A Study in Competency-based Teaching in Public Relations Education.

O’Donnell, Aoife (2019) A Study in Competency-based Teaching in Public Relations Education. masters thesis, Griffith College.

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Higher education institutions worldwide are grappling with the challenges of meeting the modern learning needs of students and the ever-evolving demands of industry. Public relations is a relatively new profession and has yet to establish a framework of competencies and qualifications required to enter the profession and pedagogical standards for teaching these competencies. However, research also indicates that there are common nonacademic competencies that are required by the industry and these competencies can be difficult to teach. The purpose of this research was to explore whether the use of specific pedagogical techniques in public relations teaching could enhance the learning experience for students and assist students in developing competencies required by the public relations industry. To achieve this aim, a blended learning model was designed based on the Multimodal Model of Blended Learning and Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle. In this model, a simulation exercise was blended with other face-to-face and online pedagogical tools to teach students how to manage media communications in the event of a crisis. The core competencies that were analysed included business acumen, communications skills and critical thinking. Data was collected through qualitative and quantitative means including a Situational Judgement Test which was designed exclusively for this research by public relations professionals specifically to test for competencies that are required at an entry-level in the public relations profession. The study found that students enjoyed the learning experience and that the pedagogical approaches used had a positive impact on the competencies analysed. The results of this research will be of benefit to the public relations industry in the setting of standards for competencies and qualifications required at entry-level into the profession. In terms of public relations education, the findings of the research will provide guidance to providers of third level education in the use of pedagogical approaches that have the potential to increase the employability of public relations students. Further research would be required at an industry level to define the competencies and qualifications required by industry, and at an educational level to set standards in best practice in public relations pedagogy.

Item Type: Thesis (masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Public Relations Competencies, Pedagogy, Teaching, Learning, Education; Public Relations and Blended Learning; Simulations and Public Relations Education; Situational Judgement Tests and Public Relations; Blended Learning and Higher Education.
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Faculty of Training and Education > MA in Training and Education
Depositing User: Ms Tehseen Faisal
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2019 12:19
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2019 09:11
URI: http://go.griffith.ie/id/eprint/237

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