Ruth Bridgstock's Graduate Employability 2.0 National Senior Teaching Fellowship update 
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The networked approach to graduate employability
Dear Sarah,

In this issue of the GE2.0 newsletter, we introduce….*drumroll* the (draft) Connectedness Learning Model! The model summarises the capabilities, key pedagogic approaches, and enabling strategies required to develop better networked students and graduates, programs, and universities.
The fellowship team and I have spent the last five months collecting data from across the sector about the importance of connectedness for students, teachers, programs and universities; how we cultivate and promote connectedness and partnerships right now; how we’re doing it well, and how we could be doing it better. The culmination of all of this work is the Connectedness Learning Model. It’s the overall theoretical framework developed for GE2.0, and the basis for the forthcoming connectedness toolkit for educators.

Click here to download a large version of the model and descriptive summary document.

I need your expertise: Call for model feedback
We’re at the stage where I need input, feedback and thoughts on the model. This is where our community of practice really comes into its own.
If you have a few moments, please download and take a look at the model summary document, then head over to the discussion forum and let me know your thoughts on any or all of the below:
  1. Does the model make sense to you? Could it be useful to educators? How could it be more useful to educators?
  2. What elements in the model have I missed? What is there too much of?
  3. What kinds of supporting resources would help educators bring the model to life in their own specific teaching contexts and disciplines? (cases, self-assessment tools, fact-sheets, links to other projects…)
  4. How does the model link with existing research / HE policy / HE resources (stakeholder engagement frameworks etc) that you know of and like?
  5. Do any cases of educational practice, institutional or faculty policies and processes spring to mind as being useful to highlight as great practice in connection with one or more elements of the model? For instance, are there any stakeholder engagement strategies that your faculty or university is trying that seem particularly effective?
All contributions will be very gratefully accepted. 

Also, a reminder that we have the Graduate Employability 2.0 national forum coming up at QUT in Brisbane on September 16th. The full-day forum will bring together teachers, students, industry, and university leaders from across Australia to engage with learning and teaching for professional connectedness. At the forum you'll get to test out the educators toolkit, and participate in workshops around adapting the connectedness learning model for use in your educational context. 

Cheers, and talk soon

Key findings of the higher education interviews

Phase 1 of the fellowship is now nearly complete. So far, I have interviewed 46 people in different roles from a total of 29 Australian universities, to build a national picture of higher education engagement with learning and teaching for professional connectedness.
We have also profiled a number of HASS graduates and industry / community representatives across Australia to explore how professional connections and networks are important for success in 21st century work and life.

Read additional findings from the interviews on this information sheet, which also provides thoughts on enabling strategies for overcoming some of the barriers that prevent a connected university. 

More support for the networked approach

George Siemens visited QUT on Tuesday to give a seminar about the future of learning and teaching. Below is a quote from his speech (yes I recorded it! I am a big fan). It foregrounds the central importance of social connections and networks for learning.
“When I’m adding technology into my classroom, I always ask: what is it going to enable me to do that I can’t do now? It really boils down to trying to generate some kind of network effects. For instance, if you go into an average room of 100 people, everyone knows different things. If someone needed to answer a statistical problem, someone would know statistics. If someone had an injury or illness, someone would have a health or medical background, and so on. There’s an enormous amount of latent knowledge out there, and it’s not exposed or understood through the usual kinds of teaching. The reality is we can teach each other almost everything. The key, then, is to activate that latent knowledge, through technology or otherwise. We need something that gives us the ability to express what we know and to teach one another”.

Something to muse about: How do you foster networked learning in your teaching practice?

Upcoming opportunities

Upcoming GE2.0 presentations and workshops

In September and October, I will be presenting about GE2.0 and learning for professional connectedness:
2nd September
Australasian Council of Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (DASSH) Conference, Hobart
26th September
Queensland University Educators Showcase (QUES), Brisbane

27th September
PASS and Peer Learning Conference, Sydney
28th September
Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education, Brisbane

20th October
Innovation in Assessment and Credentials Summit, Sydney

I'll be visiting Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Hobart in August-November to conduct GE2.0 seminars and workshops. If you are interested in a free workshop and/or seminar focussed on developing your faculty/university's GE2.0 teaching capacity, please let me know by sending my research associate an email at

Case study spotlight

"Social networks are very important to my work. Film, like many creative industries, remains a relationships business. As such building and maintaining positive social networks is crucial. I worked for the last 10 years in screen distribution, and I got my foot in the door with an internship at Freshwater Productions. This placement was self-generated, but facilitated by university insurance and support. My next roles in the industry built off this experience and the connections from it."

Ruari Elkington is a film and tv graduate and is now a consultant in screen distribution and founder of ticketing social enterprise, Altruistix.

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 2016 Graduate Employability 2.0. 

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