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Case study: Glasgow Caledonian University

Page history last edited by Margaret.Hawthorne@gcu.ac.uk 7 years, 2 months ago
Project Information    
Project title      EMBEDDING BENEFITS: Taking work-based learning forward in Scotland using the work-based learning maturity toolkit
Start date  May 2012  End date  April 2013 
Project URL     
Design Studio URL     
Lead institution Greater Glasgow Articulation Partnership- see http://www.ggap.org.uk/   
Project Lead Contact Name Professor Ruth Whittaker / Dr Margaret Hawthorne 
Contact e-mail address r.g.whittaker@gcu.ac.uk  /  Margaret.Hawthorne@gcu.ac.uk 
Programme Name Embedding Benefits Category  
Programme Manager  
   

 

 

1 Summary

Provide an executive summary of your project (max 200 words).


 

The Greater Glasgow Articulation Partnership hub (GGAP) funded a project in April 2012 to explore barriers for the recognition of placement hours in HN Health provision in HE nursing courses. We found these barriers to be common to nursing and social care. However, after preliminary meetings with staff we ascertained that although there was capacity to discuss the problem there were no formal School or university structures to manage the problem. To address this we broadened have used the Toolkit to drive institutional change.

 

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2  What resource(s) did you package/collate/disseminate for use by other institutions?

This may include:

  • details of the needs of the target stakeholder group(s) and how your project addressed the needs of that group(s).
  • details of any changes/updates made to the resources before they were disseminated and any lessons that had been learnt between this embedding benefits activity and the end of the original project (i.e. prior to the commencement of this dissemination activity)

The project work included staff from Glasgow Caledonian University who are involved strategically and operationally with work based learning development. We did not develop new packages for use by other institutions but focused on the original Toolkit to establish its relevance. As the Toolkit evolved in latter stages to a more compact design we revisited the criteria through this new lens  with our target groups.

 

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3  How did you go about embedding your resources / outputs / outcomes into the wider community?

Give details here of:

  • the story of what you did and how you achieved it
  • how you engaged your stakeholders
  • the project methodology – for example technical implementation, how you went about your evaluation activities etc.
  • any dissemination activities that you undertook

Our project involved the School of Health and Life Sciences and the Scottish Centre for Work Based Learning (SCWBL) IN Glasgow Caledonian University. The programmes we discussed included:

HNC Healthcare

HNC Care and Administrative Practice

Bachelor of Nursing

SCWBL programmes 

all between Levels 7-11 SCQF.

 

We met with staff from the School and SCWBL to discuss the Toolkit. More recently we have been involved with one to one meetings to discuss the revised Toolkit.

We know from discussions that there are many examples of bespoke WBL underway in the School of Health and Life Sciences. Many of these are at post registration level and are designed with appropriate staff and undertaken off campus. The university has the Scottish Centre for Work Based Learning where the following programmes are offered:

MSc in Leadership and Management of Public Services

MSc in Leadership and Management in the Manufacturing Sector

MSc in Lifelong Learning and Development (by individual learning contract)

MSc in Leadership Capability

BSc in Railway Operations Management (delivered in partnership with the Institution of Railway Operators (IRO))

BSc in Railway Operations Management (delivered in partnership with Transnet Freight Rail of South Africa and the University of Johannesburg) 

Bachelor of Arts: Business and Management by work based learning

Diploma of Higher Education (for Trade Unionists)

 

Our initial focus was on how WBL could be recognised within a particular degree to support advanced standing articulation. That focus quickly changed to encompass addressing and exploring the mechanisms and practices within the broader School for managing WBL. Through those discussions we broadened our scope to encompass WBL at institutional level through the Scottish Centre for Work Based Learning and senior executives within the university. The aspects of the Toolkit which we focused on were: Institutional Readiness and Faculty/School Readiness. Central to these are: Working with employers – development of strategic partnerships with employers (2-2 and 5-3), supporting staff to work with employers (2-3), how programme is aligned with employer/employee needs (3-1), how learning outcomes were developed/linked to employer goals and employer input into curriculum (3-9), managing the relationship with employers (4-2), development of learning contracts (4-3), tripartite agreements (2-2 and 5-1)

 

 


4  What impact has your embedding benefits project had and who are the beneficiaries? Include evidence of impact wherever possible (e.g. survey results, evaluation, cost benefit analysis etc.)

