GDN Title

Key Skills in Geography in Higher Education: a survey report

Tim Hall

January 1999

Geography and Environmental Management Research Unit, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education, Francis Close Hall, Swindon Road, Cheltenham, GL50 4AZ
thall@chelt.ac.uk

 

 

1   About this report
1.1   Introduction
1.2   Materials supplied by institutions
2   Analysis of returns
2.1   Analysis of total returns
2.2   Analysis of returns by type of institution
3   Definitions of key skills
3.1   Analysis of total returns
3.2   Analysis of returns by type of institution
4   Methods of delivering key skills to undergraduates
4.1   Analysis of total returns
4.2   Analysis of type of institution with a stand-alone key skills module (or major part of such a module) available to geography undergraduates
5   Key skills development and assessment for undergraduates
5.1   Key skills testing on entry in higher education
5.2   Development of key skills for undergraduates
5.3   Key skills assessment for undergraduates
6   Key skills development for postgraduates
6.1   Explicit development of key skills through taught masters programmes
6.2   Explicit development of key skills through research training programmes
7   Examples of practices in key skills teaching and learning
8   Interest in topics covered by this project
9   Written key skills policies
9.1   Analysis of total returns
9.2   Analysis of returns by type of institution
9.3   Types of policy
10   Development of department guides for key skills training
10.1   Analysis of total returns
10.2   Analysis of returns by type of institution
11   This report and other research
11.1   Surveys of key skills practice
11.1.1   Art and design
11.1.2   Biological sciences
11.1.3   History
11.1.4   De Montfort University
11.1.5   The University of Manchester
11.2   Other references
12   References cited in the text
Acknowledgements
Appendix 1  Selected bibliography

 

1  About this report

1.1  Introduction

This report contains an analysis of the results of the survey of key skills practice and needs in English higher education geography departments.

The survey aimed to:

The survey was conducted by using a short questionnaire distributed to delegates attending the FDTL National Geography Conference at the University of Warwick in September 1998 and through a subsequent postal survey of those departments teaching geography in higher education in England, who had not responded through the FDTL conference.

A questionnaire survey was chosen as the most appropriate to meet the needs of the project team while being practical in terms of costs and staff time. It was felt important to establish a broad overview of practice in the sector and to obtain as wide a range of examples of practices as possible. Alternative methods, such as in-depth interviews, would have lost in range and practicality more than they would have gained in depth.

1.2  Materials supplied by institutions

A range of materials, such as module outlines, descriptions and policy documents, was supplied by institutions responding to this questionnaire.

This survey obtained numerous examples of key skills policies and examples of good practice from departments teaching geography in higher education in England.

 

2  Analysis of returns

2.1  Analysis of total returns

Of 82 questionnaires distributed to HEIs in England 47 were returned. This represents a return of 57.3 percent. While this is high for a postal survey, given the size of the population, its nature as a community of interest and the personal contacts with members of the team this could be regarded as slightly disappointing. There were 22 completed questionnaires returned during the FDTL Geography National Conference on 17-18th September 1998. The remaining questionnaires were returned by post in subsequent weeks. A considerable amount of 'chasing up', by post and phone to departments who had not responded to the survey was required to achieve a return of 47 completed questionnaires. Having said this, however, experiences of similar types of survey of geography lecturers in HEIs produced returns in line with those obtained for this survey (Healey, 1994; Phillips and Healey, 1996).

It is important to note that the results of this survey should not be taken uncritically as 'department responses'. Rather they represent individuals responding on behalf of their departments and reflect individual perceptions or knowledge of their department's key skills practice1. However, within the constraints of this project it was felt this was a practical and realistic qualification to adopt and one that is inherent in much survey work. In some cases more than one persons contributed to the response from an individual HEI.

A range of staff responded to the survey. The survey was addressed to Geography Discipline Network contacts some of whom were heads of department. However, in the majority of cases lecturers of various grades responded.

2.2  Analysis of returns by type of institution

Table 1: Returns by type of institution

Institution Sent Returned Percentage Returned
Old Universities 35 20 57
New Universities 28 14 50
Colleges of HE 19 13 68
Total 82 47 57

The response rate varied from half of new universities to over two-thirds of colleges of higher education. Interestingly, the impression, that awareness and interest of key skills practice and need is low amongst old universities compared to other institutions is not borne out by the survey. However, it is likely, that factors such as the specific interests of individuals within HEIs and attendance at the FDTL conference may have distorted the results. It is probable that the patterns of return reflect more interest and awareness of particular individuals than that of departments.

 

3  Definitions of key skills

3.1  Analysis of total returns

Respondents were asked to indicate which of two definitions of key skills most closely reflected their own definition. The definitions were deliberately chosen to reflect contrasting conceptions of key skills. The first emphasised employability and the second 'life-skills'. Of the 47 respondents two declined to answer the question and two respondents provided additional definitions.

Table 2: Responses to Q.1: 'Below are two definitions of key skills. Which statement is closest to your own definition?'

