1 Reality Bytes: @RU_Coop’s Adventures in Simulation-Based Learning to Boost Student Occupational Self-Efficacy

PRESENTATION OVERVIEW FROM CONFERENCE PROGRAM

Taryn De Ruyter, Ryerson University

If #worklife was a video game, you don’t get unlimited 1-ups. For the best of us, reflecting on certain early employment encounters can be cringe-inducing to say the least: flinching moments of uncertainty. Discomfort. Panic, even. Is it really a surprise, then, that today’s Canadian university and college students, as well as their employers, feel they are unprepared for employment situations (i.e., McKinsey & Company, 2015)? But, what if you could pause, reset and try again? Emerging from enterprising intra-departmental collaboration between the Office of Co-operative Education, Interpersonal Skills Teaching Centre (ISTC), and the Ryerson Co-operative Education Students’ Association (RUCSA) at Ryerson University, the proposed presentation will offer a window into building occupational self-efficacy in post-secondary co-op students via simulation-based experiential learning workshops. Infused with social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1997), and incorporating a design where participants help one another, the Navigating Workplace Challenges simulation will revive student-generated vignettes with live actors and peer leaders. The planned CACEE, CAFCE & ACE conference session will share the success of the pilot series using an interactive delivery format,sharing workshop content, lessons learned, research outcomes, and how such an approach may be adapted across universities, colleges and beyond.

KEY WORDS

  • Simulation learning
  • Experiential learning
  • Occupational self-efficacy
  • Pre-employment training

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Taryn De Ruyter
taryn.deruyter@ryerson.ca
(416) 979-5000 x 3260

 

BIO

Taryn De Ruyter, Ryerson University
Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Taryn De Ruyter is a trained career development practitioner and human resources professional with experience in non-profit, corporate and higher education sectors. Having worked in two career centres at Ryerson University, Taryn now contributes to the Ryerson Co-op Office as a Co-op Program Coordinator, guiding the development and success of 11 new business co-op programs. Taryn holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Toronto, a Career and Work Counsellor Diploma from George Brown College, a Master of Industrial Relations and Human Resources from the University of Toronto and has attained a number of professional facilitation and career development certifications including the Certified Career Development Professional (CCDP) designation. In her spare time, you can find her supporting local musicians, practicing Mandarin and building up the courage to watch horror films.

 

LINK TO PRESENTATION

Click here to view presentation.

 

VIDEO LINKS

Standard Format Sim

Demo Simulation

 

SUMMARY

Overview

Emerging from enterprising intra-departmental collaboration between the Office of Co-operative Education, Interpersonal Skills Teaching Centre (ISTC), and the Ryerson Co-operative Education Students’ Association (RUCSA) at Ryerson University, the CACEE, CAFCE & ACE conference presentation offered a window into building occupational self-efficacy in post-secondary co-op students via simulation-based experiential learning workshops. Like alternate institutions, Ryerson University had not yet consistently applied this realistic learning model towards pre-employment preparation within co-operative and career education curricula. Yet, we knew it worked; a game of practice, simulation-based learning helps students to develop relevant skills in low risk settings, and encourages competency-building via repetition (Rodger, Bennett, Fitzgerald, & Neads, 2010).

Infused with social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1997), the primary focus of the Navigating Workplace Challenges workshop simulation pilot initiative was to prepare Ryerson University co-op students, and impending alumni, more effectively for their early work term experiences. Incorporating a design where participants help one another, such workshops revived student-generated vignettes with live actors and peer leaders. We endeavored to build enhanced levels of domain specific occupational self-efficacy (Rigotti et al., 2008) in students, who emerged as active players in navigating their own workplace challenges.

The CACEE, CAFCE & ACE conference session shared the success of the Navigating Workplace Challenges series using an interactive delivery format, sharing workshop content, lessons learned, research outcomes, and how such an approach may be adapted across universities, colleges and beyond.

Next Steps

The Ryerson Co-op Office has received CAFCE Grant funding to further explore the impact of simulation based pre-employment training initiatives on the occupational self-efficacy of Chemical Engineering co-op students (mandatory program). The research be extended to explore work performance and additional student demographic variables.

Implications to Career Education

The presentation shared the development of simulation-based pre-employment training for co-op students and assessed its impact on clear predictors of workplace performance, occupational self-efficacy. Further, it encouraged the implementation of simulation programming across all co-op programs, and further, into alternate University programming.

References

Included in presentation.

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