Give details here of, for example:

  • increased awareness of your resources/outputs from your previous  e-learning programme project
  • greater take-up across “non-native” institutions (non-native institutions are institutions not involved as lead or partners in the original project or any subsequent JISC funded benefits realisation activities).
  • how your resources are being used in other institutions / within project partners
  • details of any self-sustaining community of interest that has been formed etc.
  • refer to any supporting evidence documents such as evaluation reports, where appropriate.

The CAMEL meetings with other partners and the subsequent dissemination of these events to our partner hubs, through our interhub steering group has raised the profile of work based learning activities across our institutions. The Scottish work based learning forum has provided a platform for national discussion about the development and refinement of the Toolkit and established stronger inter institution working relationships.

 

The project has influenced GCU policy formation in that a review of institutional WBL policy will incorporate the Toolkit to aid discussion around the key themes.Key benefits therefore are for staff through the strengthening of internal relationships. Additional opportunities for those staff  involved with WBL to meet provided rich opportunities for discussions about the operational side of the process but also the pedagogy and expectations for learners. 

 


5  What outputs has your project produced?

Give details of any additional outputs and resources  that your project has produced that can be used by others, including a link to your code repository where this is applicable. How have they been used in your project and what benefits have been achieved? Ensure you include a link here to your Design Studio (DS) page from where all of these should be accessible, even if your DS page simply includes a link to your outputs.


Our involvement in the initial project derived from the work of the Greater Glasgow Articulation Partnership which is one of five Scottish Funding Council hubs established in 2008. The objective of the articulation hubs is to increase advanced standing articulation from colleges to universities. Our initial focus on WBL and placements in nursing established that there were no formal mechanisms within the programme or School to recognise or address the transferring of credit. At this stage we set up meetings with staff from the School and focussed on specific elements of the Toolkit i.e.  

2. Faculty/school/department readiness

2-0 Overview 

2-1 WBL strategy and implementation plan 

2-2 Partnership working 

2-3 Business and commercial approaches 

2-4 Training and support for external staff and employers 

2-5 Evaluation and review of programme and pedagogic research

 

From these discussions we established that although staff perceived of how obstacles could be overcome there was no strategy or structure in place to formally implement change. Fortunately this period coincided with a planned review of WBL strategy at Glasgow Caledonian University and we were able to arrange meetings with senior staff involved in that review. At these meetings we focussed on the following criteria:

 

1 Institutional readiness

1-0 Overview

1-1 WBL strategy and plans

1-2 Organisations, resourcing and support for WBL

1-3 Innovation management

1-4 WBL Customer Focus

1-5 External marketing and communications

1-6 Processes and procedures for staffing WBL programmes

1-7 Staff development, recognition and reward

1-8 WBL procedures and processes for programme validation

1-9 QA for WBL

1-10 Systems to support WBL

1-11 Systems and processes to support registration and enrolment

1-12 Business, commercial and financial approaches

1-13 Cross institutional communication and collaboration

 


6  How will the embedding benefits activity be developed further/sustained?

Give details here of ways in which your resources

  • will be rolled out on a larger scale;
  • has changed practice in ways that will sustained in future developments;
  • has now become embedded within your department and/or institution;
  • has impacted on developments in other institutions
  • and what still needs to be done …

The aims and objectives of the project matured and developed over time. Initially we sought to discover how claims for credit against WBL were made; who typically made these claims within the School; who managed these claims; and whether the placements undertaken by HN students could be accounted for within the system. When we discovered that although many examples of WBL/RPL were evident there were no formal policies or devolved roles to manage the activity we revisited our aims and objective.

 

Staffs from the School and the executive who attended our meetings unilaterally agreed that the Toolkit provided ‘space’ to address some of the key issues surrounding the development of robust WBL strategy. Feedback from the groups also highlighted areas of repetition and omission which were reported and contributed to the latest streamlined Toolkit.