Definition Agree Percentage
'Those skills needed by young people and adults to develop and maintain their employability' (adapted from DfEE (1998) The Learning Age, Chp. 6, Section 5. 11 24
'The fundamental skills that everyone uses in carrying out all kinds of tasks and activities at work or in life generally' East Kent IteC Ltd (N.D.) Key Skills Training. 34 76
Total responding 45 100

There was clearly an overwhelming response in favour of the later definition (Table 2). This strongly suggests key skills practice in English geography departments is aimed at conveying skills that are more than purely vocational in nature.

Two alternative definitions were provided by respondents. These were:

The respondent providing the second of the above definitions indicated that s/he felt the first definition was too narrow and the latter too vague.

3.2  Analysis of returns by type of institution

There was little variation in the definition of key skills favoured by respondents from different types of institution (Tables 3 and 4).

Table 3: Percentage of each type of institution responding who agreed with definition 1

Definition 1: 'Those skills needed by young people and adults to develop and maintain their employability' (adapted from DfEE (1998) The Learning Age, Chp. 6, Section 5.
Percentage of old universities responding who agreed with definition 1 25
Percentage of new universities responding who agreed with definition 1 21
Percentage of colleges responding who agreed with definition 1 23

 

Table 4: Percentage of each type of institution responding who agreed with definition 2

Definition 2: 'The fundamental skills that everyone uses in carrying out all kinds of tasks and activities at work or in life generally' East Kent IteC Ltd (N.D.) Key Skills Training.
Percentage of old universities responding who agreed with definition 2 70
Percentage of new universities responding who agreed with definition 2 78
Percentage of colleges responding who agreed with definition 2 69

 

4  Methods of delivering key skills to undergraduates

4.1  Analysis of total returns

The large majority of HEIs teach key skills to undergraduates through both a stand-alone key skills module (or major part of such a module) and through geography subject modules (Table 5). Taking the total number of institutions who responded 'a stand-alone module (or major part of such a module)' or ' Both' to this question indicates that 32 HEIs (71 percent) had a stand-alone key skills module (or major part of such a module). It is extremely rare for key skills to be delivered solely through a stand-alone key skills module (or major part of such a module). Only three respondents indicated this was the case in their institutions. A third of HEIs indicated that they had no stand-alone module (or major part of such a module) that teaches key skills to their geography undergraduates. Some examples of course outlines of these skills modules were sent by respondents.

Table 5: Responses to Q.2: 'Are key skills taught to undergraduates in your department through...'

Method of delivering key skills to undergraduates Total Returns
Number Percentage
A stand-alone module (or major part of such a module) 3 7
Integrated into geography subject modules 15 33
Both 29 64

4.2  Analysis of type of institution with a stand-alone key skills module (or major part of such a module) available to geography undergraduates

An analysis of the HEIs which teach key skills to undergraduates through a stand-alone key skills module (or major part of such a module) reveals little difference by type of institution (Table 6).

Table 6: Analysis of HEIs with a stand-alone key skills module or major part of such a module by type of institution

HEIs with a stand-alone key skills module (or major part of such a module) Number Percentage of the total of that type of institution who responded
Old universities 14 70
New universities 10 71
Colleges 8 62

Seventeen respondents gave details of stand-alone key skills modules.

 

5  Key skills development and assessment for undergraduates

5.1  Key skills testing on entry in higher education

It is rare for key skills to be tested on entry to geography courses in higher education. The highest incidence of this was for written communication with 3 institutions (6.4 percent) testing on entry. None of the other skills were tested at more than one institution. No information was given on the extent of this testing. For example, all students at Cheltenham and Gloucester C.H.E. are made aware that there is a first year module entitled 'Confidence Counts' which aims to act as a refresher course in mathematics. Students who think they may need this are encouraged to take a diagnostic test to measure their aptitude in a range of mathematical techniques.

5.2  Development of key skills for undergraduates

Tables 8 and 9 detail responses to the question concerning the explicit and implicit development of key skills during the undergraduate geography programme. Three points emerge from this analysis. First there is the ranking of the skills developed in each case (in terms of a tally of respondents who ticked each skill rather than a ranking of importance by individuals). Second there is the relationship between the explicit and implicit development of key skills. These two points are closely related. The final point concerns those skills that are neither explicitly nor implicitly developed by HEIs.

Table 7: Key skills only explicitly or only implicitly developed for undergraduates students by more than 50 percent of responding HEIs

Only Explicitly Developed Only Implicitly Developed
Skill No. % Skill No. %
Statistics 40 85 Creativity 38 81
Field skills 37 79      
Library skills 36 77      
Written communication 35 74      
Oral communication 34 72      
Word processing 34 72      
Spreadsheets 34 72      
GIS 34 72      
Qualitative research skills 34 72      
Study skills 32 68 Flexibility 32 68
Quantitative research skills 32 68      
Laboratory skills 31 66 Interpersonal skills 31 66
Database 30 64 Personal skills 30 64
Mapping skills 30 64      
Team work 29 62      
Graphics 29 62      
WWW 29 62 Self management skills 28 60
Critical thinking 24 51 Time management 27 57
Email 24 51 Networking 26 55

The key skills developed explicitly by HEIs are a combination of geography specific skills, for example, field skills (43 HEIs), GIS (38) and laboratory skills (37), information and communication technology (ICT) skills, such as spreadsheets (40) and word processing (39), social science or physical science research skills which may be taught as geography specific, quantitative research (39), qualitative research (39) and the most commonly employed presentation / communication skills, written (40) and oral communication (40). The basic research skills of the library are also important (42).

