Graduate Employability: Student Perceptions of PBL and its Effectiveness in Facilitating their Employability Skills

Mike Smith, Mike Duncan, Kathryn Cook


The percentage of recent graduates employed in lower skilled jobs increased from 26.7 per cent in 2001 to 35.9 per cent, in the final quarter of 2011, while approximately one new graduate in every five available to work is unemployed (ONS, 2012). It is therefore a matter of urgency for higher educational institutions to investigate ways that can increase student opportunities to develop their employability skills within the curriculum. This study implemented a problem-based learning (PBL) approach in to the curriculum across all three levels of an undergraduate Sports Psychology program. Student perceptions of their satisfaction with and how important they felt a PBL approach was in facilitating their employability skills were investigated. Results indicate that regardless of whether students liked, disliked or were unsure of PBL, they all reported that PBL facilitated their employability skills. The paper concluded that PBL is a viable form of teaching when looking to facilitate student employability skills.

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