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  • 2024OngPhD

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Developing Transferable Skills in Students Through Co-Creating Work-Based Learning Outcomes - Work Supervisors' Perspectives

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Chee Ming Ong
Publication date2024
Number of pages110
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This thesis explored the effect of co-creating work-based learning outcomes through the perspectives of work supervisors of a university’s work-based learning programme. It acknowledged their key role in developing transferable skills in the students and filled a knowledge gap as very little literature highlighted their perspectives.

An intervention of co-creating work-based learning outcomes for transferable skills was thought to be psychologically wise (Walton & Wilson, 2018) in addressing gaps in the constructive alignment of work-based learning from a pilot study (Ong, 2022) as a first step in a coaching process (Gettman, 2019).

While a protocol for the co-creation process was suggested, the unique circumstances that surrounded each participant resulted in slight variations that made a case study approach more suitable for qualitative data analysis. The concepts of “clarity” and “gifts” were starting points for thematic analysis.

“Clarity” was found to be evident from the supervisors’ perspective of being clearer of the process from learning outcomes to assessment (constructive alignment) and their role as coaches to be less directive and more collaborative in the process. While coaching was challenging to the supervisors, the satisfaction of observing growth in the student was a “gift” in itself.

Coaching required a mindset change in the supervisors to listen more to the student voice, and for the student to value learning more than grades. This could be difficult in the context of fast-paced Singapore where the tension between putting effort to develop transferable skills in students and getting work done. As such, the tripartite relationship (Feldmann, 2016) between the work supervisor, academic supervisor and student would have to be a close one for the long-term development of the students’ transferable skills to be realised.