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Student-led employability audit leading to undergraduate curriculum change

Faculty of STA Teaching and Learning Conference 2018, Sheffield Hallam University (11/09/2018). With Claire Cornock and Ros Porter.

A Teaching Enhancement Grant project in 2016/17 employed two Student Researchers to design, plan and conduct an audit of the undergraduate mathematics curriculum at Sheffield Hallam University. This aimed to investigate perceptions of current students and alumni of the course; identify where and how skills development takes place and what practices are successful; and, make recommendations for ways in which this might be made more effective. Methods included a questionnaire of current students and interviews with current students, alumni and employer representatives. This identified many positives but also made some recommendations for improvement, including around preparation for placement at level 5 and some general work to raise awareness among students of where employability skills are developed in the course and how these are useful in employment. These recommendations were taken forward in two Teaching Enhancement Grant projects in 2017/18, one focused on enhancing student awareness of skills development and career options in mathematics and the other on revitalising placement preparation and employability content at level 5, with each project employing two Student Researchers. This talk will give an outline of the student audit methodology and findings, and update on progress in changing the curriculum as a result of the audit findings. Though some findings are necessarily specific to BSc Mathematics, we intend that the general approach taken and the balance of findings will be broadly applicable to other subject areas.