[31] Authentic Assessment: Working with industrialists to develop a module to fill a growing industry skills gap



Authentic Assessment: Working with industrialists to develop a module to fill a growing industry skills gap

Author (s)

Patricia Xavier Senior Lecturer
College of Engineering


The UK HE sector focus on REF and research impact does not always align well with the student recruitment market. In a vocational subject such as Engineering this has been a growing problem for a while as fewer staff have had experience working in industry. Our employers tell us that graduates (not just Swansea graduates!) are not prepared for the world of work. Some employers now enrol their graduates on further training programmes to make up for the knowledge deficits.

This session is about the first steps in a programme of change in Civil Engineering to build in developments of skills and attributes that employers, and not researchers, value.

Working closely with three organisations, Kier, Dawnus and Turner & Townsend, this paper will outline the approach taken to understand the gaps and missing skills of typical graduates, and design assessment and learning around this to build in these skills. The module developed starkly from the original content-driven proposed module outline, into a series of formative and summative project management scenarios, with a very light focus on theory and heavy focus on active learning with the onus on the students to do their own research and formulate decisions based on incomplete data, much more close to simulating the work they can expect as a graduate.

Session Outline


Industrial Engagement Strategy – working out what the problem is

Co-development of module with industrial collaborators

Module feedback and outcomes, lessons learned

Key Words

Authentic Assessment, Construction Management

Key Messages

A method for engaging industrialists and co-developing curriculum



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