HEFCE believes that if students and universities have a better understanding of the non-academic skills and abilities that are developed during university study, they will be able to use this to help impress future employers, improve the outcomes of university for future students, and better contribute to society in worthwhile ways.
At the moment, though, this outcome of higher education isn’t as well understood as the more academic side, which is where this research comes in.
Our university is one of a number that have been selected and agree to take part in the Learning Gain Project! This will track the growth of students’ knowledge, skills and work-readiness as they progress through their degree course.
A link to a set of online questions will be sent to students soon and then at the end of student’s first, second and third years.
The survey will include questions focused on analysing students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as questions about students’ attitudes to different elements of their study and engagement with their course. It shouldn’t take longer than an hour each time, and will help HEFCE evaluate how students’ skills are growing, and their views on various aspects of their study.
Every time a student complete the assessment programme he/she will be sent a report summarising his/hers responses. This will include details of the correct responses to the critical thinking and problem-solving questions, with reasons.
The report will help you to understand how students’ skills are developing. Because many employers are now using similar methods to choose between graduate applicants, this should give students a head start in finding a job at the end of a course.
Further information about the learning gain programme can be found on the HEFCE website