New Careers Service Delivery Model for RMIT University
Historically, the RMIT Careers Service has operated from a traditional face-to-face delivery model when providing careers counselling and careers workshops. Due to the large population of students attending RMIT, and the recent structural changes, it was challenging for careers counselling appointments to be effectively screened so that appointments were available only for students with complex issues, whilst other students with straight-forward questions were directed to online resources. This ineffective screening approach led to careers counselling appointments being frequently booked up to 4 weeks in advance resulting in long waiting periods for students.
Another concern with service delivery was that RMIT students were not receiving maximum benefits from attending workshops. The traditional package of careers workshops consisted of “chalk and talk”; teaching students theoretical information on a range of careers topics that could easily be accessed online through RMIT’s careers resources. Due to the theoretical nature of the workshops, students were not undertaking practical interactive activities to assist them to apply the knowledge they were learning. Lastly, despite the value of face-to-face delivery, some students were prevented from attending these workshops due to limited venue capacity, resulting in students being placed on a waiting list.
To address these concerns, in 2016 the RMIT Careers Service introduced an innovative New Service Delivery Model for greater reach and access to services. Based on a combination of Blended Learning, the Flipped Classroom methodology and the University of Leicester’s careers appointment booking model, RMIT’s new service involves students completing mandatory preparation prior to accessing careers counselling services. Students complete a concise online form before proceeding to book a careers counselling appointment via CareerHub. This Service model is also in the process of transitioning all the theoretical careers workshops into short engaging online videos known as ‘Quick Vids’. This allows students the opportunity to undertake the theoretical component of careers topics online prior to attending an interactive workshop that is based on practical / simulated experiences to further extend their knowledge.
Please click onto link below to view a short video that provides an overview of this new Service Delivery Model.
Demonstrated benefit to tertiary students, graduate employers and/or tertiary institutions
Benefits to tertiary students in relation to:
● Careers counselling screening is now more effective as Careers Practitioner are seeing RMIT students with only complex issues and other straightforward issues are now being addressed through our online career resources. Students who initially wanted to book a careers counselling appointment found the information they were seeking via the links on the Pre-preparation forms and thus, did not need to proceed with booking an appointment.
● Students are directed to focus on one career issue at a time rather than trying to cover many topics and becoming overwhelmed with information. Student feedback has been very positive and states that students are very satisfied with the service and appointment booking approach. ‘Doing the research before seeing you has made me think about exactly where I am stuck and what I need to talk to you about’ (Luke 3rd year student).
● RMIT students have 24/7 access to online theoretical careers content allowing for easy and timely accessibility.
● Eliminated waiting lists as students will have 24/7 access to the theoretical workshops online as a result of the Quick Vids.
● Students will be more prepared and confident for finding employment as they have had more access to practical hands-on workshops. Careers workshops are more effective as they are focused on directly applying and practising the knowledge and skills they have learnt in the Quick Vid. Literature on the Flipped Classroom shows that this methodology leads to “powerful learning outcomes, retention of knowledge, and increased depth of knowledge.” The Flipped Classroom: An Opportunity To Engage Millennial Students Through Active Learning: Roehl, A; Reddy, S. L; Shannon, G.J. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 2013.
Benefits to graduate employers:
● It is anticipated that the quality of job applications and interview performance will be at a higher level because students will have more practical exposure in preparing them for employment such as practising professional networking, recording a video interview, and attending a simulated assessment centre.
Benefits to tertiary institution:
● Higher university employment outcomes as a result of students being more work ready and prepared for the recruitment process.
● Improved student experience as a result of accessible and timely careers resources with a range of online and face-to-face delivery ● Students more engaged in their career development learning
● With the tightening of budgets and a reduction in staff, the New Service Delivery Model allows for a wider and more accessible reach without compromising on career services.
Potentially or currently benefits the NAGCAS organisation, its members and the career development industry
● Other Careers Services (NAGCAS members) may want to adopt this model as they may be experiencing similar service delivery issues with increased pressure to contribute to higher employment outcomes for their university.
● Demonstration of the effectiveness of current teaching methodologies such as Blended Learning and the Flipped Classroom Approach in university careers services.
A degree of innovation
● The introduction of a mandatory pre-appointment online booking form.
● Separation of theoretical and practical workshops
● Pioneering into new territory by rolling out this model across the university into faculties (schools) whereby academic staff can ask their students to view the theoretical Quick Vids online in preparation for practical or simulated workshops conducted by either a Career Practitioner or academic.