module specification

MN6W55 - Learning through Work 2 (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Learning through Work 2
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
 
4 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
6 hours Guided independent study
140 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Work Related Learning agreement (1,000 words)
Coursework 90%   28 minute (total) reflective video files (or alternative agreed format) with CV and Recruitment Question Responses
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester City Wednesday Morning
Autumn semester City Wednesday Morning

Module summary

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.

It is expected that the student should work for 140 hours, for which they will be required to provide evidence. The 140 hours can be completed in 20 working days in a full-time mode during the summer (where available), or spread over a semester in a part-time mode.

Additionally, learners may in some cases be able to utilise their existing part-time / vacation employment providing they can demonstrate that it is personally developmental and involves a level of responsibility (decided upon submission of the role details by the Module Leader). 

The work based 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 soon after they register for the module (e.g. June for those registered for October) to ensure they understand the requirements and are able to find suitable activity
  • The University must ensure that suitable health and safety requirements are in place and the work activity needs to be approved by the module team before they start the role.  The suitability of the opportunities will be assessed on an individual basis.  
  • Where required, students will be supported in finding suitable opportunities and with all aspects of their job search and applications.  The Careers and Employability Team will work with School teams to provide this support.  However, it is the students’ responsibility to obtain suitable employment, and roles cannot be guaranteed.

Module aims

The module aims to enable students to:

  1. Consider their employability in relation to graduate careers goals, through the development of professional competencies and knowledge through work experience.
  2. Increase / 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 context.
  5. Build personal networks, explore employment options and consider future career plans.

Syllabus

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.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes are generic to be flexible to a variety of workplace contexts (in accordance with the UK Quality Code for work placements).  On successful completion of this module students will have demonstrated that they can:

  1. Evaluate their experiences in the workplace, particularly where they have demonstrated autonomy and innovation and critically reflect on the significance of the professional skills and competencies developed to their graduate career goals.
  2. Identify and debate challenging scenarios experienced in the workplace and suggest appropriate resolutions, via application of appropriate theory.
  3. Evaluate the contribution they have provided to the organisation and critically analyse complex problems encountered, in the role and how they applied appropriate knowledge to provide effective solutions.
  4. Assess complex work environments and professional codes of conduct and draw conclusions on their effectiveness.
  5. Critically reflect upon how their work and study experience relates to their long-term personal, career and academic development and action plan in relation to their graduate career goals.

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed via formative and summative elements and includes the following:

1. Work Related Learning agreement

The Work Related Learning Agreement is completed once the work related learning has been approved and students have commenced the activity.  They will be required to set five personal, work related goals (based on the module learning outcomes) and 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
A video format assessment forms an ongoing learning log of personal and professional development.  Students are required to submit four video files – 28 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 / via 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).  Videos must not be published publicly through social media and students will be given guidance on storage.

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. Recruitment Question Responses

Students will be required to answer standard interview recruitment questions to assess their ability to take part in future recruitment processes

4. 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.

DEADLINES

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 7
o Video 2 deadline: no later than end of Week 9
o Video 3 deadline: no later than end of Week 11
o Video 4 and CV and recruitment question responses deadline: no later than end of Week 13

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.

Bibliography

Books

Cottrell, S (2010) Skills for success: the personal development planning handbook  2nd Ed, Palgrave Macmillian, Basingstoke
Durrant A, Rhodes G, Young D, (2011), Getting started with university-level work based learning, 2nd edition, Libri Publishing, London
Fanthome C (2004) Work placements : a survival guide for students Palgrave Macmillian, Basingstoke
Herbert I and Rothwell A (2005) Managing your placement, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke
Kirton B (2012) Brilliant workplace skills for students and graduates Prentice Hall, Harlow
Lumley M and Wilkinson J (2014) Developing employability for business Oxford University Press, Oxford
Moon J (2004) A Handbook of reflective and experiential learning: theory and practice Routledge Falmer, London
Scherer A (2012) Brilliant intern Prentice Hall, Harlow
Trought F (2012) Brilliant employability skills Prentice Hall, Harlow

Online careers information

London Metropolitan University http://student.londonmet.ac.uk/jobs-and-employment/career-and-employability-advice/
www.prospects.ac.uk
http://targetjobs.co.uk

Other resources appropriate to the placement and determined by the Employer Supervisor and Subject Tutor.