What is the future of student qualifications?


Cole Webber


1.5 Learning Units (LU)

How applies to HSW:

What is a qualification? What is a degree? Research suggests that the future of employable skills lies in abstract, creative problem solving. Yet, even with curriculum attempting to address these areas, in a recent survey three quarters of employers said University graduates coming to them were specifically ill-prepared in creativity and problem solving. Will the future of the qualification be the University degree? How to we allow students to solve real world problems, and, just as importantly, demonstrate that they can, and have?   Part session and part workshop, Cole will first take guests through one of the subjects of his recent TEDx talk: the future of qualifications, arguing that instead of degrees, they will become demonstrations of ‘real-world’ experience and development: designs, patents, books, and providing examples. The processes of ‘real-world’ pioneers will be examined for inspiration.   The majority of the session will be a workshop, wherein guests will be led through activities to examine how we can bring these processes and opportunities for creation to students. Groups will widely be divided based on building process and building product. Main questions will include: -How can we utilize our experience, as well as the design and construction of our school projects, as opportunities for students to build, affect and demonstrate competencies with real-world design problems? -What types of ‘real-world’ problem solving can be brought into the school? How can students be taken out of the school to participate? -How the end-product of school design shape the way in which students solve Ôreal-worldÕ problems, and demonstrate these through products?

Learning Objectives:
  • Provide background information and research on the history of qualifications and how they were and are perceived by employers;
  • Challenge practitioners and designers to consider how qualifications may change due to world trends
  • Provide an opportunity to consider how new qualifications affect the design needs of a school;
  • Question and synthesize solutions as to how the building process itself can be integrated with the learning process to produce demonstrable outcomes
Primary Competency:

Educational Visioning: Exhibits an understanding of best and next practices related to educational leadership, programming, teaching, learning, planning and facility design. Establishes credibility with educators, community members and design professionals while conceiving and leading a community-based visioning process. Demonstrates the ability to articulate the impact of learning environments on teaching and learning and uses that ability to facilitate a dialogue that uncovers the unique needs and long-range goals of an educational institution and its stakeholders – translating that into an actionable written/graphic program of requirements for the design practitioner.

Primary Domain:

Learning: Content of this session/workshop will focus on how we learn and/or how the physical environment responds specifically to various methods of instruction, pedagogies, learning styles, or learning trends.

Secondary Domain:

Context: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the circumstances that form the setting for the design and construction of specific learning environments and characteristics that distinguishes the project from other applications.

Additional information:

There will be an introductory presentation, also including improvised elements based on audience interests, but the bulk of the session will focus on interactive activities to not only explore facets of the concept at a deeper level but also to encourage the participants to generate ideas that can be put into practice.