Table 7 reveals that a far greater number and wider range of key skills are explicitly developed by HEIs than are implicitly developed. The types of skills explicitly developed are a combination of basic communication skills, cognitive skills, ICT skills and subject specific skills. By contrast the types of skills only implicitly developed include skills of personal development and management such as creativity, flexibility, and networking. The responsibility for the development of these skills appears to lie with students rather than with departments. It should be noted that it is inherently very difficult to implicitly teach certain skills, for example, statistics, GIS and laboratory skills.

A small number of skills are neither explicitly nor implicitly developed by between a quarter and a half of departments (Table 8).

Table 8: Skills neither explicitly nor implicitly developed by more than ten responding HEIs

Skill No. %
Other mathematical 23 49
Networking 15 32
Decision making with limited information 13 28
Career skills 12 26
Flexibility 11 23
Debating skills 11 23

The reasons for the low development of these skills might be that they are regarded as not the responsibility of departments (for example, career skills). However, some departments are beginning to develop modules in career skills in conjunction with careers services. Alternatively the skill might be perceived as peripheral to geography (for example, other mathematical). Finally the onus for the development of some skills might be placed on the student rather than the department (for example, in the case of flexibility).

A caveat to be added at this point is that these figures give no indication of the extent to which these skills are developed over the course of the geography programme. For example, although field skills were mentioned as explicitly developed by the highest number of HEIs they might be developed in relatively small discreet 'packages', such as one or two field trips. Other skills, for example problem solving or critical thinking, although mentioned less frequently by HEIs, may be developed on a more continuous basis through programmes and therefore may have a more profound impact on the students' degree programme experience and be developed to a much greater degree. Oral communication cited as developed explicitly as frequently as written communication maybe less pervasive during the students' geography programmes.

5.3  Key skills assessment for undergraduates

Table 9 contains the results of the survey of the summative assessment of key skills by HEIs. The results show a strong positive correlation between those skills explicitly developed by HEIs on their geography programmes and their assessment.

This correlation suggests an unsurprising pattern of summative assessment based heavily upon those key skills recognised as geography-specific and the key research, analysis and presentation skills.

Table 9: Key skills summatively assessed for undergraduates students

Number of HEIs Skill summatively assessed
40 and over  
30-39 Written communication (37), Statistics (31), Quantitative research (30)
20-29 Qualitative research (29), Field skills (29), Oral communication (28), GIS (27), Laboratory (26), Critical thinking (26), Mapping skills (25), Visual communication (24), Team work (24), Word processing (21), Graphics (21), Spreadsheets (20)
10-19 Problem solving (19), Database (16), Library skills (15), Study skills (14), Personal skills (13), Time management (12), Other mathematical (11), WWW (11)
Up to 9 Creativity (9), Debating skills (9), Decision making (9), Self-management skills (9), Career skills (8), Flexibility (5), Networking (5), Email (5), Interpersonal skills (4)

Similarly there is a strong positive correlation between those key skills summatively assessed and those formatively assessed by HEIs. It is unusual to find instances where formative and summative assessment patterns differed to a major extent. Slightly fewer HEIs carried out formative assessment compared to summative assessment.

 

6  Key skills development for postgraduates

6.1  Explicit development of key skills through taught masters programmes

Thirteen responding institutions indicated that they delivered masters programmes in geography. This represented at least 23 taught masters and at least one masters by research (one institution did not specify how many masters courses they delivered). Institutions were only asked to respond once to this question, for all their masters programmes.

Table 10: Explicit development of key skills through taught masters programmes

Number of HEIs Skill explicitly developed through masters (number of times mentioned)
10 and over Quantitative research (12), Written communication (11), Critical thinking (11), Oral communication (10), Visual communication (10), Library skills (10), Statistics (10), GIS (10)
5-9 Field skills (9), Team work (9), Mapping skills (8), Problem solving (8), Qualitative research (8), WWW (8), Personal skills (7), Graphics (7), Decision making (6), Interpersonal skills (6), Laboratory skills (6), Self-management skills (6), Spreadsheets (6), Study skills (6)
1-5 Career skills (5), Debating skills (5), Email (5), Other mathematical (5), Database (4), Networking (4), Word processing (4), Creativity (3), Flexibility (3), Time-management (3)

There is a correlation between those key skills explicitly developed through taught masters and those through undergraduate geography programmes. Again, geography-subject specific and key research and presentation skills are ranked highly here. The difference between the two levels stem from the specific skills demanded from specialist masters programmes. The undergraduate geography programme is broad in its subject spread, across English HEIs. Similarly the skills developed across the broader and longer undergraduate course are likely to be greater in number. However, the specialist nature of many taught masters increases the importance of what might be seen as specialist or less core skills within the undergraduate programme. The most obvious manifestation of this effect is in 'quantitative research' skills being mentioned by the highest number of HEIs as explicitly developed through their taught masters.

