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University of Bedfordshire

Page history last edited by c.rickett@... 14 years, 1 month ago

STARS – a resource to enhance personal agency in articulating ‘skills’


The STARS team:

Arti Kumar, CETL Associate Director, University of Bedfordshire.

Ellen Cocking, Deputy Head of the Careers Advisory Service, the Open University.

Damien Fitzgerald, CETL Associate and lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University.

Nick Nunnington, CETL Associate and lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University.


We are all faced with making effective use of potential technologies and the challenge of making personalised support available in remote locations and at all hours of the day. STARS provides one case example in which an interactive web-based resource has been created to enable students to identify, evidence and articulate their employability. It contains definitions, examples, guidelines, audio-visual clips, questions and prompts. It moves users through a process based on a well-known formula often used by employers, who want applicants to provide personal and specific evidence of skills. This is convincingly done when applicants refer to a personal and specific situation in which tasks had to be performed; articulate how their actions achieved results and developed the requisite skills.


STARS is the product of collaboration between three CETLs focused on employability and PDP (see below). Staff who created the resource had all been involved in giving CV advice, and had observed that students find it very challenging to complete competency-based application forms in which they are typically asked: Tell me about a time when you… (worked in a team / made a difficult decision, etc.) 


We created STARS because students need to know:


  • •         employers value skills, attributes and results gained from a range of situations, tasks and actions
  • •         in addition to academic activities their non-work and extra-curricular experience has significant ‘employability value’
  • •         how to link and promote their skills and experience effectively
  • •         they have many more options and potential destinations than narrowly perceived discipline-specific job opportunities
  • •         using opportunities to develop high-level skills and recording their achievements can feed into (e)-portfolios, convincing CVs and skills awards (where these exist)


  • •         Careers advisors and tutors are under considerable pressure to cope with demand for individual guidance


For a detailed version of the poster please see:



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