Alternative Approaches to Work Based Learning by gegeshandong


									   Alternative Approaches to
     Work Based Learning

       The Experience of
      Middlesex University

Dr Barbara Workman –
   iWBL & CEWBL Aims
The Institute –
‘To be the internationally recognised centre for excellence in the
   use of work based learning to create innovation and achieve
   the development objectives of organisations and individuals’
• To maximise the impact of excellent practice in Work Based
   Learning within Middlesex University and to provide a catalyst
   for dissemination of good practice in partnerships with other
   CETLs and the Higher Education Academy.
Within MU:
• To enhance, extend and customise WBL into each school and
   across the University by building upon previous award winning

Work Based Learning
at Middlesex University: the context
• Work Based Learning (WBL) has been a Middlesex
  specialty for 15 years
• In 1996 Middlesex was awarded a Queens Prize for
  “Excellence and Innovation” for pioneering WBL
• In 2003 the UK Quality Assurance Agency described
  WBL at Middlesex as innovative and academically
  rigorous (
• In 2005 the HEFCE awarded Middlesex University a
  “Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning “ in
  Work Based Learning
• In 2007 the Institute of WBL was created within the
   Middlesex WBL Definition

WBL is a learning process which focuses
 University level critical thinking upon work
 (paid or unpaid) in order to facilitate the
 recognition, acquisition and application of
 individual and collective knowledge, skills
 and abilities, to achieve specific outcomes
 of significance to the learner, their work
 and the University.
                          Garnett (2004)

The wider context:
types of WBL in HE/FE programmes
1. Vocational courses: Based on future or current work role e.g.
   theatre studies, nursing, engineering
2. Sandwich year : Full time work, sandwich year, part of a
   degree programme. Content designed with employer
3. In- house vocational training: e.g. apprentice roles/ NVQ
   courses to contribute to job role
4. Vocational Placements: To learn aspects of professional
   work, may be short or long term
5. General Work experience: Within a programme of study –
   short term placements, specific outcomes to be achieved e.g.
   career tasters
6. Part time work: To develop employability skills and support/
   complement part time study – may be relevance/ applicability
   to current studies
May not be credit rated

Types of WBL programmes;
7. Part Time Study, Provider (HE/FE) specifies content: e.g.
    often full time work, part time study, courses based on current
    work role (e.g. MBA), content specified by provider
8. * Part time study, employer contributes to content: e.g. full
    time work, part time study, courses based on current work
    role, content designed with employer (e.g. FD)
9. * Part time study, content negotiated by learner: e.g. full
    time work, study part-time, study programme is content is
    negotiated by learner. Can include voluntary work, personal
    interest, domestic work
These are usually credit rated learning, and related to
    organisational development

   iWBL Current activity
• In 2006/07 about 1400 students were engaged in Work
  Based Learning programmes, including about 500 at
  Honours Degree level, including almost 40% of
  University’s Doctorate provision.
• WBL takes place in all types of organisations, some of our
  employer partners are: Marks and Spencer, City of
  London Corporation, Dell, Ministry of Defence Police,
  Primary Care and Acute NHS Health Service Trusts.
• International Centres in Cyprus, Greece, Hong Kong, and
• Comprehensive range of qualifications – Certificate,
  Diploma, Hons Degree, Masters, Doctorate
WBL Continuum
                 (Costley & Armsby 2006)

 Field of study              Mode of study
 • Award can be in WBL,      • Award is in subject,
   not subject based           through WBL
 • Uses the curriculum       • Uses subject curricula
   designed to be work         for people at work
   based                     • Uses subject based
 • Uses work based             assessment criteria
   assessment criteria       • University is knowledge
 • University is knowledge     provider
   catalyst                  • Knowledge based
 • Practice based

A typical Work Based Learner

• Mature (typically 35-50)
• Well established at work
• May have few traditional qualifications to access
  or progress through HE
• Considerable pre-understanding (formal and
  informal learning)
• WBL places the learner at the interface between
  work and the university to explore work-focused

Bob: the Work Based Learner

Bob’s route to a Masters in
WBS (Animal Husbandry)

                    e Planning
                    & Learning
                    Research &

         Recognition and Accreditation of

  Programme design enables;
• Valuing of the learning already held by the individual and
  their organisation
• Individual’s to plan their own programme
• Distance learning delivery with individual tutorial support
  from a Programme Adviser
• Flexibility to meet individual/ organisational needs, can
  include accreditation of in-house learning
• Leads to internationally recognised higher education
• Transfer of WBL framework to all HE awards – ug
  certificate; pg Dip/ MA; Doctorate
• Assessment using generic Level Descriptors;

    Role of
    Work based projects
• Extends knowledge and skills at all academic levels
• Real time, real work projects
• Research critique & use of range of literature
• Rigorous, structured, scholarly research and
  development to inform application to practice
• Ethical issues – e.g. challenges within an
  organisation for permission and access to data vs
  organisational imperatives & confidentiality
• Typically original topics, under researched,
  limited previous formal investigations
• Impact on organisation and knowledge creation

e.g. iWBL Programme Projects:
• Improving passenger safety on the Metro (Joint MA project)
• Developing a Design and Build Handbook for a Construction
  Company (Joint MA project)
• Preparing a College for Investors in People (MA)
• Developing Key Performance Indicators for a not-for -profit
  organisation (MSc)
• Improving ICT teaching in a Secondary School (Degree)
• Improving support services for refugee families (Degree)
• Improving the Strategic Management of the River Thames

Using WBL
in other disciplines
WBL as a field of study
• Individual students pursuing WBL as a preferred
   – New roles in health care e.g. Clinical Nurse Specialists,
     Coaches in modernisation and Improvement
   – Nutritionists
   – GP Vets
• Cohorts tailoring standard WBL programme to own
  learning and development needs
   – Leadership London (NHS Managers) accredited
   – Topping up in-house professional programmes, e.g.
Doctorate in Professional Studies
• Generic programme (iWBL) & Specialist Validated
  Pathways (Schools)
• Curriculum includes APEL and major projects
• Candidates are mature in influential organisational roles
• Doctorate Level Descriptors: cognitive, operational context
  and transferable skills
• ‘…engaged in advanced WBL which has the potential to
  achieve major organisational change and/or excellence in
  professional practice resulting in original work worthy of
  publication… show evidence of ability to undertake self-
  managed and/or collaborative research and project

To top