The OU centre for STEM pedagogy
This project will investigate whether our current C&C curriculum meets the personal and professional aspirations and employability needs of our students and identify curriculum-gaps from our students’ perspectives.
Computing is a rapidly developing subject. Our degrees are already driven by the requirements set out by professional bodies, employers, political and economic factors, and developments within the HE sector. But as we continue to develop our curriculum, it is also important that our students’ aspirations inform curriculum development too.
We plan to survey TM470 students. TM470, the capstone project module, is usually the final module students take. These students will be able to reflect on both their original study-aims, their current aspirations, and have an informed perspective on the extent to which our curriculum has supported their aims.
The approach that will be taken will be an initial online survey of TM470 students. The output from this will allow us to identify different themes related to curriculum, employability, and the careers and employability support needed. Following the analysis of the survey’s results, we will conduct a small number of interviews to explore these themes in more detail.
The outputs we expect to achieve include: An overview of both the initial study-aims and the career-readiness of a “finishing” cohort of students; an overview of the current employability-aspirations of this same cohort; an appreciation of the student-voice and whether our curriculum has met students’ employability aspirations, and if not, why not; a focussed view of the careers and employability needs of this cohort of students; an analysis of whether there are differences in these outputs for the cohort as a whole, and subsets of students characterised by, for example, ethnicity and gender.
The extent to which our curriculum meets students’ employability aspirations will have an impact on our ongoing curriculum development, both for new and existing modules. The analysis of the initial and current career readiness of this cohort of students will impact upon how CES may best deploy their resources. Focussing on ethnicity, viewing the acknowledged BAME attainment gap through this employability lens will impact on our understanding of this.