6.2  Explicit development of key skills through research training programmes

A total of sixteen research training programmes were mentioned by responding HEIs. Of these eight were ESRC training programmes, four were NERC training programmes, one was an ESF training programme, one was college based, one was faculty based and one was department based.

Table 11: Explicit development of key skills through research training programmes

Number of HEIs Skill explicitly developed through research training programmes and number of times mentioned
10 and over Quantitative research (15), Written communication (15), Oral communication (15), Library skills (14), Qualitative research (14), Statistics (13), Critical thinking (12), Visual communication (11), Database (10), Spreadsheets (10)
5-9 Field skills (8), GIS (8), Laboratory (8), Self management skills (8), WWW (8), Email (7), Study skills (7), Word processing (7), Graphics (6), Personal skills (6), Team work (6)
1-5 Career skills (5), Debating skills (5), Mapping skills (5), Other mathematical (5), Problem solving (5), Networking (4), Time management (4), Creativity (3), Decision making (3), Interpersonal skills (3), Flexibility (2)

There appears to be a strong relationship between the key skills developed through research training programmes and those through taught masters programmes. Academic research skills, cognitive skills and presentation skills are most commonly cited as explicitly developed through research training programmes. These are generally more commonly developed than geography subject specific skills (except those of academic research) which are assumed to have been developed to some degree during undergraduate geography programmes.

 

7  Examples of practices in key skills teaching and learning

The majority of respondents gave details of examples of practices in key skills teaching and learning from their own experience or that of colleagues.

 

8  Interest in topics covered by this project

The interest in topics covered in the project was both enthusiastic and wide. Despite being asked to nominate three topics of interest many of the respondents indicated four or more topics. Some indicated all or most topics would be of interest. A small number left this section blank. The interest for individual topics is given below.

 

9  Written key skills policies

9.1  Analysis of total returns

The incidence of geography departments having written key skills policies operative, whether department, faculty or institution based, was relatively low. Of the 47 responding institutions only 11 (23 percent) indicated they had such a written policy operative in their geography department. It is possible that this is an underestimation as individuals might not be aware of all department, school, faculty, or institutional policies. However, a lack of awareness of such policies would preclude their influencing curriculum design and teaching. The response may, therefore, be an indication of the influence of written key skills policies on teaching and learning activities.

9.2  Analysis of returns by type of institution

Analysis of returns by type of institution does reveal some variation around the overall figure of 23 percent. Most notable is the low incidence of written key skills policies operative among geography departments in new universities and the higher proportion in colleges of higher education. However, the caveats regarding the nature and the small size of the sample apply here.

Table 12: Written key skills operative in departments by type of institution

Type of Institution Number with written key skills policy operative Percentage of the total of that type of institution who responded
Old universities 5 25
New universities 2 14
Colleges 4 31

9.3  Types of policy

Although the question regarding the nature of these key skills policies was removed from the final questionnaire some comments were included by respondents which indicated something of the nature and the range of types of written key skills policies operating in geography departments. These comments primarily related to the issue of key skills policy being implicit rather than explicit. Two further comments were made to the effect that the policy was not a department policy but part of a wider initiative or policy.

 

10  Development of department guides for key skills teaching

10.1  Analysis of total returns

Of the 47 responding institutions 16 (34 percent) had produced their own guides for key skills teaching. The guides mentioned range from brief handouts that may be little integrated into programmes to professionally produced books/booklets that are central to the organisation and delivery of modules. For example, while one institution gives "modest detail in part 1 handbook on essays and examinations", another institution provides a very extensive range of key skills guides.

Further, guides might be developed or used independently by module tutors with other colleagues being little aware of this. Consequently individual respondents to this question might not be aware of the full extent of the development and use of key skills guides in their department. For example, one institution indicated no guides were used in their department although the author is aware that brief guides to presentation skills are given to students in at least one module. It is also likely that a number of departments employ key skills guides developed at the faculty or institution level. These would tend not be picked up by this question.

10.2  Analysis of returns by type of institution

There was little variation between different types of institution in the development of departmental key skills guides, all being in the range of 30 - 36 percent. The extent to which this can be taken as representative of the entire sector is questionable given the high incidence of an 'interested audience' who filled in questionnaires at the FDTL National Geography Conference. The percentage of geography departments who developed their own guides is likely to be lower among non-responding institutions. Departments in old and new universities are more likely to develop their own key skills guides than they are to have written key skills policies operative (Table 12). There was no variation in the percentage of colleges with written key skills policies operative and with their own key skills guides.

Table 13: Returns to Q.7: 'Has your department developed any of its own guides for key skills teaching?' by type of institution

Type of Institution Number developed department key skills guides Percentage of the total of that type of institution who responded
Old universities 7 35
New universities 5 36
Colleges 4 31

Further details about the department guides were provided by 12 institutions.

 

11  This report and other research

11.1  Surveys of key skills practice

A summary of some other surveys of key skills teaching is provided below.

