MN5W55 - Learning through Work (2017/18)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2017/18|
|Module title||Learning through Work|
|Module level||Intermediate (05)|
|Credit rating for module||15|
|School||Guildhall School of Business and Law|
|Total study hours||150|
|Running in 2017/18||
This module enables students to undertake a short period of professional activity and to gain credit for their achievements. The activity can be employment activity, a work placement, professional training, volunteering activity in the not-for-profit sector, or where available, within a Virtual Business Environment within the University.
The work-related learning activity (work experience or project) must be for a minimum of 105 hours. The 105 hours can be completed in 15 working days in a full-time mode during the summer (where available), or spread over a semester in a part-time mode.
The work-related learning activity should enable the student to build on previous experiences and learning gained within their academic course and elsewhere. It should provide learning opportunities for personal development. The student is encouraged and supported in developing the ability to identify applied knowledge and skills that enhance their work performance, ensure their continued improvement and apply theory to practice as appropriate. The learner should develop improved understanding of themselves, and the workplace through reflective and reflexive learning.
Students will be contacted in advance of the module (e.g. June for those registered for October) to ensure they understand the requirements. Where required, students will be supported in finding suitable opportunities which can be either be a placement, part-time role or ’live’ project for an external organisation untaken within the University. We have dedicated placements and careers teams who will assist learners with all aspects of their job search and application. The suitability of the opportunities will be assessed by the Module Leader on an individual basis. Please note, it is the students’ responsibility to apply for opportunities and engage with the relevant University personnel who to assist them in gaining a suitable role.
Learners may be able to utilise their existing part-time / vacation employment (whether or not this relates to their subject area), providing they can demonstrate that it is personally developmental and involves responsibility (decided upon submission of the role details by the Module Leader).
The module aims to enable students to:
1. Increase their personal and professional development prior to, during and following gaining professional related experience.
2. Increase and develop critical, self-reflective ability and self-efficacy.
3. Demonstrate theoretical concepts / transferable competencies in a practical, problem solving context.
4. Gain critical understanding of current issues, practices and relevant legislation within a particular organisational situation.
5. Explore employment options and consider future career plans.
The syllabus will focus on preparing students for employment through to reflecting on their personal gains from the placement. In addition professional guidance (as required for those learners seeking suitable employment) in a group or one-to-one basis will be provided.
• Suitable work related learning options
• Job search strategies and the labour market
• Job application and selections approaches (e.g. CVs, application forms, interviews)
• Articulating their abilities effectively
• Professionalism and workplace ethics
• Being a critical employee
• Health and safety in the workplace
• Critical self-reflection
• Setting personal learning goals / learning contracts
• Meeting the learning outcomes whilst undertaking work related learning
• Meeting the assessment requirements of the module
• Support available during the work related learning
• Planning long and short term career goals
Learning and teaching
All aspects of the module preparation, learning and assessment are design to enhance students’ abilities to progress in their chosen careers and develop critical awareness to the job market and workplace.
1. Introduction, role search and workshop
Preparatory workshops will outline the requirements and demands of the module, assist students in diagnosis of their abilities, help make decisions about suitable work areas and ensure they are able to produce appropriate job applications as required. Students will be invited to initial information workshops after they have opted for the module and additionally timetabled workshops will run within the semester. The sessions will introduce all the elements listed in Point 13.
Those seeking employment will be required to take up the additional support provided on job search and application strategies by The Careers and Employability Team will work closely with Faculty teams. In addition to advertised roles, students will be encouraged to find their own opportunities speculatively.
The University will build links with local businesses to source suitable work experience vacancies which (in addition to any opportunities to study within a Virtual Business Environment where available) will be advertised on a student portal. When applying for roles, candidates will go through an appropriate selection process which will be competitive. This will foster an appreciation of employability requirements sought by industry. It is the students’ responsibility to obtain suitable employment, and roles cannot be guaranteed.
2. The approval of work related learning
When a work related learning opportunity is gained, students are required to complete the following (forms are online on the module page on WebLearn):
- Work Related Learning Notification Form: outlining the role and the ‘employer’. (In the case University based projects, students will be supervised by an academic with additional supervision, support and feedback from a work related learning team.) Following submission of this form, that activity will be appraised for suitability i.e. that it is personally developmental, allows students to use initiative and demonstrate responsibility.
- Where working for an external organisation – uploading of a copy of the employing organisation’s “Employer Liability Insurance”
Early in the role the “Work Related Learning agreement”. The learning agreement form will identify and specify:
o your personal learning goals for the work related learning module assessment
o completion of the Health and Safety questionnaire
- All items need to be approved by the module team and your line manager/supervisor will be contacted to verify your role.
