Transferable skills in higher education: the contribution of extracurricular activity participation

Novakovic, Emily (2014). Transferable skills in higher education: the contribution of extracurricular activity participation. University of Birmingham. M.Res.

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Extracurricular activities (EAs) often provide a high level of developmental experiences and positive academic outcomes. Various existing models illustrate the nature of EA outcomes, but fail to explain why these outcomes occur. Research is also limited to secondary education. This study uses qualitative methodology to explore student perceptions of EA outcomes applicable to academic work and future employment, and the factors that affect skill development and transfer. First year students from a Russell Group university (n=182) completed a video diary room, at one of two data collections. Inductive thematic analysis revealed four higher order themes discussing EA outcomes, including positive mental qualities, intrapersonal skills, interpersonal skills and employment applications and awareness. Three additional themes suggested EAs could have a negative effect or no effect, and that EA outcomes are dependent upon EA type. Factors that affect skill development and transfer were detailed by three higher order themes, including EA characteristics, personal characteristics and university characteristics. Students have some understanding of the benefits and potential disadvantages of EAs, and factors that affect skill development and transfer. Limited detail in student responses, particularly concerning skill development and transfer, may reflect limited self-reflection. Practical implications for higher education are discussed.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Res.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Res.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education


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