FC7W03 - Work Related Learning (2020/21)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2020/21|
|Module title||Work Related Learning|
|Module level||Masters (07)|
|Credit rating for module||20|
|School||School of Computing and Digital Media|
|Total study hours||200|
|Running in 2020/21||
The module enables students to undertake an appropriate short period of professional activity, related to their course at level 7, with a business or community organisation and to gain credit for their achievements. The activity can be a volunteering activity, employment activity, an activity within the Faculty of Computing Virtual Business Environment (VBE), placement or business start-up activity. For the purpose of this module – the FOC VBE will be also be recognised as ‘an employer’.
It is expected student should work for 200 hours which should be recorded clearly (in a learning log for instance) in the portfolio. The 200 hours can be completed in a FT mode, or spread over a semester in a PT mode.
Students should register with the module leader to be briefed on the module, undergo induction and work related learning planning and to have the work related learning agreement approved, before they take up the opportunity. It is essential that students are made aware that both the “work related learning agreement” and relevant “health and safety checklist” where applicable need to be approved before starting the placement.
Prior learning requirements
The module aims to provide students with the opportunity to:
• gain a useful experience of the working environment and the career opportunities available on graduation.
• undertake a work related project appropriate to their academic level.
• enhance and extend their learning experience by applying and building on their academic skills and abilities by tackling real life problems in the workplace.
• enhance professional and personal development.
There is no standard syllabus for the module, the learning outcomes will be developed in the subject-based context of the work related learning. A “learning agreement” produced and approved before the work begins, will specify the way in which the outcomes will be developed and how they will be evidenced. For the FOC Virtual Business Environment, students will be working on real external client projects with agreed deliverables to the client and will be expected to work in teams that may be include students from other years of their degree. There will be specific emphasis placed on professional conduct, self-management, team-working and understanding of business and client requirements.
Suitability of work related learning – general guidelines
Suitable work related learning should offer students a range of learning opportunities at level 7, career aspirations and should be, wherever possible, related to their subject specialism. The work related learning should enable the student to build on previous experiences and learning gained within their academic course and elsewhere. It should provide learning opportunities for enhancing all their abilities and allow for the development of the learning outcomes and attributes to level 6. Vocational subjects may identify additional outcomes related directly to their specialism.
Learning and teaching
The module is supported by the module team who undertakes pre- and post-placement induction and debriefing sessions and provides on-placement support though email, telephone contact, drop-in sessions and individual appointments. The student is assessed by the module team.
Induction sessions introduce students to the requirements work related learning module, assists them in the diagnosis of their abilities, helps them make decisions about suitable work areas, and ensures they produce an appropriate CV for Work related learning applications.
In the case of the FOC Virtual Business Environment (VBE) – opportunities within the VBE will be advertised on a student portal inviting applications and CV’s. Candidates will go through an interview process that will seek to develop interview skills through responsive feedback and recommendations. This is to encourage an appreciation of employability requirements sought by business and industry.
2. The approval of the work related learning
When a work related learning opportunity is gained and an on-site employer supervisor is identified before the start of the work, the student need to email the module leader the “Learning agreement” form and relevant “health and safety checklist” if applicable. Both forms need to be approved by the module team before the learning activity starts. Each student will be assigned an academic supervisor who will look after the student throughout the process. The learning agreement form will identify and specify the
• task(s) involved in the working activity;
• skills, abilities an attributes to be developed and demonstrated, together with the associated assessment criteria;
• learning opportunities for the development of the expected outcomes;
• evidence required to demonstrate attainment of the outcomes.
3.The work related learning
During the learning process, students need to keep a record of the activities carried out at work (in a learning log for instance), reflect on it and reference them to the agreed learning outcomes in the learning agreement.
4. Academic visit
Where is appropriate, the module team will visit the student once at the work place. This is to get feedback from the employer on the performance of the student. It is also an opportunity for students to ask feedback from the academic placement supervisor.
