Per O Aamodt

  • Factors affecting Professional Job Mastering: Quality of Study or Work Experience?

    Per O Aamodt, Anton Havnes
    Oslo University College

    Session 3g

    Tuesday 4 September 2007, 10.10-11.10

    Research paper

    Themes: Employability

    Havnes and Aamodt (2005) found that learning outcome in professional education was highest among students with an active learning style, but not affected by family background and previous school achievement. In this paper, we’ll turn to the job performance of the same students 2,5 years after graduation. We will focus on how job mastering in professional jobs is related to the quality of teaching and learning, including students’ own effort and study strategies, but also controlling for the characteristics of students enrolled (aptitude and motivation) as well as formal and informal professional development during the first years’ work experience.

    Preparing students for work is a main aim, but at the same time an increasing challenge of mass higher education with increasing diversity. The report “Enhancing employability, recognising diversity” (Universities UK and CSU 2002) states that “Employability is, at heart, a process of learning”. Learning, however, takes place within a variety of arenas: in school, at university, and in working life itself. Graduates from professional studies (school teachers, pre-school teachers, nurses and social workers) are expected to be well prepared for entering work compared with graduates from more general studies since their studies contain a certain amount of practical training. Still, it seems to be considerable doubts concerning how well prepared the graduates are. In this paper, we aim at identifying to what degree job mastering and the quality of teaching and learning is related, and furthermore to see whether teaching and learning style also affects professional job development.

    This paper is based on a panel survey among professional students who started their studies in 2000, and data has been collected in three phases: In their first semester autumn 2000, in their final semester in spring 2003, and approximately 2,5 years after graduation in 2006. This survey design gives a unique opportunity to study how job performance is related to previous school achievement, motivations and expectation for the study as they started and their experiences and assessment of the quality of teaching and learning and their own study effort and study strategy at the end of the study.

    In this data set, “job performance” is measured as the graduates’ own assessment of how they are mastering their job, how they are satisfied with the quality of their job performance and ability to solve problems, if they are confident in their work role, general job satisfaction.