module specification

SS5081 - Education: Experiential Learning (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Education: Experiential Learning
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 150
20 hours Placement / study abroad
100 hours Guided independent study
30 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Learning Contract
Other 0%   Submission of employer report
Coursework 90%   Essay (2500 words)
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module enables students to undertake a period of work-based learning in relation to their course at Level 5 within an appropriate educational institution/organisation and to gain credit for that learning. Students have the opportunity to apply, to test and to extend the knowledge that they have gained at all levels of their course. In doing so, students are able to enhance and extend their understanding of professional educational practice.

The module aims to give students the opportunity to:
• Apply their prior learning in an appropriate work environment;
• Relate specific knowledge (theoretical perspectives as well as policy and practice understanding) to the work environment;
• Consider professional practice and pedagogies in specific real-life situations;
• Recognize how their work relates to wider educational and social discourses;
• Enhance their professional and personal development.

Note: Students are expected to find and organise their own placement in an educational setting where they get insight into professional teaching and learning practice. This is very likely to involve a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.


Guidance on finding and organising an appropriate setting for work experience and support with individual goal setting. LO1

Provision of a rational for practice-based learning. LO2,LO3

Introduction to key educational and social concepts to enhance students’ reflection on and interpretation of their experiences. LO3,LO4

Discussion of broader aspects of the work experience in the context of professional practice and employability. LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module is framed by Kolb’s (1984) learning style model, the four-stage learning cycle: (1) planning; (2) reflecting; (3) interpreting; and (4) identifying next steps. This cycle informs both the module structure and the assessment strategy.

In the autumn semester, students attend a series of sessions where they are briefed on the module and undergo induction. Guidance on securing a placement is offered in conjunction with the career service including inputs on experiential learning, and personal and professional development.

Note: Students need to have their learning agreement approved and their DBS check undertaken before they take up the opportunity to gain practical work experience.

During the work experience, students reflect on their observations and actions with respect to the objectives of their learning agreement and wider professional standards. Feedback sessions allow students to discuss their own practice and learning.

Towards the end of the spring term, there are a series of workshops to support students’ interpretation of their experience in relation to theory and professional educational practice.

The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) provides supporting material including wider employability guidance and further training opportunities.

Reference: Kolb, D. (1984) Experiential Learning Experience as a Source of Learning and Development, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Undertake work experience and meet the particular individual criteria set out in the learning contract (agreed by placement provider, lecturer and student);
2. Identify the associations between university studies and the workplace environment; 
3. Illustrate how the work-based learning experience can strengthen, alter or provide an enhanced way of understanding of educational practice, policy and theory;
4. Reflect on the experiences gained in relation to future employability.

Assessment strategy

Three items of assessment:
1. Students design and submit a learning contract outlining their goals for the work experience, which is approved by the placement provider and the lecturer.
2. Reflective essay (2500 words) relating to the learning objectives set out in the learning contract, and wider professional practice and discourses.
3. On completion of the work experience the placement provider writes a report, which students submit as evidence of successful completion of the work experience. Submission of the report is required to pass the module but there is a 0% weighting.


Core texts
Bassot, B. (2015). The reflective practice guide: An interdisciplinary approach to critical reflection. London: Routledge.
Gibbs, G. (1988). Learning by doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Oxford: Further Education Unit.
Hordern, J. &  Simon, C. (2017). Placements and work-based learning in Education Studies: An introduction for students. Abingdon: Routledge.
Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice Hall.
Moon, J. A. (2004). A handbook of reflective and experiential learning: Theory and practice. London: Routledge.
Pollard, A. (eds.) (2014, 4th Edition). Reflective teaching in schools. London: Continuum.
Schön, D. A. (1991). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. Aldershot: Avebury.

Additional texts/further reading
Antonietti, A., Confalonieri, E. & Marchetti, A. (2014). Reflective thinking in educational settings: A cultural framework. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bassot, B. (2013). The reflective journal: Capturing your learning for personal and professional development. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Beard, C. (2006, 2nd Edition). Experiential learning: A best practice handbook for educators and trainers. London: Kogan Page.
Bolton, G. E. (2014, 4th Edition). Reflective practice: Writing and professional development. London: Sage.
Boud, D., Cohen, R. & Walker, D. (1993). Using experience for learning. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Brockbank, A., McGill, I. & Beech, N. (eds.) (2002). Reflective learning in practice. Aldershot: Gower.
Brookfield, S. D. (2017, 2nd Edition). Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Dewey, J. (2007). Experience and education. New York: Touchstone (Simon & Schuster).
Farrell, T. S. C. (2004). Reflective practice in action: 80 reflection breaks for busy teachers. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.
Ghaye, T. (2010, 2nd Edition). Teaching and learning through reflective practice. London: Routledge.
Jarvis, P. (2006, 2nd Edition). The theory and practice of teaching. London: Routledge.
Jasper, M. (2013, 2nd Edition). Beginning reflective practice. Hampshire: Cengage Learning EMEA.
Johns, C. (2013, 4th Edition). Becoming a reflective practitioner. Hoboken NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
Light, G., Cox, R. & Calkins, S. (2009, 2nd Edition). Learning and teaching in higher education: The reflective professional. London: Sage.
Mezirow, J. & Taylor, E. W. (2009). Transformative learning in practice: Insights from community, work place and higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Moon, J. A. (2006, 2nd Edition). Learning journal: A handbook for reflective practice and professional development. London: Routledge.
Pollard, A. (2005, 2nd Edition). Reflective teaching: Evidence-informed professional practice. New York: Continuum.
Pollard, A. (eds.) (2002). Readings for reflective teaching. London: Continuum.
Qualters, D. M. (eds.) (2010). Experiential education: Making the most of learning outside the classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Schön, D. A. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner: Toward a new design for teaching and learning in the professions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Swennen, A. & Van Der Klink, M. (eds.) (2008). Becoming a teacher educator: Theory and practice for teacher educators. Dordrecht: Springer.
Tarrant, P. (2013). Reflective practice and professional development. London: Sage.
Thompson, S. & Thompson, N. (2008). The critically reflective practitioner. New York: Palgrave McMillan.
Trotman, E. (2016, 17th Edition). Careers 2017. London: Crimson Publishing.
Waring, M. & Evans, C. (2015). Understanding pedagogy: Developing a critical approach to learning and teaching. Oxon: Routledge.

British Education Studies Association:
Careers Portal, Student Services, London Metropolitan University:
Department for Education:
Get into Teaching, Department for Education:
Prospects, UK graduate careers website:
Society for Educational Studies: