Professional skills development in a virtual learning environment for over 1,200 postgraduate students

Schrock, Lauren and Makrinov, Ninna and Iqbal, Asima and Masood, Maryam; (2022) Professional skills development in a virtual learning environment for over 1,200 postgraduate students. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium for Engineering Education. University of Strathclyde, GBR. ISBN 9781914241208 (

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Students are professionals in the making. Therefore, engineering educators are increasingly seen as responsible for providing professional skills training, including in a virtual learning environment (VLE). Hence, this short paper addresses the question, "What are the challenges to designing and delivering professional skills training for over 1,200 full-time postgraduate engineering and business students on a VLE?" To answer this question, this short paper shares reflections on the authors’ experience of designing and delivering a series of online professional skills lessons within a transferrable skills module in which over 1,200 postgraduate students studying on 15 unique engineering and/or business courses are enrolled. Challenges such as balancing profession-specific with university-wide professional skills and designing for a large number of postgraduate students of diverse backgrounds are reflected on with initial suggestions shared for how to improve practice. Further work to evaluate the impact of the professional skills training will occur at a later stage to complement this work in progress.