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Searching for global employability: can students capitalize on enabling learning environments?
Isomöttönen V., Daniels M., Cajander Å., Pears A., Mcdermott R.  ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE) 19 (2): 1-29, 2019. Type: Article
Date Reviewed: May 3 2019

Today’s higher education systems need to produce graduates with global employability that exhibits creativity and innovation, that is, the ability to solve open-ended problems in different cultural settings, but also domain-specific skill sets.

The authors conduct a thematic network analysis of interviews with software engineering students who participated in project-based learning. This learning environment fills the global software engineering education (GSE-ED) skills gaps in intellectual property rights and student decision making.

Student perspective is captured in three thematic networks: 1) the “foundation education” network shows a favorable view of engagement and practical hands-on learning on the one hand, and an unfavorable view of boredom or frustration with uncertain value of open possibilities on the other; 2) the “opportunity narrowed” network shows the students’ negative views of self, group, and system or process; 3) the “transformations and success” network shows the positive aspects of learning, such as self-paced and self-selected autonomy and motivation, group and self-related aspects, as well as positive attitudes and influence outside of academic work.

Based on these thematic networks, student-based educational interventions and curriculum design are suggested. However, while the qualitative network analysis identifies both positive and limiting factors, it falls short of predicting whether a computer science (CS) graduate would be equipped with global employability, which may need a more substantial and rigorous model based on quantitative data.

This long paper is based on one investigator’s analysis of ethnography. More similar studies and consistent coding mechanisms are needed. Educators may benefit from reading it, to gain some understanding of student perspective, but it may not help with practical curriculum design for enhancing the global employability of software engineering graduates.

Reviewer:  Soon Ae Chun Review #: CR146558 (1908-0320)
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