P&P Skills 1 - Review Needed Practice and Portfolio ZAP 101 - 104

This module is part of ZAP102, and introduces students to material on transferable skills and knowledge, values and virtues. Transferable skills are what students develop in one context that they can later ‘transfer’ and use in another (see Griffith University, 2017). These skills are typically developed through work-integrated learning experiences, employment, education, volunteering, travel, community or sporting experiences (see Griffith University, 2017; Maher, 2004). Some examples of transferable skills include problem-solving, communication, team work, decision-making, creativity, adaptability, conflict resolution, and so forth (see HEQCO, 2016; Higgs, 2011).

Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are what ‘you can do’, rather than ‘what you know’, but you need to know how to apply these skills in different contexts. They are like employability skills, or essential skills which students will find additional material on in Module 3 for ZAP101 (in conjunction with links to quizzes and skills audits to engage in self-assessments and reflections). We anticipate that many students will be entering this program with transferable skills already well developed through various life experiences. The next step will be in understanding how to apply them in different contexts, and identifying those that need further development.

Some learning activities are provided on transferable skills in this module but students will then move on to exploring their values and attributes. The focus of this module is on values and virtues because we would like students to understand what matters to them and who they are as a person, and skills is only one part of ‘the self’. As transferable skills are often interconnected with personal attributes, however, they are included in this module (see QUT, 2017).

Our values are what we believe to be of utmost importance to us, they are thoughts or ideas that we feel strongly about. Our core values are what we stand for (see Collins, 2006). They are the ‘promises we make to ourselves and others’ (Morrison, 2007, p. 66). In many cases, values are often demonstrated through behaviours or they shape our character or virtues. Virtues are personal attributes that say something about who we are. This module encourages students to consider what transferable skills they already have and which ones need further development. However, we recommend that students concentrate on exploring their values and virtues, in connection with skills, and what this means, particularly in terms of school and work goal setting.

The core objectives of this module are that students will be able to:

  • Understand what transferable skills are, determine those they may already have, and identify those that they need to develop further and why.
  • Identify and explore their own values and virtues.
  • Understand their own transferable skills, values and virtues and what this means in terms of future educational and career planning, development and decision-making.


  • Demonstrate an understanding of why personal values and virtues matter and how they may influence school and work decision-making and outcomes.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of why it is important to identify and develop transferable skills.
  • Provide evidence of reflection and planning for ongoing improvement based on an understanding of skills, values and virtues.
The purpose of this module is to support students to better understand what they care about, who they are and what this may mean for their future. In addition, it is to provide students with learning activities (in connection to WIL experiences throughout the program) to support them in their understanding of, and development of, transferable skills.

Transferable skills and knowledge

Transferable skills are those that are developed through a variety of life experiences, whether these be through education, work, work experience/WIL, social and community activities, volunteering, travel or engagement in leisure or hobbies for example (see Griffith University, 2017; Maher, 2004; QUT, 2017). More importantly they are skills that can be recognised, developed and then applied across different settings (see Griffith University, 2017; Higgs, 2011, QUT, 2017).

Developing transferable skills and the associated knowledge increases the probability of students securing or enhancing employability (see Knight and Yorke, 2004; Maher, 2004, as cited in HEQCO, 2016). Transferable skills are also important to develop as they can be applied in other contexts outside of the workplace (see Griffith University, 2017).

The video below is a brief introduction to ‘transferable skills’ but it includes learning activities for students to do and links to additional resources.

Transferable Skills | 2:34 mins

This video talks to transferable/employability skills and suggests thinking about how you highlight them in your resume. For the associate degree, we recommend you consider how you might demonstrate you have developed these skills through the selection of, and inclusion of, relevant evidence in your portfolio (in your portfolio rather than in your resume for instance).

Employability Skills: Have you got them? | 1:07 mins

We recommend students also watch this short video clip on 21st Century Skills to gain a different perspective on what transferable skills may include in a changing world.

21st Century Skills | 2:08 mins

For greater depth on the subject of transferable skills, students are encouraged to explore the following material on ‘standards for professional and practice-based education’ (see Higgs, 2011). The main headings represent overall ‘categories’ or ‘dimensions’, including:

  • Professionalism and Citizenship
  • Professional Judgement
  • Communications and Interactions
  • Information Literacy
  • Professional Competence and Work Readiness

Then, under these are a list of capabilities and attributes.

Standards for Professional and Practice-Based Education

According to Higgs (2011), the standards for professional and practice based education that are most often connected to Work Integrated Learning include the capabilities and attributes of:

SEE ALSO: A Practical Guide to Work-integrated Learning. Effective practices to enhance the educational quality of structured work experiences offered through colleges and universities. Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.
This Table (above) has been slightly modified from: A Practical Guide to Work-integrated Learning. Effective practices to enhance the educational quality of structured work experiences offered through colleges and universities. Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. For a complete list of the attributes and capabilities listed by Higgs (2011) please see references section to locate the article as this further details the meaning and standards.
Learning Activity

On exploring those attributes noted above within each of the categories/dimensions for transferable skills, identify at least 5 that you feel you need to develop further. Then write a short reflection on those you identified explaining, why, when and how you plan to work on them. Now consider, for your portfolio, what kinds of evidence might you collect and upload to WordPress to demonstrate you have developed these skills? Or that you already have them? For example, what evidence might highlight ‘dedication’, or ‘team work’ or ‘the ability to access new information’? How might you demonstrate you are working on ‘critical reflection’, ‘ethical conduct’, or ‘commitment to professional values’?

We also recommend that you complete the skills inventory checklist below i.e. identify those skills you really need to work on developing and then prioritise 5 or 6 to start with. Then consider portfolio evidence against those i.e. what artefacts might highlight that you are developing these skills, or working on improving them?

Skills Inventory – Expertise and Abilities Reflective Inventory (Rick W Marshall)

For a more interactive learning activity, we now recommend that students open the PowerPoint below and work through the skills evaluation. It has a particular focus on helping you to understand skills, values, and attributes and where/how you rate these. It is the type of task that we may reintroduce during a workshop for students to reflect on their scores during weeks 2-3 of the AD Program as compared to week 10, then mid-year and at the end of the year.

Skills Evaluation

Note: After completing the skills evaluation please go to part 2 of this module


Created with images by Parksy1964 - "House of Knowledge" • geralt - "leave board hand" • ChristopherPluta - "book library knowledge" • geralt - "directory away wisdom"

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