3. The work related learning activity
- The majority of the module will be supported work-based and distance learning. Supporting materials and detailed assessment criteria will be uploaded to WebLearn. Each student will be assigned an academic supervisor who will provide University based and distance support as required.
- During the experience, students are required to keep a regular record of the activities they have carried out to include in their assessment.
4. Assessed portfolio and feedback
- The employer/client/supervisor will complete feedback to evaluate the knowledge and skills demonstrated by the student.
- The student is required to submit a reflective learning portfolio, re-visiting their set learning goals which they set out in their Work Related Learning Agreement. This will summarise their knowledge gains, reflect on their learning and the experiences and develop action plans for the future.
- Students will be required to complete a brief weekly log which they will submit electronically to demonstrate their attendance and activities undertaking.
5. Post work related learning development
After completion of the work related learning, it is important that students continue to progress development of their employability, in consideration of their graduate careers goals. This can be through for example, progressive employment experience and / or extra-curricular activities. This will be supported by the University.
The learning outcomes are generic to be flexible to a variety of workplace contexts (in accordance with the QAA Chapter B10, 2012). On successful completion of this module students will have demonstrated that they can:
1. Analyse the activities that they have participated in and critically reflect on the professional skills and knowledge they have developed.
2. Demonstrate application of theory and transferable skills acquired during their programme of study, to activities undertaken in a workplace context
3. Examine the contribution they have provided to the activity and critically analyse any challenges encountered in the role and how they dealt with these.
4. Demonstrate understanding of the work environment operations.
5. Critically reflect upon how the experience relates to their personal, career and academic development and identify future skill and knowledge development needs.
The module is assessed via formative and summative elements and includes the following:
1. Work-Related Learning Portfolio
2. Video reflective portfolio with CV
3. Feedback from the line manager / client / supervisor
1. Work-Related Learning Portfolio (summative assessment)
The Work Related Learning Portfolio comprises of a achievement of certain activities, written learning goals and a learning agreement for the work-related learning activity. Students will be required to:
● Complete online activities on the University Careers Portal
● Set five personal, work-related goals (based on the module learning outcomes)
● A brief critical analysis of why they selected this particular role. These goals will be agreed by the tutor and should be referred to in other elements of the assessment.
2. Video reflective portfolio with any supporting evidence and CV (summative assessment)
A video format assessment forms an ongoing learning log of personal and professional development. Students are required to submit four video files – 24 minutes in total, at key stages throughout the placement (or other formats where reasonable adjustment needs to be made).
Students will be required to film the videos (on Smartphones / web cameras) and upload via WebLearn by the set, formative deadlines (a number of small video cameras are available at the University for student use if needed).
Ongoing support will be provided by the tutor, including the creation and submission of the video files. Formative feedback will be provided throughout and learners are invited to submit synopses of their video plans before each submission for feedback. By receiving regular feedback during the term of the role students will be encouraged to learn reflexively, developing their performance in the role through personal reflection and feedback from their tutor / line manager.
Students will reflect on 'critical incidents/events' as part of their on-going dialogue. Video topics refer to i) their set personal learning goals ii) reflection on skills, knowledge and experience gained iii) application of relevant theories / literature iv) action planning for future career goals. Full criteria for the portfolio will be provided. Additional electronic documentation can be submitted for bibliographies and appendices as appropriate.
3. Feedback from the line manager / client / supervisor
The student’s employer / line manager will be asked to provide feedback to evaluate the knowledge and skills demonstrated by the student, their performance and attendance.
Final deadline for the submission of a correctly completed Placement Notification form (not assessed, but essential for the placement employment to be appraised and approved):
● For those undertaking the placement over the summer (where available) at least one week before the placement / summer break commences
● For those undertaking the placement during the semester, by the end of Week 3.
The Work Related Learning agreement is due on Week 4, Day 5 or an agreed date during the summer
Deadlines for each of the four video portfolio segments, including submission of a CV with the final video:
o Video 1 deadline: no later than end of Week 8
o Video 2 deadline: no later than end of Week 11
o Video 3 and CV deadline: no later than end of Week 14
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.
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Cottrell S (2015) Skills for success, personal development and employability 3rd edition, Palgrave Macmillian, Basingstoke
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Scherer A (2012) Brilliant intern Prentice Hall, Harlow
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Online careers information
London Metropolitan University http://student.londonmet.ac.uk/jobs-and-employment/career-and-employability-advice/
Other resources appropriate to the placement and determined by the Employer Supervisor and Subject Tutor.