Deakin University

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Potential utilisation of assessment centre methodology to enhance student placement outcomes, experiences and employability

conference contribution
posted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by Vanessa SturreVanessa Sturre, Kathryn Von TreuerKathryn Von Treuer, Sophie Keele
Background: Placements are of particular importance due to the richness of learning associated with placement experiences and the wider links they represent to industry and the community. Students often refer to placements as the most significant, productive and memorable component of their training. Importantly, placements also provide the opportunity for students to become work ready, i.e., integrate their knowledge into a new set of employable skills and personal qualities. There is now increased emphasis on employability by employers and universities alike; in fact, it now represents a critical performance measure for Australian universities. Despite these key points, there appears to be inconsistencies in approaches to maximising work placements across and within Universities. Assessment centre methodology may represent a useful approach to standardise and optimise work placements for all stakeholders. Assessment centre methodology has been used successfully for selection purposes in industry for the past 50 years. However, their use as a developmental tool is less prominent. Furthermore, their application in the higher education setting, particularly in the context of placements and student development appears under researched.
Overview of issue: Only one published study was found that reported the use of a developmental assessment centre with a post-graduate sample. That study took place over 10 years ago when the concept of employability was still gaining recognition and work placements were less common. The current paper reviews this unique concept in the context of the existing literature and the current needs of Universities, employers and students.
Discussion: It is argued that the reconsideration of assessment centre methodology for development represents an innovative approach to consistently maximising work placement outcomes, experiences and employability.
Conclusions: Given the importance and increased use of placements, the application of assessment centre methodology within the placement curriculum warrants further research. This methodology represents a standardised approach for implementation within a range of placement programs to enhance student development, placement outcomes and employability.



Biannual Australian Collaborative Education Network National Conference (3rd : 2010 : Perth, W.A.)


420 - 429


Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN)


Perth, W.A.

Place of publication

Rockhampton, Qld.

Start date


End date






Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2010, Australian Collaborative Education Network

Title of proceedings

ACEN 2010 : Proceedings of the 3rd Biannual Australian Collaborative Education Network National Conference

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