Embedding greater employability in English block teaching at the University of Suffolk

Smith, Andrea and Amos, Jenny (2023) Embedding greater employability in English block teaching at the University of Suffolk. In: Building Futures, Block by Block. Learning and Teaching Conference, 2 June 2023, The Hold, Ipswich. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Following the introduction of Block learning at Level 6 this academic year, a previously optional module focused on employability became a compulsory element of BA (Hons) English for the first time. This move created many logistical and pedagogical issues. However, it also gave tutors an opportunity to enhance the employability skills students gain on this module. This paper will discuss the problems encountered, how they have largely been solved, and how the module has been transformed.
Prior to the academic year 2022/23, the English degree offered optional, two-semester modules focusing on professional practice in either Education or Professional Writing. Both incorporated work placements, as well as three summative assessments. Moving to Block meant reducing student contact time and the number of assessments. However, to ensure the quality of the module, the tutors held additional seminars Pre-Block, focusing specifically on areas such as self-awareness, CV building, and strategies for job and placement application. These co-taught sessions helped to familiarise students with faculty-related support staff from Careers and Learning and Teaching, and incorporated workshops, student-led discussions and novel strategies such as Mentimeter surveys.
After reflecting on this year’s challenges, the module has been further revised for 2023/24, including more flexibility over when the placement is undertaken, how long it should be and what format it should take, promoting inclusivity. In addition, a more practical, career-focused method of assessment will be adopted. The English team are also embedding employability activities throughout levels 4 and 5, in order to better prepare our students for life beyond university.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: English, block, block teaching method
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Andrea Smith
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2023 09:06
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2023 09:19
URI: https://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3164

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