The science consultancy project – Improving students perceived employability skills through a school placement unit

Dino Spagnoli, Megan Ellyard, Lauren Moorhouse, Samantha Andrews, Brendan J Waddell


General graduate attributes are among some of the key skills that students in tertiary education develop so that they can increase their competitiveness in the workforce. There is currently a push for work integrated learning (WIL), with particular attention put towards placements, within the tertiary education sector to enable more work ready graduates from universities (Department of Industry, 2014). WIL has been shown to enhance students’ transferable skills by putting them in real world context. (Jackson, 2015) The traditional work placement has been to engage with industry. However, finding placements within industry is challenging. To meet the demand of student work placements the Faculty of Science at the University of Western Australia designed a unit where students act as a consultant to a primary or high school teacher that wanted a particular resource created for their science class. This presentation will describe the development of the unit, the assessment tasks and face-to-face interactions within the unit. Moreover, the reflection of students towards their project and time as a consultant provides valuable insight into the range of employability skills that students development within this unit.


Work Integrated Learning, Assessment, Employability Skills

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