Assessing non-technical employability skills in public relations pedagogy: reflections of an educator and students

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Karabo Sitto


Higher education faces the pressure of training students with non-technical employability skills, as well as meeting academic rigour and curriculum outcomes with limited resources. Vocational disciplines such as Public Relations (PR) grapple with the challenge of preparing students for the profession by developing the necessary skills. In an attempt to develop these skills, third-year South African university students were given a class assessment that required reading a number of set readings and working in groups. I present how, in the design of the module assessment, I included, through active pedagogy and participatory learning, the development of non-technical employability skills in PR, in addition to curriculum outcomes. I share an outline of the assessment, as well as the feedback from students from their responses to a questionnaire administered at the end of the semester. I discuss my own reflections on how the use of this assessment targeted curriculum outcomes and multiple non-technical employability skills as required within a third-year PR module. I highlight how this design was achieved without onerously increasing the number of assessments or resources needed. Through this article, I present practical student engagement in the classroom through effective incorporation of a flipped learning approach in an effort to develop non-technical employability skills.

Key words: participatory learning, non-technica employability skills, public relations, flipped classroom, assessments, graduate attributes

How to cite this article:
Sitto, K.M. 2020. Assessing non-technical employability skills in public relations pedagogy: reflections of an educator and students. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the South. v. 4, n. 1, p. 51-68. April 2020. Available at:

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