 


7  Summary and Reflection

Suggested topics to consider:

  • lessons learned
  • whether you believe the project met/exceeded or failed to live up to expectations;
  • whether you believe the approach could be of value to other institutions/in other contexts;
  • building on this experience, whether (and, if so, how) you will alter your practice further in the future;
  • What are your top tips for others adopting a similar approach?
  • If you were to run this project again what would you do differently?
  • key challenges that were overcome 

The main obstacle in this type of participatory project is always time and staff availability. As our focus shifted from programme to School to strategic decision makers, it became increasingly difficult to find mutually agreeable dates for meetings. To overcome this we undertook one to one interviews with staff about aspects of the Toolkit. On reflection this was not ideal because the occasions where we were able to find mutually agreeable dates seemed to be more dynamic in that participants stimulated each other’s’ thinking, ideas and input.

 

The response to the streamlined Toolkit has been extremely positive. The initial criteria were extensive and early discussions were diluted with discussion about omissions, repetitions and rationale. The revised Toolkit is currently being used by the Scottish Centre for WBL to support strategy review and we hope to be able to feed forward about this at the final CAMEL meeting.Staffs from the School and executive who attended our meetings unilaterally agreed that the Toolkit provided ‘space’ to address some of the key issues surrounding the development of robust WBL strategy. Feedback from the groups also highlighted areas of repetition and omission which were reported and contributed to the latest streamlined Toolkit.

 

Using the Toolkit as a strategic tool will support our development of a more flexible curriculum, which includes WBL,  and is a central plank  of the development of our new Strategy for Learning. As part of this strategy we are developing a GCU WBL Strategy and using the RPL toolkit to inform this development. The project has provided a momentum for the strategy development and the toolkit a clear focus for discussions with the central institutional team and colleagues in the school developing WBL approaches. The Toolkit is currently being used by SCWBL and the university to support new WBL strategy and we hope to feedback about this at the next CAMEL meeting

 

 

 

 


Additional Information for QAA Case Study

 

 

Discipline and occupational field 

 
Health initially and strategic WBL finally 

Name of module/programme/course 

 
Nursing 

SCQF level (Scotland only) 

 
7-11 

Model of WBL 

 

Can you describe how WBL is integrated into your curriculum? How does this impact on curricula structure and development? It would be useful to estimate the proportion of the curriculum WBL contributes to (100 words)

We know from discussions that there are many examples of bespoke WBL underway in the School of Health and Life Sciences. Many of these are at post registration level and are designed with appropriate staff and undertaken off campus. The university has the Scottish Centre for Work Based Learning where the following programmes are offered:

MSc in Leadership and Management of Public Services

MSc in Leadership and Management in the Manufacturing Sector

MSc in Lifelong Learning and Development (by individual learning contract)

MSc in Leadership Capability

BSc in Railway Operations Management (delivered in partnership with the Institution of Railway Operators (IRO))

BSc in Railway Operations Management (delivered in partnership with Transnet Freight Rail of South Africa and the University of Johannesburg) 

Bachelor of Arts: Business and Management by work based learning

Diploma of Higher Education (for Trade Unionists)

 

Aspects of WBL covered in case study

(see Notes at the bottom of this page)

 

Please indicate which aspects of WBL you will cover as part of your case study and why you have decided to cover them. These are listed in bold in the Notes at the bottom of this page. You may find that your practice maps against more than one, but you need not cover all of the aspects.  You may find that your provision maps onto several aspects, and we would expect you to cover more than one.  The structure of Work Based Learning Maturity Toolkit has been used to inform the type of aspects we wish to cover. The Notes below give the full list of the aspects along with some prompts against each one.  These have been cross-referenced with the appropriate section in the WBL Maturity Toolkit and are there to hopefully stimulate thinking rather than being prescriptive.    Note if you do cover particular aspects then they should be made explicit in the main case study text where the aspect is discussed.   

 

 

 

Practice

 

Please describe the practice you are presenting. It would be useful to focus on the ‘how to’ messages that comes from your practice.  

