Work based learning (1 Demonstration 0143, and 1 Short Paper 0268)


10:30 - 11:20 on Thursday, 9 September 2010 in Room 4


143 A co-generative toolkit: e-enabling work-based learning
Martin Jenkins, Phil Gravestock, Shane Sutherland


268 Charting the waters of technology supported work-based higher education: transforming a pilot development into a national programme
Helen Dewhurst, Rob Arntsen, Deborah Trayhurn


143 - Demonstration A co-generative toolkit: e-enabling work-based learning
Martin Jenkins, Phil Gravestock, Shane Sutherland
Higher Education provision for work-based learning (wbl) typically follows a traditional paradigm, one criticised by employers for not demonstrating understanding of their needs and language. The Business Community Engagement policy agenda has expectations for flexible delivery and involvement of employers through curriculum co-generation. This session will demonstrate the outcomes from Co-genT (Co-generative Toolkit), a JISC Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development project and provide participants the opportunity to have hands-on exploration of these tools with a view to how they might be used in their context. Co-genT has established processes and tools to provide flexible forms of delivery and co-generation of curricula. The toolkit, which includes vocabulary and outcome builders, enables interaction between academia, employers and students in the development and delivery of negotiated curricula, translating employer requirements into academic outcomes. The vocabulary and outcome builders are principally concerned with facilitating dialogue and capturing and sharing practice. The vocabulary (http://www.pebblepad.co.uk/cogent) provides a tool to map and align learning needs to academic level descriptors. It has been created through the aggregation of level descriptors from three national qualification frameworks. The outcome builder allows academic terms to be generated as context specific learning outcomes helping to maintain an employer's while ensuring that the academic level has been identified. Outcomes can be generated across a range of levels and form the basis for generating an individual learner profile. In addition to the outcomes a simple configurable toolkit enables curriculum designers, working with employers in a co-generative curriculum design process, to select skills, attributes, and/or outcomes that are automatically translated into learning profiles for curriculum design and personalised pathways for curriculum delivery. Drawing upon learning design frameworks the learner profile will make explicit to learners, through a visual representation, the support and resources available to support their specific learning activities; in effect creating a student's individual programme specification. Participants in this session will have the opportunity to: consider how the curriculum generation process relates to their own context; evaluate the applicability and utility of the CogenT toolkit; discuss issues surrounding the responsive curricula agenda.


268 - Short Paper Charting the waters of technology supported work-based higher education: transforming a pilot development into a national programme
Helen Dewhurst, Rob Arntsen, Deborah Trayhurn
Many organizations will likely place greater focus on skill development of their existing workforce, using technology supported learning as a central element of their business, seeking increasing returns on investment in training (CBI, 2009). We present a unique work based learning collaboration between two Higher Education delivery Institutions, one large employer and a commercial partner who have developed a Foundation degree programme from the workplace. The commercial company developed the technology platform to meet content and blended delivery requirements, which for the employer, included achieving practical improvements for their learners’ activity in the workplace. This paper will describe ways that the technology support enabled the development of learners’ e-literacy and connections, important in growing competences. It will outline approaches taken to enable learners to work with others, sharing, questioning, and reflecting (Strong, 2009). This employer engagement includes real articulation achieved with the employers’ human resources and learning development systems, also with assessment practices designed to enable authentic activity and senior staff contact from the employer. External project evaluation was undertaken for the first cohort’s experiences. This covered the roles and delivery from tutor, student and employer perspectives through the Project Manager, mentors, and other often senior staff from the employer; tutors from the Higher Education providers and the commercial partner. The paper will describe outcomes considered in refining the programme, and the changes made. The employer input will be examined in detail, and demonstrate how involving the employer in the programme design maximises the chance of the programmes’ success. The transformation steps taken to develop a national programme involving multiple Higher Education Institutions and Further Education partners and multiple employers and SMEs in the sector, will be outlined (Nunes et al. 2009). The paper will conclude with the challenges experienced in developing the programme across multiple providers to one employer with a national workforce, and the future direction of and issues associated with managing the roll-out of a national programme.