This research proposes a new collaborative approach to higher education (HE)-commercial curriculum development that engages Small-and-Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and students and enhances student learning and SME employability. The presentation builds on research into a project to design an enhanced, employability-relevant HE experience for commercially-orientated students, through a collaborative, co-created curriculum between an SME, and a business school/university.
Organizations anticipate that commercial graduates will, for example, have leading-edge knowledge in this area. However, current undergraduate commercial curricula lack the teaching of technological, live, authentic tools and approaches and the granular understanding needed for many contemporary company practices. Importantly, as the trend for more graduates employment move towards SMEs, rather than corporate organizations, the usual structured corporate graduate programmes are absent and replaced with SME expectations of immediate knowledge and ability to create value.
Given the gap between extant commercial curricula and SME contexts there is an opportunity to scope a collaborative co-creative process of understanding and co-construction. A co-constructed HE curriculum will produce students with a conceptually underpinned, pragmatic and instantly applicable value set. It will be attractive to prospective students, benefit student employability and marketing employers. Moreover, such an approach challenges much of the extant paradigm of curriculum development.
David Gordon, De Montfort University, United Kingdom
Peter Stokes, De Montfort University, United Kingdom