Developing Foundational Generic Skills in First Year Business Students: Confirmations and Contradictions

By Alison Dean, Kym Cowley and Vivien McComb.

Published by The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

One of the key issues surrounding graduate attributes and their foundational generic skills is that of how to effectively embed them into university curricula. This study reinforces and extends the discourse, evaluating specific learning interventions concerned with information literacy and academic integrity embedded into the curriculum of a first year marketing course in a business school. Foundational marketing was selected as an appropriate course in which to embed these particular skills due to their importance to students’ academic and later marketing careers. Pre- and post- test methodology was used in the study to identify students’ views on their own generic skills’ development. Changes to student self-reported skills development are validated using cross check questions. The overall findings of the study confirm the literature reporting successful outcomes of embedding generic skills into course curricula, however some interesting contradictions particularly in the area of referencing skills and student recognition of plagiarism are found.

Keywords: Adult Education, Higher Education, Business and Marketing, Embedding Foundational Generic Skills, University Course Curricula, University Student Skill Development, Developing University Graduate Attributes, Information Literacy Skills Development, Academic Integrity Skills Development

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp.1-17. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 357.433KB).

Professor Alison Dean

Head of School, Newcastle Business School, Faculty of Business and Law, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Alison Dean has two major areas of research interest-services management and scholarship of teaching and learning. Alison is particularly interested in the connections between elements of marketing theory and how each element contributes to effective practice. She is currently engaged in a study about consumer participation and responses in different industries. Alison's second area of research interest is pedagogy in business courses, with special emphasis on graduate attributes, and assessment. In addition, Alison led the Newcastle team in a collaborative ALTC project with Griffith University on commencing students' perceptions of assessment.

Dr. Kym Cowley

Director Peer Learning, Student Progression and Completion, Faculty Business and Law, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Kym Cowley has a PhD in management and first class honours degree in marketing. Kym is the Director of Peer Learning and Student Progression, Faculty Business and Law, University of Newcastle, Australia. Her research focus is peer learning, active learning and intensive learning methods in higher education.

Ms Vivien McComb

Academic Developer, Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Newcastle, Australia