Learning for life and work in a complex world

One of the demands facing contemporary higher education is to prepare students for life and work in a complex and uncertain future. Students and staff are expected to have high levels of adaptability, excellent social and communications skills, and appropriate digital and information literacies, in order to address increasingly complex challenges in their chosen profession. Higher education providers are confronted with particular challenges:

  • How best to integrate learning more seamlessly with life and work
  • How to enhance opportunities offered for learning using digital technologies, both on-site and online.

HERDSA 2015 in Melbourne is designed to harness the wisdom of academics, professional and industry colleagues, and students to share new ways of thinking and practice to address these challenges. We invite you to present ideas, challenges and solutions through this innovative Conference.

The sub-themes are:

Educating graduates to be responsive and adaptable professionals
  • What capabilities are required and how do we know?
  • What is the cost and value of education for life and work to students and society?
  • What are the most appropriate pedagogies for students in contemporary higher education?
  • How can universities connect with industry and the professions to prepare graduates for changing workforce requirements?

Exploiting emerging technologies to enable employability
  • How can technology be used (on campuses, in industry placements, or online)
    to make learning more efficient, effective or accessible?
          - to make learning more efficient, effective or accessible
          - to positively impact retention, completion and employability?
  • How can the effectiveness of technologies be evaluated?
  • How can we exploit emerging technologies to enable our graduates to have the competitive edge in a complex working world?

Assessing, evidencing and evaluating graduate capabilities
  • How do we ensure that our students’ learning experiences contribute to the development of their graduate capabilities? What strategies, approaches and policies can support this?
  • What is the relationship between the capabilities graduates develop through their learning experiences and those that are transferred beyond the educational context and into the world of work?
  • How can learning analytics improve and enhance learning for life and work in a complex world?

Navigating uncertainty and complexity
  • How do we develop learner resilience in a world of complexity?
  • What are the skills and dispositions required to access, filter and critically engage with new knowledge and new ways of knowing?
  • How can we engage effectively with diverse communities?
  • What does learning for life in an unknown future entail? Is higher education equipped to address this challenge?
  • Are we preparing graduates who are able to establish organisations in a rapidly changing global economy?

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