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Kent e-PDP & Employability Event

Date(s) Monday 10 May 2010
Venue Medway Campus, University of Kent
The Medway Building
Chatham Maritime
Map (Google Maps)
Organised by ESCalate and University of Kent (Medway Campus), School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
In partnership with University of Kent

This one day event is to promote the work of the project team from the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research and Unit for the Enhancement of Learning Teaching at the University of Kent in linking eportfolios, Personal Development Planning (e-PDP) and employability.  The project is supported by the Higher Education Academy’s Discipline-focused Learning Enhancement Academy and the Higher Education Academy’s Education Subject Centre (ESCalate) subject centre.

The intention of the project is two-fold: firstly, to engage and encourage students to take ownership of their own personal development planning by using reflective learning techniques and secondly, to encourage and engage with local employers in order to help improve graduate employability.  This project supports the aims outlined in the Burgess report (2007) which encourages the ‘need to do justice to the full range of student experience by allowing a wider recognition of achievement’ rather than a reliance on the summative system.  Burgess promotes the adoption of ‘lifelong learning’ and the project intends to encourage individual students to get into the habit of reflecting upon and recording of their skills and experience.

The project builds on the work that Dr Kate Bradley has been doing with first year students using learning journals and the work that Louise Frith, educational developer, is doing on reflective learning and threshold concepts; the Kent team are planning for the project to commence with first year students in September 2010.   It is expected that using learning journals and reflection will also help affect student retention.  By involving employers at an early stage through workshops and direct input, it is intended that students will become more confident about their learning journey and their own employability during their degree programme.

It is envisaged that students will continue to keep a learning journal throughout their studies and their analytical skills will become more sophisticated as they progress through their degree and as a result, students will be able to make informed decisions about the kinds of advice and help they need to address their perceived key skills shortage.  

The event will present the project findings so far and will offer participants an interactive opportunity to see the process of reflection as there will be a “Big Brother” diary room type event taking place in tandem with the main event.   In addition, there will be a poster session where participants will be able to meet students, staff and exhibitors from the Higher Education Academy, ESCalate and University of Kent Enterprise. The event will be of interest to organisations who are interested in using ePortfolios for Personal Development Planning and exploring the wider agenda of employability in Higher Education as well as employers who are interested in taking part in the project.