The use of rubrics in benchmarking and assessing employability skills
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Business / Centre for Innovative Practice
Calls for employability skill development in undergraduates now extend across many culturally similar developed economies. Government initiatives, industry professional accreditation criteria, and the development of academic teaching and learning standards increasingly drive the employability agenda, further cementing the need for skill development in undergraduate degree programs. Principles and best practice on developing employability skills continue to emerge in international literature, yet educators grapple with ways to determine student learning in targeted employability skills. The purpose of this article is to explore the pedagogical conundrum of how employability skill attainment can be assessed through the use of rubrics. The rationale for using rubrics to promote learning and facilitate assessments through shared understanding by stakeholders of benchmark standards is outlined. Industry will have a clearer picture of what can realistically be achieved during university years, and students will gain a better appreciation of targeted skills and expected outcomes. Furthermore, rubrics may provide a tool for engaging academics and employers in an ongoing dialogue on expected skill attainment and identifying ways in which they may actively collaborate to enhance student learning. The implications of developing and implementing rubrics for determining employability outcomes for key stakeholders are also presented.