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Boost your students' confidence in their abilities

When you take a course, complete a qualification, or learn how to use a particular piece of equipment or software, you might receive a certificate, add some post-nominals, or be able to succeed in a task you couldn’t do before. You know, and other people know, that you have done that thing and learnt that skill.

What about all the tacit knowledge that you pick up almost behind the scenes? What about the things you’re good at but which don’t relate to a specific subject or industry? Those don’t count, or don’t count as much, even if you can recognise them. Right?

Wrong. 

That misconception proved to be a huge problem that Lisa Dibben identified in final year students, in that they did not understand how what they were learning on their course was useful preparation for going into industry. 

She developed the Living CV as a response and a solution. Its concept is simple: turn the often-dry academic language of learning outcomes into language that students can recognise and understand. Most helpfully, that new language takes the form of CV outputs, those skills, attributes and abilities that employers look for and which students don’t know that they know.

It’s a living document because at the end of every unit students can add those outputs onto their CV, constantly showing them how they are adding to the skills they are learning.

The scheme has been rolled out through the whole of the School of Art, Design and Fashion. It’s incredibly easy to implement and the benefits to the students far outweigh the minimal effort involved in translating the learning outcomes. 

Lisa and her colleagues have found that students engage with their studies more and finish with a very strong CV when they’re looking for employment. Maybe more importantly, realising what they can do and what they are capable of was a huge boost to their confidence.