In the case of the FOC VBE – students (and their project teams) will be supervised by an academic with additional supervision, support and feedback from a selected FOC VBE management team.
5. Employer’s formal feedback, portfolio and presentation
The employer/academic supervisors will produce an end-of-placement feedback to evaluate the knowledge and skills demonstrated by the student.
The student needs to submit a work related learning portfolio and give a presentation at the end. These enable the student to summarize the work experience, reflect on their learning and the experiences gained from the placement and to develop action learning plans for the future.
On completion of the module the student should be able to:
LO1: demonstrate s/he can operate effectively as an independent learner in a supervised work environment, including the selection and application of appropriate methods and procedures to required tasks.
LO2: communicate appropriately with colleagues and superiors.
LO3: describe and evaluate the structure, major activities and responsibilities of the organisation.
LO4: demonstrate his/her analytical and advanced problem solving skills related to the subject.
LO5: evaluate critically her/his performance and abilities and plan for their improvement.
LO6: reflect upon and critically appraise the work undertaken, and their personal development;
LO7: demonstrate an understanding of legal, social, ethical, professional aspects in the working environment.
LO8: demonstrate the ability to recognise and respond to opportunities for innovation
LO9: demonstrate the ability to critically review the literature.
The assessment on this module is 100% coursework and double marked in accordance with the requirements of the relevant accrediting body and the university guidelines.
Work related learning portfolio with evidence: The portfolio include a record their student’s activities in a learning log or equivalent, which enables students to record and reflect on their personal and professional development during the placement, helping them to become more self-aware and to improve their performance. The 100% portfolio-based assessment has provision to include evidence of client-based presentation skills acquired during the work activities. Examples of such evidence are final client demo, final client presentation, work handover notes, user manual and other important client presentations. Some employers may provide a means of personal record keeping. The portfolio should keep a record of all the evidence that demonstrate how the student develops his/her PDP, employability, knowledge of the particular area of work - to broaden her/his perspective by reference to the appropriate literature, and to enhance understanding within the wider industrial setting. The format and emphasis of each portfolio, which may vary between different cases, is drawn up in consultation with the module team who also gives guidance on its content. Assessment, by the module team, is based on the portfolio’s organisation, presentation, clarity and technical content and will stress analytic and reflective skills. [LO1][LO2][LO3][LO4][LO5][LO6][LO7][LO8][LO9]
Assessment can be both formative and summative:
The formative process includes the regular maintenance of a structured learning log. This allows the student to plan and monitor their progress, to reflect on and learn from their experience, and to improve their performance during the placement. Formative assessment also includes the regular employer comments and observations during the placement period.
The summative process includes performance evidence obtained throughout placement (from the learning log) and is not just a snapshot at one point in time e.g. on completion of the project/task(s). The employer will provide an end-of-placement feedback on the student’s performance and attendance.
In the case of the FOC VBE – the project supervision panel (including the academic supervisors and the business client) will provide a formal feedback on the individual (or team) performance, measuring understanding of project specifications / communication and presentation of project deliverables (or agreed iterative stages of deliverable) / time-management / and documentation.
In the case of volunteering activities - volunteering and their specific learning outcomes need to be agreed by the module team in advance. Each student will be allocated an academic supervisor. Students need to submit a learning portfolio with evidence. The portfolio needs to demonstrate volunteering activities carried out, how the agreed learning outcomes have been met by these activities, the quality of the achievements, quality of the reflection on the activities, problem solving skills and analytic skills demonstrated in the portfolio.
Durrant A., Rhodes G., Young D., (2011), Getting Started with University-level Work Based Learning, 2nd edition, Libri Publishing, ISBN-10: 1907471219
Ruth Helyer R., (2010), The Work-Based Learning Student Handbook (Palgrave Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN-10: 0230229565
Fanthome C., (2004), Work Placements: A Survival Guide for Students (Palgrave Study Guides), Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN-10: 1403934347
Other resources appropriate to the placement and determined by the Employer Supervisor and Subject Tutor.