11.1.1  Art and design

A study on graduate standards in Art and Design in UK HEIs was conducted in 1997 by Allan Davies (Worcester College of Higher Education). It was argued that: "Art and Design has... always prided itself on its commitment to teaching 'transferable skills'" (Davies, 1997).

Issues surveyed included assessment criteria in relation to key skills.

"We also asked whether there were assessment criteria in place in relation to transferable skills and if:

The results were: The project went on to assess the number of UK HEIs who explicitly taught transferable skills (t), whose students experienced them (e) and who assessed them (a) (Table 14).

Table 14: Results from Art and Design transferable skills survey (Davies, 1997)

Intellectual / Cognitive
  t e a
Critical reasoning 75 62 77
Analysis 79 60 75
Conceptualisation 70 65 79
Reflection/evaluation 63 72 68
Flexibility 41 74 39
Imagination 40 73 62
Originality 35 73 63
Synthesis 54 67 66

Practical
  t e a
Investigative skills/ methods of enquiry 87 55 74
Laboratory skills / field craft 64 33 50
Data / information processing 69 50 45
Content / textual analysis 71 57 67
Performance skills 58 52 60
Creating products 73 59 70
Professional skills 84 55 73
Spatial awareness 53 50 46

Self / individual
  t e a
Independence / autonomy 46 76 56
Emotional resilience 17 76 18
Time management 72 66 52
Ethical principles with value base 53 61 33
Enterprise 51 69 40
Self-presentation 74 62 67
Self-criticism 69 73 60

Social / people
  t e a
Teamwork 57 77 52
Client focus 62 51 42
Communication 72 70 67
Negotiation / micro-politics 32 52 23
Empathy 23 70 16
Social / environmental impact 53 59 37
Networking 42 65 24
Ethical practice 43 58 19

Source: Davies, A. (1997) 'Graduate standards: subject associations pilot projects (Art and Design) (http://www.lgu.ac.uk/deliberations/artdesign/QAA-GLAD.html)

11.1.2  Biological sciences

A HEQC funded study of core attributes in biological science graduates was conducted. It found that the core attributes of biological graduates deemed most desirable by HEIs were (in descending order): critical reasoning, knowledge of subject's conceptual basis, investigative skills, intellectual analysis, communication and IT skills, knowledge of subject content and range, and laboratory skills. The study found no marked difference between old and new universities or across subject disciplines. However, the study did find that there were some differences in those attributes ranked as most desirable and those that HEIs actually felt they measured and took into account in awarding Honours degrees.

Source: Biochemical Society Monthly (1997) 'Monthly report on professional affairs', Biochemical Society Monthly (December) (http://www.biochemsoc.org.uk/pec/monreps/9712report.html)

11.1.3  History

History Today magazine reported on current trends in the teaching of History. One of their themes was an emphasis on skills. The magazine identified skills based curricula in History dating back to the late 1980s (University of Brighton). Most History departments mentioned the role of transferable skills in their programmes. The ways these are developed vary. Some HEIs emphasise particular skills. Others develop skills via work placements (including Huddersfield University, Manchester Metropolitan University and Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds). A few include compulsory skills modules at some stage of their programme (including the University of East Anglia). The development of study-skills has become a particular focus. Many departments now produce resources aimed at developing study-skills, these include: booklets or handouts of varied detail and length. A few contain extensive examples. Some HEIs run compulsory study-skills modules for first level students (including the University of Manchester and the University of Nottingham).

Source: History 2000 (1997) History Today: What's Going on in Teaching and Learning (http://www.bathspa.ac.uk/history2000/newsltt2.htm#An emphasis on skills)

11.1.4  De Montfort University

De Montfort University has developed a personal transferable skills strategy. As part of the implementation of this a survey of university staff was conducted with regard to key skills opinion and practice. The survey found that staff felt students needed to develop analytic, problem solving and communication skills to be successful academically. While academic staff placed a high value on the development of these and other skills this was not reflected in the general existence of formal module documentation or by extensive assessment of key skills. The strategy aimed to build on this support for key skills by making them more explicit to students through learning and assessment.

Source: ABC Network (no date) The Ability Based Curriculum (http://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/ocsd/abcsec1.html)

11.1.5  The University of Manchester

A number of key skills initiatives have been developed at the University of Manchester. Emphasis is placed upon essay writing, communications, team working, problem solving, the use of information technology and personal skills such as creativity, independence and flexibility. In non-vocational courses the responsibility for skills development falls predominantly on the student.

Source: http://acorn.educ.nottingham.ac.uk/keyskills/casestud/cs23.html

11.2  Other references

Selected references that might be of use are included in Appendix I.

