A critical analysis of soft skill development on undergraduate sport degree programmes

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


    Objectives: This study utilises student perceptions to analyse soft skill development in undergraduate sports degree programmes, followed by the identification of the most effective pedagogical methods for developing them and whether student developments are in-line with industry requirements. Design: Inductive and deductive designs and an interpretative philosophy were employed, analysing data before recommendations were considered (Jones & Gratton, 2015). Method: Current (n = 30) and former (n = 5) students were surveyed and interviewed then their responses were analysed against industry norms. Questionnaire data was tabulated and analysed using observatory inspection (Fisch, 2001). Focus group data was analysed using inductive and deductive processes (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005), then the transcript analysis extracted qualitative data to validate the proposed arguments. Results: People management; and judgement and decision making were ranked the most important for employment; coordinating with others was developed the most; and group work and practical assessments were the most beneficial pedagogies. Conclusion: Disregarding the limitations of subjective self-assessments (Hall et al, 2018), further research is required to understand how soft skills are developed. Experiential learning (Dewey, 1936) is clearly vital to this study’s sample (group work and practical assessments), but only once a did comment identify ‘why’ a method was beneficial. There should also be scepticism in designing degree programmes around soft skills due to the lack of homogeneity in sporting positions and because employers cannot confidently identify, which competencies are required by graduates (Schlesinger et al, 2016).
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2020
    EventAdvance HE Teaching and Learning Conference - Virtual
    Duration: 7 Jul 2020 → …


    ConferenceAdvance HE Teaching and Learning Conference
    Period7/07/20 → …


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