Involvement of External Stakeholders in Designing Pedagogy for Experiential Learning
at University Level: A Case Study
Faculty of Art and Design, Raffles University,
Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.37134/ejoss.vol126.96.36.1991
The participation of external stakeholders in pedagogical activities in higher education has increased in recent years, and this is because such involvement can potentially improve student learning outcomes. However, the strategies and processes have yet to be adequately explored and documented, especially in the context of the Malaysian university. This paper presents a case regarding how the external stakeholders were involved in the design and implementation of an experiential learning project for an elective module in Diploma programmes of Raffles University, Malaysia based on a pedagogical model. This model consists of three major phases: (1.) initiation and design; (2.) execution; and (3.) evaluation and review. The roles of external stakeholders and the responsibilities of lecturers in each phase were discussed. In addition, students’ learning experiences and their reflections on the experiences were also described along with the discussion. This paper concludes that the developed pedagogical model may serve as an effective means to engage with external stakeholders in planning and delivering meaningful lessons for authentic learning at university level.
Based on the foregoing description, the developed pedagogical model is believed to be able to serve as an effective means to engage with external stakeholders while designing pedagogy for experiential learning at university level in the context of Malaysia. This model shows how to plan, act, observe and react (Steghöfer et al., 2018) on the involvement of external stakeholders in an academic module in HE. The three distinct phases and the roles and responsibilities of external stakeholders and lecturers were described in detailed in the model. A meaningful example was given to demonstrate how the model was applied in inculcating soft skills in students and achieving the CLOs. As evident in students’ presentation and reflection, they managed to construct their understanding of the concepts of some soft skills taught inside the classroom through the outdoor experiential learning.
External stakeholders played an important role in shaping students’ learning before, during, and after the activities. Not only had they helped tailor appropriate activities by referring to the course materials, but they also offered professional guidance in facilitating the students during the workshop and provided interesting but practical perspectives to the students in looking into the ‘concepts’ they had learnt in the classroom after the outdoor activities. On the other hand, the role of the lecturer was transformed to become the ‘coordinator’ in between the external stakeholders and students. Throughout the activities planning and executing process, the key responsibility of the lecturer was to ensure the suitability of the activities proposed by the external stakeholders in fulfilling the course requirements and the meaningfulness of the learning experiences for the students. Other than that, the lecturer also needs to aware of the goals and expectations of the external stakeholders and acknowledge their contributions after the collaborative activities for students.
Although meaningful outcomes were achieved through the development and implementation of the pedagogical model, more action research needs to be conducted to collect constructive feedback and different viewpoints from relevant stakeholders to continue to improve its feasibility and effectiveness. This model can be further applied and tested in various types of academic programmes and modules at university level as well as with different groups of external stakeholders.
In conclusion, the leaders of the universities in Malaysia are encouraged to devise comprehensive strategies and policies to create a supportive environment for external stakeholders to collaborate sustainably and effectively in educational activities (Nghia, 2018). This collaboration is vital because it can potentially improve students’ learning experience and outcomes and consequently, increase their employability when they begin their professional careers.