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Article
Publication date: 18 December 2018

Adriana Ornellas, Kajsa Falkner and Eva Edman Stålbrandt

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a theoretical framework based on authentic learning approaches that can be taken into consideration in higher education (HE) contexts to…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a theoretical framework based on authentic learning approaches that can be taken into consideration in higher education (HE) contexts to design activities that enable students to develop employability skills.

Design/methodology/approach

Three methods were used to develop the framework: desk research on current demand and supply of new graduate’s employability skills; interviews in four European HE institutions to identify authentic learning scenarios; and asynchronous online focus group to validate the framework.

Findings

The paper takes a competence-centred approach to the concept of employability skills and sets out a taxonomy of skills required to enhance new graduates’ employability. It also gives criteria and examples of authentic learning scenarios in HE settings that promote the acquisition of these skills.

Research limitations/implications

The framework developed remains theoretical. In a second phase, the framework will be applied to implement authentic activities in different programmes and subjects of five HE institutions, and the results will be reported in future publications.

Practical implications

The framework gives directions to create real and practical ways to enhance new graduates’ employability skills by improving the connection between HE curricula and the demands of the real world.

Originality/value

The added value of the paper lies in adopting a learner-centred, genuine and effective learning approach, such as authentic learning as a catalyst for bringing work experience to formal learning in HE institutions, in order to better develop graduates’ employability skills.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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