 

12  References cited in text

ABC Network (no date) The Ability Based Curriculum (http://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/ocsd/abcsec1.html)

Biochemical Society Monthly (1997) 'Monthly report on professional affairs', Biochemical Society Monthly (December) (http://www.biochemsoc.org.uk/pec/monreps/9712report.html)

Davies, A. (1997) Graduate standards: subject associations pilot projects (Art and Design) (http://www.lgu.ac.uk/deliberations/artdesign/QAA-GLAD.html)

Healey, M. (1994) 'Teaching Economic Geography in UK Higher Education Institutions' Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 18, 1: 70-79

History 2000 (1997) History Today: What's Going on in Teaching and Learning (http://www.bathspa.ac.uk/history2000/newsltt2.htm#An emphasis on skills)

http://acorn.educ.nottingham.ac.uk/keyskills/casestud/cs23.html

Phillips, M. and Healey, M. (1996) 'Teaching the history and philosophy of geography in British undergraduate courses' Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 20, 2: 223-242

 

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank those Departments who gave their time to respond to the survey and provide information. I would also like to thank the rest of the project team for their help in designing the survey, Heidi Meehan for collating responses and producing the database and Jackie Birnie, Phil Gravestock and Mick Healey for their comments on earlier drafts of this report.

 

Appendix I: Selected bibliography

General key skills references

Ashcroft, K. and Foreman-Peck, L. (1994) Managing Teaching and Learning in Further and Higher Education, London: The Falmer Press

Assister, A. (ed.) Transferable Skills in Higher Education, London: Kogan Page

Australian Education Council and Ministers of Vocational Education and Training (1992) Key Competencies. The Meyer Report, Canberra Australia

Basic Skills Agency (1995) Basic Skills, London: Basic Skills Agency

Black, H. and Wolf, A. (eds.) (1990) Knowledge and Competence: Current Issues in Training and Education, Sheffield: COIC

Clancy and Ballard (1995) 'Generic skills in the context of Higher Education' Higher Education research and Development, 14,2: 155-166

Cole, P. (1993) 'Transferable skills teaching in the humanities' The New Academic, 3,1: 10-11

Duncan, N. (1997) 'The skill of learning: implications of the ACLEC first report for teaching skills on undergraduate Law courses' Web Journal of Current Legal Issues, 5 (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/~nlawwww/1997/issue5/duncan5.html)

Johnson, K. (1995) 'Using core skills in a degree programme' Education and Training, 37: 45-52

Johnston, R.J. (1997) ''Graduateness' and a core curriculum for Geography' Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 21, 2: 245-252

Jones, P. (1994) Competencies, Learning Outcomes and Legal Education, London: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London IED

Long, D.G. (1990) Learner Manager Learning. The Key to Lifelong Learning and Development, London: Kogan Page

Moore, D. (1997) 'New pedagogy and new content: the case of statistics' International Statistical Review, 65: 123-165

Mottershead, D. and Suggitt, S. (1996) 'developing transferable skills: some examples from geomorphological teaching' Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 20,1: 75-82

Otter, S. (1996) Core Skills in Higher Education, UCoSDA Briefing Paper 35.

Rust, C. (ed.) (1998) Improving Student Learning: Improving Student as Learners, Oxford: Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development, Oxford Brookes University

Skills-based curriculum design

Allen, M. and Levy, P. (1992) An Annotated Bibliography: Transferable Skills and the Higher Education Curriculum, Sheffield: ED

Burkhill, S. (forthcoming) 'A skills curriculum: a case study of an existing course and its relevance to a post-Dearing era' Journal of Geography in Higher Education, (in press)

Bonanno, H. and Jones, J. (1996) 'Integrating lifelong learning skills into first-year: collaborative approaches to curriculum design'. In. Proceedings from 21st International Conference on Improving University Teaching, Nottingham

CBI (1997) Developing Key Skills and Capability in Tertiary Education, Leeds: Project Report, HE for Capability

De Montfort University (1997) The Ability Based Curriculum. Some Snapshots of Progress, Leicester: De Montford University

EDEXCEL Foundation (1996) Key Skills in Higher Education. Potential and Practice. London: EDEXCEL Foundation (BTEC)

Gibbs, G., Jacques, D. Jenkins, A. and Rust, C. (1994) Teaching Transferable Skills. Oxford: Oxford Centre for Staff Development, Oxford Brookes University

Gibbs, G., Rust, C., Jenkins, A. and. Jacques, D. (1994) Developing Students' Transferable Skills, Oxford: Oxford Centre for Staff Development, Oxford Brookes University

Healey, M. (1992) 'Curriculum development and 'Enterprise': group work, resource-based learning and the incorporation of transferable skills into a first year practical course' Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 16, 1: 7-19

Hodgkinson, L. (1996) Changing the Higher Education Curriculum - Towards a Systematic Approach to Skills Development, Milton Keynes: The Open University

Jenkins, A. and Pepper, D. (1988) 'Enhancing students employability and self-expression: how to teach oral and group work skills in geography' Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 12, 1: 67-83

Jenkins, A. and Ward, A. (Eds) (1995) Developing Skill-based Curricula Through the Disciplines: Case Studies of Good Practice in Geography, SEDA

Learning and Development Unit University of Lincoln and Humberside (1996) Designing and Delivering Competence Based Degrees, London: DfEE

Oates, P. (1996) The Development and Implementation of Key Skills in England, London: NCVQ

Stuart, R. (1989) The Development of Transferable Skills of Students within Higher Education, Understanding Industry Trust

Taylor, I. (1992) Developing Core Skills. The Contribution of the CEP. Liverpool: The University of Liverpool Curriculum Enrichment Programme