As mentioned above please make explicit reference to the aspects of WBL you are describing.  Include any details that would be useful to colleagues; in particular we are very interested in details about how the practice was developed and implemented. Some questions that might be useful are:

 

  • What were the drivers for the development of the practice?
  • What were the aims and objectives?
  • What did we actually do when delivering these aspects of the provision?
  • What obstacles got in the way and how were these overcome? What was learnt? What helped and how? 
  • Has this practice been evaluated and by whom?  What would we do differently next time?
  • How do you see this practice being developed in the future – what will happen next?
  

  **** (THIS TEXT BELONGS IN SECTION ABOVE - CAN'T COPY/PASTE THOUGH) ******* The continuous requirement for close working relationships with the employer were a key theme which emerged from our discussions. In the health area, the training of mentors was considered to be especially critical. Central to our discussions was the recognition that work based learning must happen at the pace which suits the emplyer and the student therefore the issue of appropriate, timely and effective support for  most likely distance learners is a major resource issue.

Work based learning delivery, monitoring, mentoring development is often underpinned by professional commitment, however our project teams recognised that for the activity to become mainstreamed it was important that  a link be made between staff development and workload models.

(** BOTH PARAGRAPHS BELONG TO THE SECTION ABOVE ********)

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The key message which has evolved from our activity is that we have a focussed and diverse team of individuals across the university who are deeply committed to work based learning.  When we met with staff from the School of Health and Life Sciences discussions were solution focused and creative. Where the Toolkit was useful (particularly in its second iteration) was in allowing us to drill down to issues which could be controlled locally and identify  those which must be managed strategically.

We will use the Toolkit to continue discussions in this field but also to support the development of institutional WBL policy.

tHReferences

 

Please use the Harvard referencing system.  

 

 

 

 

Notes

 

Aspects of Work Based Learning

  • Quality enhancement and quality assurance – including how employers and employee/students are informed of, and involved with quality enhancement mechanisms, including course feedback (6-3), employer and professional body input into programme approval, validation and programme review (6-3)
  • Staff development – acceptance of WBL by wide academic community as being a valid mode for higher education learning (1-7), development opportunities for staff engaged in WBL (1-7)
  • Working with employers – development of strategic partnerships with employers (2-2 and 5-3), supporting staff to work with employers (2-3), how programme was aligned with employer/employee needs (3-1), how learning outcomes were developed/linked to employer goals and employer input into curriculum (3-9), managing the relationship with employers (4-2), development of learning contracts (4-3), tripartite agreements (2-2 and 5-1)
  • Training and support for employers and workplace tutors/mentors – induction, training courses, involvement in quality enhancement/assurance processes (2-4)
  • Supporting students in the workplace- including access to learning materials and resources (3-10) particularly given employee commitments (4-4), the role of workplace tutors (4-2), the role of academic tutors (4-2), role of institutional support staff (4-4) development of learning contracts (4-3), supporting students with disabilities (4-4), arrangements for supporting students through transitions (4-4 and 6-6), support for study skill development (6-6), tripartite agreements (2-2 and 5-1), negotiating with  learners and employers learner developmental needs  (6-1), support outside traditional term-times (6-4)
  • Development of flexible programme design – could include incorporation of RPL and considering alternative means of accessing the programme (3-5 and 6-3), accreditation of employer provision, or adapting existing modules to better meet needs of a WBL programme/students, reducing the time taken to obtain a qualification, creating learning outcomes and programme structures appropriate for employer and employee needs (6-3)
  • Transition and induction – including issues around managing these for students who may/will be off-campus (4-1), pre-entrance guidance (6-1), induction (6-2)
  • Delivery – How does the programme integrate learning from academia and work?  If this is through reflective learning or PDP how is that integrated with the curriculum? (4-2), could also include integration of RPL (4-2), innovative uses of technology (7)
  • Assessment – means and models of assessment (4-3), use of formative feedback, use of assessment methods that reflect/use workplace outputs/activities and quality assurance implications of these (6-4 and 6-5), use of technology (6-5), how achievement of learning outcomes is evidenced (6-5).

 

 

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