The past decade has seen increasing competition between graduates for jobs; indeed, universities are now frequently scrutinised and evaluated on their graduateemployment success rates (Airey, Dredge, & Gross, 2014; Dredge et al., 2012; Whitelaw & Wrathall, 2015). In Australia, the Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) has had, in recent years, a strong focus on projects and fellowships that deal with enhancing graduate job-readiness in a number of discipline areas. For example, in 2015 the OLT funded more than a dozen projects or fellowships to work on improving graduate employability. Graduate employability is thus a recognised issue in higher education at a national level in Australia. In mid-2015 a set of learning and teaching academic standards was published as part of the OLT Setting the standard: establishing Threshold Learning Outcomes for tourism, hospitality and events higher education in Australia project. Under the new standards which are focused on successful graduate outcomes including employability (Whitelaw, Benckendorff, Gross, Mair, & Jose, 2015), Bachelor degree graduates are required to demonstrate: The application of knowledge and skills to design and deliver event services and experiences; • The application of cognitive skills to collect, analyse and synthesise information to develop solutions and evaluate outcomes for routine events problems; and • Reflection on their own conduct and the performance of others to improve their own interpersonal skills and independent learning capabilities in routine events settings. The application of theory to practice in routine events settings is thus a key driver in the new Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs) in the field of events studies in higher education in Australia, even at the undergraduate level. The third year Event Management course at USC was recently overhauled to achieve the new TLOs. The redevelopment centred on the inclusion of experiential learning activities and assessment tasks; students now work in small groups to conceptualise, plan, execute and evaluate an event for the wider student body. Thelearning activities are designed to give students the opportunity to apply key theoretical concepts of events management to a real event experience, and to develop both their skills and their confidence - thereby enhancing their employability as graduates. This paper presents some of the practicalities, challenges and key learnings of this approach which may be helpful to educators in other fields.
2016 Learning & Teaching Week: 2020 Teaching Visions. 2020 - What's Next?, Sunshine Coast, Australia 31 October - 4 November 2016