Contextual factors

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We have seen how stakeholders (both external and internal) provide essential input into the development, review and evaluation of a programme.

A course that is designed and maintained through an ongoing relationship with stakeholders is situated within a broader context. Without this relationship, the course is at risk of becoming isolated from the needs of stakeholders - the 'ivory tower' situation.

An effective relationship with industry and society helps ensure that graduates:

  • Develop the capabilities needed by the workplace - the skills and knowledge needed for employment.
  • Understand and can apply ethical behaviour and professional standards - these may be informal but widely accepted, or they may be formally defined.
  • Are work-ready - they understand how the workplace functions and are prepared for the 'real-world'.
  • Stay current with the latest developments and best practice in the industry - essential in times of rapid technological change.
  • Can participate in society and make a worthwhile contribution - see the topic on Action competence

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Portfolio Activity

Consider your own course or teaching context:

  • What mechanisms are there for ensuring consultation with stakeholders informs the curriculum?
  • What specific needs of stakeholders are incorporated into the curriculum?
  • How do you personally maintain an ongoing relationship with external stakeholders such as industry and professional bodies?