Improving student engagement through employability themed group work

Simon A. Fairfax


In an ideal world, universities and their departments are able to reach out to employers for collaborative, employer-set, authentic assessment which align industry expectations with an assessment that tests the intended learning outcomes of a module. This is a large and ambitious undertaking for practical reasons. The author identified three practical challenges as: sourcing willing employers, relevance and level-setting, and scalability, i.e., use in modules with large numbers of students. As module leader, each of these challenges were addressed and solutions identified allowing the employability project to be embedded into a module with 150 participating students contributing 30% towards the overall module mark.


mathematics education

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Confederation of British Industry, 2017. Helping the UK Thrive. Education and Skills Survey. Available from:

Thomas, L., 2012. Building Student Engagement and Belonging in HE at a Time of Change: Final Report from the What Works? Student Retention & Success Programme. Available from:

Yorke, M., 2016. The development and initial use of a survey of student ‘belongingness’, engagement and self-confidence in UK Higher Education. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education.



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