Thomas, D.N. (1996) 'The incorporation of transferable skills training within Earth Sciences degree courses: a case study from the University of Liverpool' in Stow, D.A.V. and McCall, G.J.H. (eds.) Geoscience Education and Training in Schools and Universities for Industry and Public Awareness, Rotterdam: Balkema

Assessing and recording key skills

Assister, A. and Shaw, E. (1993) Using records of Achievement in Higher Education, London: Kogan Page

Atkins, M. Beattie, J. and Dockerill, W.B. (1992) Assessment Issues in Higher Education, Sheffield: ED

Brown, S. (ed.) (1988) Assessment: A Changing Practice, Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press

Brown, G. (1991) 'Assessment of core skills and competencies in universities' Educational Change and Development, 12,1: 1-4

Brown, S. and Knight, P. (1994) Assessing Learners in Higher Education, London: Kogan Page

Challis, M., Usherwood, T. and Joesburg, H. (1993) Assessing Specified Competencies in Medical Undergraduate Training, Research and development Services, Report No. 16, Sheffield: ED Methods Strategy Unit

Crooks, T. (1988) Assessing Student Performance. Green Guides, Kensington, NSW, Australia: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australia

Edwards, A. and Knight, P. (1995) Assessing Competence in Higher Education, London: Kogan Page

Fenwick, A. Assister, A and Nixon, N. (1992) Profiling in Higher Education, Sheffield: ED

Gibbs, G. (ed.) (1995) Improving Student Learning Through Assessment and Evaluation, Oxford: The Oxford Centre for Staff Development, Oxford Brookes University

Hager, A., Gonczi, A. and Athanasou, J. (1994) 'General issues about assessment and evaluation in Higher Education' Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 191: 3-16

Hustler, et al. (1995) Final Evaluation Report. Recording Achievement and Higher Education Project, Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University

Jenkins, A. (ed.) (1996) Course Based Profiling. Case Studies From Oxford Brookes, Oxford: Oxford Brookes University

Liverpool John Moores University (1995) The Assessment of Transferable Skills in Higher Education - A Report of a Workshop, Liverpool: Liverpool John Moores University

Nixon, N. (1990) 'Assessment issues in relation to experience-based learning on placements within courses' in Bell, C. and Harris, D. (eds.) Assessment and Evaluation World Year Book, London: Kogan Page

Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development (n.d.) Diversifying Assessment in Higher Education, Oxford: Oxford Brookes University

Ryle, M. (1995) Assessment of Group Work in Continuing Education, Brighton: Centre for Continuing Education, University of Sussex

Saunders, S. (1992) 'Profiling in Higher Education' NASD Journal, 26: 51-57

Trowler, P. and Hinett, K. (1994) 'Implementing the recording of achievement in Higher Education' Capability 1,1: 53-61

UCOSDA (1994) Recording Achievement. Potential for Higher Education

Watson, A. (1994) 'Strategies for the assessment of competence', The Vocational Aspects of Education, 42:2

Wedgewood, M. (1992) Record of Achievement and Personal Profiles in HE, paper from the Innovative Assessment and HE Conference, Bangor, University of North Wales.

Wolf, A. (1991) 'Assessing core skills: wisdom or wild-goose chase?' Cambridge Journal of Education, 21: 2: 189-201

Wolf, A. (1995) Competence Based Assessment, Milton Keynes: Open University

Improving student's communication and presentation skills

Hargie, O. et al. (1991) Social Skills and Interpersonal Communication, London: Croom Helm

Improving student's numeracy and communication and information technology (C&IT) skills

Steen, L.A. (1990) On the Shoulders of Giants. New Approaches to Numeracy, Washington DC: National Academy Press

Walker, L. (1996) 'IT as a Core Skill' (http://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/ocsd/projects/it_term/university/core.html)

Improving student's team and personal skills

Argyle, M. (1990) The Psychology of Interpersonal Behaviour, London: penguin

Burkhill, S. (1996) 'Student empowerment through group work: a case study' Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 21, 1: 89-94

Caine, D. (1990) 'The rethinking of group-work' Bulletin of Teaching and Learning, 5: 2-5

Drew, S., Nankivell, M. and Schoolbred, M. (1992) Personal Skills - Quality Graduates. Staff and Student Perceptions of Personal Skill Development in Higher Education, SECD Publications

Harrison, R. (1996) 'Personal skills and transfer' in Edwards, R., Hanson, A. and Raggatt, P. (eds.) Boundaries of Adult Learning, London: Routledge

Healey, M., Matthews, H., Livingstone, I., and Foster, I. (1996) 'Learning in small groups in University Geography courses: designing a core module around group projects' Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 20, 2: 167-180

Jacques, D. (1991) Learning in Groups, London: Kogan Page

Kneale, P.E. (1996) 'Organising student-centred group fieldwork and presentation' Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 20, 1: 65-74

Mitchell, B. (1992) 'The use of group work in the of teaching law' The New Academic, 2.1: 21-22

Improving student's problem-solving and thinking skills

Bradbeer, J. (1996) 'Problem-based learning and fieldwork: a better method of preparation' Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 20,1: 11-18

