A productive day at Aston University spent with colleagues sharing thoughts and practices around employer engagement design, technology, assessment and policy. The main emerging points for me from today….

  1. The HE sector is rising to the challenge of working with business in many ways, whilst there may be very many unanswered questions, we are increasingly aware of the issues facing us, which is surely the first step to solving them!We are beginning to get to know the unknowns.
  2. The pump-prime funding of employer engagement has been a useful, perhaps essential stimulus, it would be helpful to know if the end-game is sustainability and within what time frame we are working to achieve self-sustaining engagement.
  3. The place of interoperability and sensible systems architecture has emerged as key to unlock a smooth online learner experience. To avoid bitty, disjointed experiences systems must talk. Today I realised that this was a very real issue if HEI’s are to face outwards, however pursuit of perfect interoperability must not distract from the job of getting on with engagement.
  4. Patchwork text has never been so relevant. Artefacts make learning authentic, a wrap around commentary adds value.  The artefacts and commentary can be a way of separating (for expertise alignment purposes) the competence, work based and technical aspects from the reflective, extended and meta- learning aspects.
  5. A running theme in discussions was around the language of employer engagement – is HE talking in the same language as business? How much of a problem is this?  …  My own view is that the challenges of language are far from insurmountable and can mainly be solved through mutual understanding and engagement.