What is EmployABILITY?

EmployABILITY is the ability to create and sustain meaningful work across the career lifespan (Bennett, 2017). Students nee to learn how to manage this aspect of their work and learning before they graduate.

What is the Developing EmployABILITY initiative?

The Developing EmployABILITY Initiative engages with 25 higher education institutions and more than 1,000 scholars internationally. The Initiative is led by Professor Dawn Bennett at Curtin University in Western Australia. The Initiative welcomes new members including researchers, educators, careers and equity practitioners and policy makers.

What is employABILITY thinking?

EmployABILITY thinking engages students as partners in their development. As a metacognitive approach to employability or career development learning, the approach aligns employability with both the purpose of higher education and the future of work.

EmployABILITY thinking:

  • Engages students in their cognitive and social development as capable and informed individuals, professionals and social citizens; and
  • Prompts students to understand why they think the way they think, how to critique and learn the unfamiliar, and how their values, beliefs and assumptions can inform and be informed by their learning, lives and careers.

Every student should learn to engage in employability thinking. This can be achieved within the curriculum and without the need additional time, expertise and resources.

How do I develop employABILITY with my students?

Learn about employABILITY thinking and how to get started here.

I'm interested in the EmployABILITY self-assessment tool, but I would like to see the instrument before my students use it. Is this possible?

Of Course! You can test the student self-assessment tool by using the word ‘test’ when asked for your student number and cohort code.
If you’d like to see a sample personalised profile report that the students receive you can find it here.

I'm not able to register to the educator site - what can I do?

If you are having issues registering our website please get in touch with us at [email protected]

I have great resources. Can I contribute?

Yes! Please share your ideas at any time. Each resource is trialled and refined for effectiveness and pedagogical rigour. The resources range from 10-minute tools through to semester-long careers research tasks, and some tools are combined to create resource sets which tackle a distinct topic.

Do you have resources that would assist Secondary School students?

We are currently working on a version of the tool for high school students and hope to make this a reality in 2020. In the meantime, all our resources are free for use with any cohort.

What are the Literacies for Life?

The six Literacies for Life combine to enhance employability and inform personal and professional development. The literacies, shown below together with their broad categories, are comprised some 135 items with multiple overlapping elements. Literacies help students to organise and understand their thinking. They should not be read as isolated constructs.

Basic literacy

Developing disciplinary skills, practices and knowledge
Communicating and interacting with other people
Using digital technologies for work and learning

Rhetorical literacy

Solving problems
Making informed decisions
Managing goals, tasks and deadlines

Personal and critical literacy

Being responsible for personal development and learning
Putting the theory into practice
Believing in myself and my abilities

Emotional literacy

Managing emotions
Being aware of other people’s feelings
Helping other people

Occupational literacy

Making informed career decisions
Aligning career options with personal values and interests
Creating an alternative career plan

Ethical, cultural and social literacy

Behaving ethically and responsibly
Being a global citizen
Being culturally aware

Why is this free?

The intent of the Developing EmployABILITY initiative is to offer a developmental resource that is accessible to all students. As such, it is online, free and formative. EmployABILITY teaching resources have been developed by multiple scholars over many years. All contributors agree to share their resources under a Creative Commons license. The Developing Employability Initiative has also received funding from the Australian Government.

Am I allowed to use the resources?

The resources and online tool are available to all higher education educators and students. There is no charge for their use.

Can I access student data?

Students choose whether to include their responses to the online self-assessment tool in a dataset for educational research. We have strict ethical protocols around the security of this data. Please contact us if you would like more information. Please also refer to our ethical considerations.

Where is digital literacy?

We define digital literacy as “the ability to identify and use technology confidently, creatively and critically to meet the demands and challenges of life, learning and work in a digital society” (Coldwell-Neilson, 2018).

Being digitally literate implies having skills and capabilities across a number of domains, including the ability to

  • use technology;
  • find, use and critically evaluate information;
  • curate data and media sources;
  • communicate, collaborate and participate in online environments;
  • manage your online identity as well as your personal security and privacy; and
  • create online content, not just consume it.

Digital literacy is woven through the Literacies for Life resources. Click here for more information.

Can students opt out of including their responses in the research database?

Yes. At the end of the profile tool, students receive an information sheet and consent form. They decide whether or not to include their responses in the database. Opting out does not impact students’ access to any of the tools and resources.

Are students identifiable?

No. Students use their student number as their unique identifier so that they can retrieve and revisit previous profiles at any time. To ensure students’ anonymity, student numbers are removed from the database prior to analysis.

How do I add the EmployABILITY Self-assessment tool to my learning management system or student portal?

You can find information on how to add the EmployABILITY Self-assessment tool to your learning management system or student portal here.

How do I add the self-assessment tool as an assessment item using Turnitin?

You can set up a Turnitin submission and request that students submit the cover page only of their final self-assessment profile PDF. This cover page will display their student number but not their anonymous results.

1. Create a Turnitin Submission point in the Workshop materials folder

2. Set it to accept all file types. This is important as if not set to all file types it will not accept images.

If you have any further queries please get in contact at [email protected]

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