Tag Archives: action learning

Lawyer in London: inspiring students through extra-curricular work-related learning activities

Teri-Lisa Griffiths & Jill Dickinson
@TerilisaCareers / @Jill_Dickinson1

Parallel session 2, Short paper 2.6

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Short abstract
This paper focuses upon work-related, extra-curricular learning activities which have been designed and delivered in conjunction with a global employer, and analyses students’ engagement both with the activities themselves and their wider learning. In doing so, it evaluates collaborative methods between teaching staff, the Careers Service, and employers and their impact on students.

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Detailed outline
In recognition of current thinking that ‘targeting graduate employability skills… [is] not confined to career departments’, this paper utilises the example of the extra-curricular, Lawyer in London event to help illustrate effective, inter-professional collaboration between the careers service, teaching staff and an international law firm.
The event’s purpose was many-fold including: encouraging students to both reach their career potential and further invest within their course and developing both their confidence and also their familiarity with the working environment. The paper will also acknowledge the wider context of organisations recognising the need for greater diversity, particularly in the legal sector.
The initiative itself was inspired by the University’s developing relationship with Freshfields, as part of the Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme.
With an overarching focus on the tripartite relationship between the university, employer and student, the paper outlines the practicalities of creating such pilot, extra-curricular schemes including: accessing funding, stakeholder-identification and emgagement and selecting/preparing students for the process.
Whilst the paper briefly outlines the event itself and the activities included, its main focus analyses and evaluates how the event met the team’s wider aims of encouraging student motivation, developing student employability and developing effective working methods between different stakeholders.
An important component comprised the feedback gained to help provide an insight into the viability, design and implementation of future events, and further development of the University’s relationships with external partners.
In outlining their conclusions, the authors suggest how others could utilise the idea of an inter-professional collaboration for the benefit of their own programmes and suggest how extra-curricular events may have a wider impact on students’ learning and career motivation.

3.6 Embedding employability and encouraging engagement with PDP/careers

“Embedding employability… will continue to be a key priority of universities…, and employers.” But what exactly does this strategic cornerstone involve? Students need to develop skills not only to gain graduate employment but also to retain it, and to go on to further progress within their career. Whilst there is no definitive recipe for employability, skills such as team working, problem solving, communication and commercial awareness are clearly crucial for most roles.

There is debate about how best to integrate employability within an often “crowded curriculum”.Whilst the Higher Education Academy encourages institutions “to consider a more individualised approach,” whichever teaching, learning and assessment methods are adopted, their common denominator must be the encouragement of student engagement.

The Level 5 law programme is a crucial stage for students because firms often recruit 2 years in advance. This paper analyses and evaluates the development and effectiveness of 2 core modules: Careers Development Learning and Clinical Legal Education. It explores the rationale behind the range of specific skills-based activities which have been included and goes on to consider their effectiveness particularly in light of the student feedback that has been provided. Its aim is to help inform the design of other curricular interventions. In particular we will consider the extent to which the teaching and assessment materials have encouraged student engagement with both PDP and careers.

 

Design of entrepreneurial action learning programmes (2014)

David Wick, Thomas Williamson & Simon HillCoventry University

Entrepreneurial intent can be defined as the “self-acknowledged conviction by a persons that they intend to set up a new business venture and consciously plan to do so at some point in the future” (Thompson 2009:676).The Wilson Review (2012) stated that HEI role is to “develop enterprise skills and promote entrepreneurship in the wider context of graduate employability”. Previously Rae (2009) stated that entrepreneurial “Action Learning” should be part of universities education, as it provides an option of creating their own business venture or enhanced employment prospects.  An example is the Student Placement for Entrepreneurs in Education (SPEED) and this  has been developed since 2006 to identify, nurture and convert potential and existing entrepreneurial spirit into business reality (Birch, Clements 2006).

The methodology used to measure the demand was conducted by the Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship (IAE) during the “fresher’s week”. This was designed to gain a “snap shot” of their entrepreneurial intentions when entering the institute. The six “yes or no” questions were used to investigated if they have been self employed or run a business before, currently running a business, and their future entrepreneurial intent. A consistence data collection method has been used over the four previous years so a comparative longitudinal study has been collected with over 7,500 responses. A more intensive pre and post programme online questionnaire was then used to see how extra curriculum support has aided the student’s development and future career ambitions.

The results highlight the high number of students running a business was 2.4% – 4.7% over the years, and between 65.5% – 72% would like to start one in the future. This clearly demonstrates the requirement of Coventry University (and other HEI’s) to have formal business education start up programmes in allowing the students to create their own future.

2012 Practitioner partnership model delivers transformative student learning experience

Chris Cutforth, Steve Wood, Val Stevenson and students

This session will highlight an innovative learning and teaching approach involving a partnership between an academic and an industry practitioner to deliver a post-graduate sport module which focuses on strategic thinking, planning and management skills. 

Along with the more traditional module learning outcomes, the goal has been to enable students to think differently and to help create ‘leaders of the future’.  

Chris Cutforth, Senior Lecturer in Sport, and Steve Wood, a freelance corporate and personal coach, whose specialities include business excellence, coaching and corporate theatre, have worked together to create a learning experience which challenges traditional sports industry thinking and practice, combining relevant academic content with generic leading edge principles, practices, tools and techniques. 

The module has been delivered using various innovative approaches including role play, coaching, action learning, case studies, visualisation, goal-setting and motivation exercises, along with more traditional teaching approaches. Together these have created a stimulating learning environment and a transformative learning experience for the students.

Feedback on the module has been extremely positive with a significant number of the students stating that it has equipped them with additional knowledge, skills and confidence to initiate and lead strategic developments within their organisations, and in other organisations in the future. Students also stated that the combined input from academic and practitioner significantly added value to the learning experience.   

 Following the success of the module, discussions are planned with the new professional institute for sport and physical activity to align the curriculum to the Institute’s recently launched professional development framework. 

The session will be delivered by Chris Cutforth, supported by additional contributions from Steve Wood, some of the students, and Val Stevenson, the course leader and Employability Lead for the Sport department, who will place the approach adopted for this module into a broader employability and professional development context.

Presentation:  A7 EN17 LTA conference presentation

A7 – (EN17, EN26, EN27, EN29) 11.00