Tag Archives: authenticity

2012 Enhancing student engagement and employability: experiments with Web 2.0 technologies


Evidence from an evaluation of student perspectives on work-related learning with South Yorkshire Police has demonstrated that the quality of the work-related learning experience is dependent upon strong support structures to manage the complexities that arise in the world of professional work and potentially come into conflict with the demands of the academic environment. In response to this, virtual support has been embedded into a work-related learning module via the use of blogs/journals to aid both academic and professional development yet challenges persist in the effective engagement of students within this process. This presentation will outline the provisional findings of a project designed to generate a better understanding of how and why students engage/disengage with different types of 2.0 technologies at SHU.

D5 – (EN40 and EN47) 15.30


2012 Online problem based learning for PG students: does it deliver flexible skilled professionals or specialists with gaps in their knowledge?

Heidi Probst and David Eddy

Universities must provide us with people with the ability to continually learn, to think critically and theoretically, to be reflective and reflexive, to innovate and break the status quo, and to navigate in the unstable waters of the global economy” David Docherty (Gaurdian 05/05/2012) 

Should educators focus on teaching skills that in ten years of the students working life may become obsolete? While the employability and skills agenda is important, is the overriding responsibility of educators to produce critically reflective, continual learners that are able to innovate and flexible enough to accommodate the changing employment landscape?

Problem Based learning (PBL) is an established pedagogy that uses ill-structured questions to stimulate learning. Authentic problems are posed under restrictive deadlines to simulate real work issues. Knowledge is constructed by exploring the problem and dialoguing about it in small groups. It is argued that PBL succeeds in developing students that can:

  • Define a problem
  • Develop a tentative thesis about the problem and solution
  • Access, evaluate, and utilise data from a variety of sources
  • Alter hypotheses given new information
  • Develop solutions fit for purpose, with clearly explicated reasoning. 

In an online environment it can engage students by harnessing real work issues potentiating the development of inspired solutions that can change practice/services. 

However, as PBL focuses on a small section of the curriculum is knowledge development constrained? Can PBL meet specialist regulatory body requirements? 

This session will be of interest to proponents of PBL and those with reservations about its impact and usefulness; particularly the ability to use this pedagogy with online students. 

Potential questions:

1. If the aim of modern Universities is to produce critically reflective, innovative workers is PBL a suitable pedagogy to employ? 

2. Does it matter that by using PBL the content delivered to the student may be less than that attributed to more traditional methods?

Click for presentation:  Online problem based learning for PG students: does it deliver flexible skilled professionals or specialists with gaps in their knowledge?

C4 – (FU30, FU06, FU08, FU32) 14.20

2012 Beyond Employability: Making a Living in Social Justice

Lesley Gornall

In November 2011,  Norfolk County Council put its entire Youth and Community Service out to tender.  At the time,  students had begun to study on the new Level 6 programme, and the tender was incorporated into the Semester 1 module Community Profile.

The Semester 2 Module Understanding Young People was in development.  The module aim was to analyse the needs of all young people, and consider the design and management of effective responsive services.

Given the current employment climate for qualified Youth and Community Workers, and in the light of  the Norfolk Tender,  the module was designed to include a focus on setting up and running Voluntary Sector Organisations,  and Social Enterprise. 

Visiting speakers outlined their funding arrangements and sources, business models, and rate of growth, in addition to considering the needs of particular groups, together with the need to both discover a ‘niche’  and respond to policy.

The paper will examine students’  experiences, and understanding of new ways of making a living, together with module processes, and recommendations for future practice.

B4 – [FU01 and FU43] 11.50