toolkit offers advice and guidance for practitioners who are improving their digital delivery, and this blog post about active learning in the digital world suggests new tools for established teaching methods.
Considering digital capability in relation to employability skills can help students to identify the right skills for the job. But we need to go further, helping students to develop their digital entrepreneurial skills to enable innovation.
About the toolkit
Developing digital employability skills is a vital component of course delivery for learners, employers and providers. In addition, we know that learners with disabilities or additional needs can struggle with various elements of employability. The following sections will help you identify learner attributes, build employability into curriculum design, embed technology for employability into delivery and plan for wider support for employability across your organisation.
The toolkit consists of the following four elements:
- Describing an employable learner
Use this to help shape what an employable learner will look like using a seven-dimensional model that aligns digital capabilities with employability capabilities
- Incorporating employability into curriculum design
Use this to help redesign curricula to incorporate employability using three elements: programme design and delivery, assessment for learning and employer engagement
- Embedding technology for employability into delivery
Use this to help shape how technology can be used to incorporate employability into programmes with clearly defined benefits for students, employers and learning providers
- Widening support for employability
Use this to help develop organisational support for employability through enhancements to policies, plans and staff development
Who can use the toolkit?
Staff in different roles may find various parts of the toolkit useful. The toolkit is for: senior leaders, programme teams, curriculum leads, quality managers, staff developers, learning technologists, learning support teams, support services, careers officers, coaches and mentors.