Exploring the use of self-assessment to facilitate health students’ generic skills development


  • Mahbub Sarkar Monash University, Australia
  • Simone Gibson Monash University, Australia
  • Nazmul Karim Monash University, Australia
  • Dakota Rhys-Jones Monash University, Australia
  • Dragan Ilic Monash University, Australia




generic skills, self-assessment, employability, health education, work readiness


Employability skills for health graduates, and many disciplines within higher education, are considered vital to maximising their capacity to cope with the rapidly changing, uncertain and highly competitive labour market. Despite the increasing importance of developing generic skills for employability, there is a dearth of knowledge about how to support health students to develop generic skills as part of their formal education. The main objective of this two-phase study was to engage health students in the process of self-assessment of their generic skills and explore the potential of this process to facilitate their generic skills development. The first phase of this study engaged students in completing a self- assessment questionnaire, incorporating a validated set of industry-demanded skills with associated behaviours. In the second phase a subsection of respondents participated in focus group interviews that explored their perception of the self-assessment process in generic skills development. Students viewed themselves as having some capabilities to perform the generic skills, as well as their university studies contributing to the development of these skills. The qualitative data found that the self-assessment process prompted students to reflect on their abilities and further engage with developing these skills. This study supports the evidence for contextualising and embedding a process of self-assessment of generic skills into the formal curricula to help better prepare health students for their future work.

Author Biography

Mahbub Sarkar, Monash University, Australia

Dr Mahbub Sarkar is a lecturer of educational research at the Monash Centre for Scholarship in Health Education (MCSHE). He has over 12 years’ experience in researching a range of STEM education issues from early years to undergraduate levels, including aspects such as improving the quality of science curricula and teaching to increase student engagement, understanding the development of scientific and environmental literacy with students, and promoting undergraduate students’ employability skills.


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How to Cite

Sarkar, M., Gibson, S., Karim, N., Rhys-Jones, D., & Ilic, D. (2021). Exploring the use of self-assessment to facilitate health students’ generic skills development. Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 12(2), 65–81. https://doi.org/10.21153/jtlge2021vol12no2art976