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University of York Careers team wins international award for online tutorial

Posted on 12 May 2014

The University of York’s Careers team has won a top award at the 2014 Blackboard Catalyst Awards for its online Employability Tutorial.

Chris Millson with the 2014 Blackboard Catalyst Award.

The Europe, Middle East and Africa Student Impact Award recognises the success of the Careers’ Employability Tutorial – a self-study resource - in increasing student engagement with Careers through appointments and events.

Blackboard honours those who push the boundaries of their educational programmes and technology in order to deliver innovative and effective learning experiences. The Student Impact Award recognises individuals and/or institutions that successfully increase levels of student engagement or retention through new academic, student support, or administrative strategies.

Development of the online self-study resource on the University’s Blackboard Learn VLE began in 2011 with the goal of better preparing students for the world of work. The tutorial is intended to increase student engagement with Careers and improve the level of graduate employment.

To date, it has been used by 15,000 students and has doubled the number of students engaging with Careers. In addition, the average Employability Tutorial user attends 13 per cent more appointments and 60 per cent more careers events than a non-user, while 70 per cent of those attending careers appointments or events are tutorial users.

Chris Millson, Online Training Manager for Careers, who was responsible for implementing the Employability Tutorial, said: “We now have a resource that students are using in their thousands. It is supported by academics and the University, and successfully encourages students to think about the skills and experiences they need for their future.

"The Employability Tutorial has made it easier for more students to access support from Careers, and non-users of Careers have been seen to engage more with Careers after accessing the tutorial. While it is too early to say whether it has improved graduate destinations, we have achieved our first aim of increasing engagement."

Director of Careers Liz Smith added: "The Careers team - and Chris in particular - have worked really hard to implement a system that is useful to students at York. I am thrilled that their hard work and dedication to our students has been recognised by Blackboard."

The Employability Tutorial was developed in support of the University of York’s Student Employability Strategy with the vision of ensuring that “every York student has access to, engages with, and benefits from, the highest standard of support for their personal and career development”.

Made up of eight short optional sections, it takes students through a range of exercises to help them understand their own development needs, the opportunities available to them and how they can make sure that they are in a position to succeed.

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