Power, Jess (2012) Active Learning and the Development of Employability Skills for Apparel Students. In: The 88th Textile Institute World Conference 2012, 15th-17th May 2012, Selangor, Malaysia.

In a globalised environment there is high competition as well as significant opportunities. It is essential that university graduates are industry ready, equipped with the necessary professional and technical skills. This study investigates the relationship between active learning strategies and the development of employability skills within apparel. The curriculum development encompasses a variety of cutting edge technologies including 3-D scanning/body morphology, material science/FAST objective testing, seam engineering/material cutting technology and 3-D virtual garment simulation (utilising V-stitcher). The teaching and learning strategies incorporate the principles of active learning to promote critical thinking, analytical and self development skills to ensure graduates are industry ready. The effectiveness of embedding active learning into an advanced product development curriculum was analysed using five independent tools. The findings of the study concluded that many employability skills, in particular critical thinking, self management, communication and problem solving were developed and these were attributed directly to the teaching and learning strategy. Further to this the majority of students recognised that active learning strategies would benefit them in their employment. This study will have far reaching benefits; firstly in the development of pedagogy within the field of apparel; and secondly in the integration of cutting edge technology, virtual simulation within apparel product development is an area which is attracting much commercial interest, introducing this into the curriculum will enhance graduate employability.

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