Tag Archives: work-based learning

3.6 Students as CEOs (Course Enhancement Officers 2.0)

The Course Design Consultancy project was supported by the Higher Education Academy’s Students as Partners Programme in 2012/13.  It began as a small-scale pilot which aimed to have a positive impact on the learning experience by engaging students in the quality enhancement processes at Sheffield Hallam, in particular with regard to the re-approval of existing courses.

The activities that were initiated last year have been continued and developed, in line with the expectations stipulated in Chapter B5 (Student Engagement) of Part B of the Quality Assurance Agency’s UK Quality Code for Higher Education.  This chapter calls on institutions to seek contribution from students in curriculum design, and recommends that students are supported and trained in order to enable them to engage appropriately.

Many improvements have been implemented to what has now been renamed the Course Enhancement Officers scheme, including the introduction of a ten-hour training program for students taking part, to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills necessary to undertake quality enhancement work which is integral to university business.

In this presentation we will introduce the national context in which the scheme was developed, reflect on what we learned from the first iteration of the initiative, and explain how the conclusions drawn from our experience have informed the scheme’s progress.  We will outline how it has developed into a scalable model which can be embedded as good practice across the institution.

Establishing effective communities of practice (2014)

Jill Dickinson & Vicky Thirlaway

Against a backdrop of increased student fees and decreased employment opportunities, simulation has established itself as a key ingredient in the success of many H.E. courses.

In simulation modules students are encouraged to work together and with their tutor to develop not only substantive knowledge but also their transferable skills. Having experienced “work” within a comparatively safe simulation environment, students can then feel more confident in applying that knowledge within the workplace; both during work placement opportunities and upon gaining graduate employment .

In a simulation module students take responsibility for their learning; this helps to develop their confidence in problem solving. Placing the students at the centre of their learning not only inspires them but also helps to develop their confidence to take on higher-level modules involving problem-based learning opportunities within an actual work-place environment .  However, whilst the focus of any simulation must necessarily be on the students, the role of the supervisor remains paramount in ensuring a successful experience.

Creation of communities of practice  where students are encouraged to work together to solve practical problems encourages them to take ownership of their work, as they collaboratively explore the application of different ideas and, in doing so, create a new shared knowledge base .

Using the recently-validated, 40 credit Clinical Legal Education module as a case-study, tutors have found that there is generally a direct correlation between the standards that they set for the group and the group’s engagement with the module. Expectations are made clear from the very beginning of the module as to attendance, participation, the quantity of work involved and the quality of work expected. In return, students are supervised by experienced tutors who provide inspiration,  guidance and support, whilst at the same time taking care not to overly direct the students’ learning.

Tutors on simulation modules need to ensure they foster a teaching and learning environment which creates optimal levels of engagement, and results in optimal levels of performance.[1] There is a delicate balance to be drawn;[2] whilst the students may not have experienced a simulation module before, such modules also need to act as key stepping stones towards higher-level, work-based learning opportunities, work placements and graduate employment. Students’ anxieties at the start of the module focus upon concerns about group work, and a tendency to seek direction from the tutor. Tutors find that students develop confidence throughout the year to take the initiative in working out what needs to happen next, and proactively progress their “client’s case”.

283 – Student partnerships and employability: case study of the Course Design Consultancy @ SHU – Manny Madriaga, Luci Cockayne, Andrew Squire, Lizzie Webster, Barbara Gonzalez Jaspe, Neil Morris & Chris Corker

This interactive workshop raises questions about the extent of our partnerships with students in their learning.  How are we ensuring that students are reflecting upon their own professional development in volunteering and/or work-based learning activities?   How transparent are we making the skills and attributes students are developing while working in partnership with academic staff? In pondering these questions, this workshop will include a show-and-share of how students and staff within the institution collaborated on a project to enhance student engagement in the curriculum design process this year.  This institutional initiative, Course Design Consultancy, was supported by the Higher Education Academy’s Students as Partners change programme, which is run in partnership with Birmingham City University.  This presentation highlights how both Venture Matrix™ students and Faculty Student Representatives from the Sheffield Business School were recruited to become course design consultants (CDCs).  It will describe the role of CDCs from students who have taken on this role.  The CDCs will share their experience of working with course leaders and course planning teams to first identify areas of improvement to inform course (re)development.  In addition, the CDCs will share their experience of working alongside their student peers and prepping, organising and running of ‘solution-based’ workshops to develop ideas for course improvement.  CDCs will discuss the work involved, particularly in producing CDC Reports which include recommendations based on student ideas taken from workshops.

303 – Developing a coherent and progressive approach to careers education in HE – Katharine Price Edwards & Shawna McCoy

The aim of this presentation is to share recent experience and best practice in providing a coherent and progressive careers education within the Criminology team at Sheffield Hallam University.  This will specifically be informed by the perspective of an MA Student on placement at Sheffield Hallam University as a Careers Guidance Practitioner and Associate Lecturer. The approach within Criminology this academic year has been holistic in the sense that we aimed to provide careers education on a number of different levels – careers management, self-identity, social identity, power, culture and hierarchy in society and in the work place, experiential learning, work-based learning, careers guidance as part of the curriculum, expansion of co-curricular activities, etc.   Trying to create and provide opportunities for student engagement has been extensive.  Our approach has also been inclusive, developing strong relationships with other specialist teams to promote student accessibility.  The challenge continues to be getting ALL students (or at least a majority) interested and engaged.   Student engagement and feedback has varied, and the presentation will reflect our achievements, our progress and areas for improvement, which will not only inform our approach going forward but explore how our lessons can be informed and inform other areas. The hope is that we can encourage an open discussion about the different approaches to careers education, learn and reflect on our experience, and promote the development of more coherent and progressive forms of careers education so that we can continue to ensure we provide an excellent student experience.

Visit the link to view the presentation:  303 Developing a coherent and progressive approach to careers