Work-related teaching and learning methods to foster generic skills in Higher Education. An Italian experience

  • Daniela Frison University of Padova
  • Concetta Tino University of Padova
  • Jonathan W. Tyner Texas State University
  • Monica Fedeli University of Padova
Keywords: work-related learning, generic skills, higher education, teaching and learning methods, university-business cooperation

Abstract

Within the framework of modernisation of higher education systems in Europe, universities are invited to go beyond a knowledge-based perspective focused on disciplinary approaches and to be more concentrated on encouraging generic skills to deal with today’s complex and unpredictable career paths. The literature about Work-Related Learning and Work-Integrated Learning offers evidence to research regarding contributions of work-related experiences to the development of generic skills. The first part of the article presents a literature review carried out following the matching among three main keywords: work-related learning, generic skills, and higher education. Resources focused on the integration/teaching of generic skills in formal curriculum or in co-curriculum work-related activities and they were collected in order to explore the link between work-related learning in higher education and the development of generic skills. The focus is to identify valuable considerations to improve teaching strategies and methods. The second part presents an Italian work-related experience developed within the course of “Organizational Intervention Research Methods,” which involved 22 master’s degree students. The work-related assignment will be described in addition to the content analysis process of the 22 collected texts and the findings about the development of generic skills.

Published online: 30 November 2016

Author Biographies

Daniela Frison, University of Padova
DANIELA FRISON (daniela.frison@unipd.it), PhD in Educational Sciences at University of Padova (2012), is currently Post-Doc Researcher at the Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education, and Applied Psychology, University of Padova. She is coordinator of the project PARIMUN: a University-Enterprise Alliance to Promote Widespread Expertise which aims at developing intervention-research projects starting from business needs and carried out by graduating students in Educational Sciences. She teaches “Methodology of Training” and “Intervention-Research Strategies”. Her current interests include: university-business cooperation, teaching and learning methods in higher and adult education, with a specific focus on work-related learning. She is member of the project team of two Erasmus+ projects: REFLECT — Reflection as core transferable competence in higher education and adult education, University of Vilnius, Lithuania (2014-2016) and COMPALL — Comparative Studies in Adult and Lifelong Learning, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Germany (2015-2017). She is member of the Young Scientist Committee of the international book series: Adult learning strategies, methods and contexts.
Concetta Tino, University of Padova
CONCETTA TINO (concettatino8@gmail.com), is a doctoral student at University of Padova (Italy). Her main fields of research are the School-Work Alternation programs as part of Work-Based Learning experiences, and the training of teachers-tutor involved in supporting students in the transition school-to-work. At the moment she is spending two months at University of Georgia for her research. She has participated to two Erasmus+ projects: REFLECT — Reflection as core transferable competence in higher education and adult education, University of Vilnius (2014-2016) and COMPALL — Comparative Studies in Adult and Lifelong Learning, Julius-Maximilian-University of Würzburg, Germany. (2015-2017). She participated in the last two years at International Winter school- Comparative studies on Adult and Lifelong Learning Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Germany.
Jonathan W. Tyner, Texas State University
JONATHAN W. TYNER (jonathantyner@txstate.edu), is a doctoral student in the Adult, Professional, and Community Education program at Texas State University. His current position is the international engagement specialist for Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. His research interests are focused on international education, international student mobility, international student motivation, faculty professional development, work-related teaching and learning, and internationalizing the curriculum through cultural inclusion and pedagogical adaptation. In regards to work-related learning experiences, he has worked on appreciative inquiry projects with community based non-profit organizations, conducted qualitative research that interviewed business managers and organizational leaders in order to obtain their perspective on the values and necessity for work-related learning and continued education, led professional developments that integrate work-related teaching and learning for higher education administrators and student affairs professionals, as well as recently published a book review in the Australian Journal of Adult Learning that discusses teaching international students in vocational education.
Monica Fedeli, University of Padova
MONICA FEDELI (monica.fedeli@unipd.it), PhD in Teaching and Learning and Special Education, is currently Associate Professor at University of Padova, where she is Program Coordinator of the MD course: Management of Educational Services and Continuing Education and Advisor for Faculty Development and Didactic Innovation. She has been Adjunct Professor at Michigan State University. U.S.A., at Julius Maximilians University of Wurzburg, Germany and Visiting research and professor at Boston University, School of Education and at California University Berkeley School of Education. Her current interests include: participatory teaching and learning in higher education, reflection and learning, organization development, faculty development and faculty development in international settings. She published more than 60 articles, books and book chapters in variety of national and international journals: Adult Learning, Educational Reflective Practices, Giornale Italiano della Ricerca Educativa and in a variety of book series. She is member of the steering committee of the journal: Educational Reflective Practices, Co-editor of the International Journal: Excellence in Teaching and Learning; and of the international book series: Adult learning strategies, methods and contexts. She is leading as principal investigator specific national and international projects designed to develop research and facilitate networking, including agreements with several American and European universities.

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Published
2016-11-30
How to Cite
Frison, Daniela, Concetta Tino, Jonathan W. Tyner, and Monica Fedeli. 2016. “Work-Related Teaching and Learning Methods to Foster Generic Skills in Higher Education. An Italian Experience”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 4 (1), 145-67. https://doi.org/10.18543/tjhe-4(1)-2016pp145-167.