Walton, H. and Matthews, B. (eds.) (1989) Essentials of Problem-Based Learning, Dundee: Association for the Study of Medical Education

Improving student's skills through work-based learning and extra-curricular activities

Brennan, J. and Little, B. (1996) A Review of Work Based Learning in Higher Education, London: DfEE/Open University Quality Support Centre

Bryan, C. and Assister, A. (1995) Cognitive Skills in Work Based Learning. ALE Project Report and User Pack, London: University of North London Press

Butters, S. (1995) Organisational Forms of Work-Based Learning, Open University Quality Support Centre, Briefing Paper

Clark, G. and Whitelegg, J. (1998) 'Maximising the benefits from work-based learning' Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 22,3: 325-334

DfEE (1996) Work Based Learning for Undergraduates. Work Based Learning Network, Conference Report, Sheffield

Fulton, O., McHugh, G. and Saunder, M. (1996) Work Based Learning and Its Accreditation. Can HE Deliver? Final Evaluation of ED. WBL Theme. Lancaster: Centre for the Study of Education and Training, Lancaster University

Learning and Experience Trust (1993) Work Based Learning for Academic Credit, London: Learning and Experience Trust

Nixon, N. (1990) 'Assessment issues in relation to experience-based learning on placements within courses' in Bell, C. and Harris, D. (eds.) Assessment and Evaluation World Year Book, London: Kogan Page

Saunders, S. (1995) 'The integrative principle: Higher Education and work based learning in the UK' European Journal of Education, 30, 2

Summerfield, F.E. (1996) Work Based Learning for Enterprise Renewal. Panacea or Problematic? London: Study report on work undertaken jointly by the Tavistock Institute and the European Centre for Work and Society in Maastrict

University of Kent (1995) The Learning at Work Project, Canterbury: University of Kent

University of Leeds (1996) Work Based Learning Project Final Report, Leeds: University of Leeds

University of Liverpool Work Based Learning Project (1993) A Student Placement Handbook. The Benefits of Work Based Learning. The Students' Perceptions, Liverpool: University of Liverpool

University of Liverpool Work Based Learning Project (1995) Final Report and Summary. Promoting Independent Learning. The Role of the Workplace. Liverpool: University of Liverpool

University of Luton (1994) Work Based Learning in HE Final Report, Luton: University of Luton

University of Northumbria at Newcastle (1994) A Learning Outcomes Framework for the Accreditation, Delivery and Assessment of WBL, Vols. 1 and 2, Newcastle: University of Northumbria at Newcastle

Developing student's skills and making them more employable

Adamson. B., Harris, L., Heard, R. and Hunt, A. (1996) University Education and Workplace Requirements: Evaluating the Skills and Attributes of Health Science Graduates, Sydney: The University of Sydney Printing Service

Allen, M. (1992) Improving the Personal Skills of Graduates, Sheffield: ED

Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (1995) What Do Graduates Do? Cambridge: Hobson

Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) (1993) Roles for Graduates in the 21st Century. Getting the Balance Right. Cambridge: AGR

Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) (1995) Skills for Graduates in the 21st Century. Cambridge: AGR

AGR/CRAC (1996) Conference Report. What Skills for the 21st Century? What Makes a Graduate Special? How Can Skills Be Developed? Cambridge: AGR

Blagg, N., Ballinger, M. and Lewis, R. (1993) The Development of Transferable Skills in Learners. Technical Report No. 18, Sheffield: ED

Brennan, J. Kogan, M. and Teichler, V. (1996) Higher Education and Work: A Conceptual Framework, London: Jessica Kingsley

Bridges, D. (1993) 'Transferable skills: a philosophical perspective' Studies in Higher Education, 18,1: 43-52

CBI (1989) Towards a Skills Revolution, London: CBI

Clark,G. and Higgitt, M. (1996) 'Geography and lifelong learning: a report on a survey of geography graduates' Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 21,2: 199-213

Harvey, L., Moon, S and Geall, V. (1997) Graduates Work - Organisational Change and Student Attitudes, Cambridge: AGR

Heard, S. and Farrington, J. (1998) 'Employer-student workshops: the Aberdeen experience' Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 22, 1: 105-110

Hesketh, A. (1998) 'Reward in this life' Guardian Higher, 24th February: ii

Higher Education Quality Council (1996) What are Graduates? Clarifying the Attributes of Graduateness, London: HEQC

LASER/London Enterprise Agency (1993) Core Skills and a Flexible Workforce, Report on Research Findings

NAB (1986) Personal Transferable Skills in Employment: The Contribution of Higher Education, London: NAB

NACETT. Skills for 2000 (1996) Report on Progress Towards the National Targets for Education and Training (together with supplement), London: NACETT

Tysome, T. (1998) 'Job skills may be added on' The Times Higher, 6th March: 6

Unit for the development of Adult Continuing Education (1991) What Can Graduates Do? London: UDACE

Wheeler, R. (1993) Enterprise and Employability of Mature Graduates, London: Birkbeck College Enterprise Unit

 

1 In one case two responses from one institution were obtained. The two responses did contain several differences in the detail.


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