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Evaluation of the use of Assessment Centre methodology to enhance development planning, work placement outcomes and work readiness for postgraduate students : a pilot

Keele, Sophie, Sturre, Vanessa, Von Treuer, Kathryn and Feenstra, Frances 2010, Evaluation of the use of Assessment Centre methodology to enhance development planning, work placement outcomes and work readiness for postgraduate students : a pilot, in ACEN 2010 : Proceedings of the 3rd Biannual Australian Collaborative Education Network National Conference, Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN), Rockhampton, QLD, pp. 221-234.

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Title Evaluation of the use of Assessment Centre methodology to enhance development planning, work placement outcomes and work readiness for postgraduate students : a pilot
Author(s) Keele, Sophie
Sturre, VanessaORCID iD for Sturre, Vanessa orcid.org/0000-0002-2837-3453
Von Treuer, Kathryn
Feenstra, Frances
Conference name Biannual Australian Collaborative Education Network National Conference (3rd : 2010 : Perth, W.A.)
Conference location Perth, W.A.
Conference dates Sep. 27 - Oct. 1 2010
Title of proceedings ACEN 2010 : Proceedings of the 3rd Biannual Australian Collaborative Education Network National Conference
Editor(s) [Campbell, Matthew]
Publication date 2010
Conference series Biannual Australian Collaborative Education Network Conference
Start page 221
End page 234
Total pages 14
Publisher Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN)
Place of publication Rockhampton, QLD
Keyword(s) Assessment Centres
work readiness
placements
Work Integrated Learning
Summary Background: Placements as a form of Work Integrated Learning are widely recognised for the positive impact they have on improving student employability and work readiness. Students can maximise strengths, improve areas of weakness, and develop a strong understanding of the requirements of their chosen field within the confines of a well monitored and rich learning environment. Assessment Centres (ACs) are commonly used in corporate settings for recruitment, selection and more recently to provide developmental feedback to participants. Based on a recent literature review, the present the present project evaluates the application of AC methodology as a developmental tool within the placement milieu. The review, which is also included the current conference proceedings details the benefits of utilising the AC process forming the impetus for the present pilot (Sturre; von Treuer & Keele 2010).
Aims: The primary aim of the paper was to evaluate the application of AC methodology as a tool for measuring and subsequently enhancing professional competencies in a sample of postgraduate students in organisational psychology (n=15).
Method: A longitudinal design was utilised with numerous evaluation points from placement stakeholders. This paper presents the first wave of findings. Students undertook a range of activities, including an in-tray exercise, role play, written report, leaderless group discussion and a personality assessment. Comprehensive feedback was provided by organisational psychologists who also fulfil the role of placement co-ordinators. With the assistance of Placement Co-ordinators, students prepared development plans relating to the competencies identified as requiring development. These plans were to be addressed and progress monitored during consecutive placements.
Results: Initial perceptions gathered from students regarding the AC process were very encouraging. Performance
evaluations collected to date, as measured by behaviourally based ratings scales completed by the students themselves and their workplace supervisors illustrate the positive effect of this methodology. The rigour and comprehensive techniques offered by the methodology enabled students to focus on and improve areas identified for development.
Conclusions: It is important to note that the present design formed a pilot study and as mentioned was undertaken with a limited sample. Future implementation is planned with larger samples, enabling a more comprehensive analysis of the methodology. Nevertheless, the methodology appears to provide a much needed strategy for the assessment and ongoing development of students prior to and during work placements. The application provides early intervention enabling students to address development needs with input from both university and organisational stakeholders based on an established, standardised process.
ISBN 9780980570618
Language eng
Field of Research 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 930301 Assessment and Evaluation of Curriculum
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
Copyright notice ©2010, Australian Collaborative Education Network
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30035308

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of Psychology
Higher Education Research Group
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.