Learning about Collaborative Skills from Recent Alumni
Michael Lower and Vivian Chen
Abstract / Video
Social constructivist approaches to teaching and learning require students to work in collaborative groups. The ability to work collaboratively is also a soft skill contributing to the ‘employability’ of the students. Teaching and learning in higher education is often a solitary experience. Students may be given few opportunities to cultivate their ability to work collaboratively within formal teaching and learning exchanges. Even when they do work in groups, they may receive little guidance and feedback about the development of their team work skills. We set out to learn what our recent alumni have to say about collaboration. These alumni are well placed to help since they have recent experience of life as students and of making the transition to professional practice. It is, thus, interesting to find out what recent alumni think current students should know about the collaborative skills needed in the professional context. One of us carried out video interviews with 7 recent alumni. In this talk, we will explain the key lessons that we have learnt from these interviews. The next stage is to produce a video and other training materials to prepare current students to carry out collaborative projects in the course of their studies.