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HETAC Conference Dublin November 2007 PowerPoint Presentation
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HETAC Conference Dublin November 2007
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  1. HETAC Conference Dublin November 2007 “Workbased Learning and Accredited Programmes in Higher Education” Ray Coughlan, Head, Department of Education Development, Cork Institute of Technology

  2. Presentation • Why - Post-industrial knowledge economy and associated learning • Who - Workplace learners • Where - Higher Education – in and for the workplace • How – HE workplace partnerships - some success criteria • What - Some Innovative Examples - programmes and practices • Where next?

  3. The Environment • Economic Growth • National Policy – value chain • Employment • Expert Group on Future Skills • Workplace of the Future - NCPP • National Partnership • Upgrading of Workforce in the Workplace • Student Cohorts • Institute Policy

  4. Learning and the Workplace The workplace may be viewed as a site within which learning meriting formal accreditation can arise, where knowledge can be created and shared, where complex interactions and problem-solving can be undertaken and as an ‘organic entity capable of learning and adaptation in its own right It is not appropriate, therefore to conceive of an education provision, which does not attempt, in some meaningful way, to integrate into its programmes for mature learners, the learning achieved in the modern workplace and to give formal recognition to it.

  5. Towards Workplace Learning • Workplace learners as purposeful individuals operating in authentic learning environments • Learners developing the capacity for autonomous action • Learners within the social context • Learning within communities of practice which are themselves learning • Workplaces and communities as learning organisations in their own right • Need for collaborative practice in generating and sharing knowledge

  6. The Mission Department of Education Development -DEIS ‘to innovate in education to tune provision to meet more closely the identified needs of a diverse range of groups in the workplace and in the community at large’, - and to do so in partnership with the workplace

  7. Success?Some criteria • Radical – new models and methods are invoked • Rigorous – supported by relevant theory • Reciprocal - meets workplace & academic standards • Real – addresses real needs • Realisable – viable economically & educationally • Robust – transcends academic disciplines, workplace sectors, operates in diverse locations • Repeatable –sustainable beyond pilot stages

  8. A Radical Approach - The PAL Process The PAL process defines a fundamentally changed approach to the design of education/training programmes, which • meet workplace requirements & standards • meet academic standards defined by NFQ • lead to awards • articulate with ECTS - the European Credit Transfer System.

  9. PAL – The steps -1 Analysis identifies work roles for which education, training, certification, accreditation are required Reinterpreted in standards of relevant Certification, Qualification Frameworks Appropriate level(s) for accreditation Aims, objectives, content of an education/training programme to meet academic and workplace standards Delivery, support - with extensive work-based learning. Entry levels are specified in terms of capacity to complete programme Programmes -interdisciplinary & address new topic areas

  10. PAL – The steps - 2 Innovative/appropriate assessment methodologies, assessment of work-based learning Devolution of elements of assessment to the workplace Instruments for the recording and verification of prior learning – formal, non-formal and informal Flexibility in delivery and support - open, distance and elearning approaches act as normal features Assessment based on learning portfolio emphasing reflective practice - Conventional summative examinations are avoided. Teaching and learning methods are andragogical, promote learner autonomy, capacity for lifelong development.

  11. Learning resources, support Learning resources, support Educational Institution (Theory & Practical) Work Placement (Application) Educational Institution (Theory & Practical) Life/work Activity Life/work Activity Figure 2 Vertical A Radical Model Figure 1 Traditional/Horizontal

  12. Rigour – some theory Barnett Reviewing the relationship between work and learning in the current ‘age of supercomplexity’ ‘challengeability, uncertainty and unpredictability’, where ‘frameworks for comprehending the world, for acting in it and for relating to each other are entirely problematic’ To survive and prosper within such an environment it is essential that work becomes learning and learning becomes work.

  13. Rigour – some more theory Need to refocus higher education education for competence capability - critical reflection/creativity Need for a more constructivist approach to learning and teaching process. [Von Glaserfeld,] Constructivism: moderate rather than extreme Pragmatic social constructivism. - models and methods designed to promote and facilitate learning to meet specific workplace and academic standards - learning, teaching and assessment based on active, collaboration in the socio-cultural context of learners.

  14. Rigour – yet more theory • Work-based learning and contract learning [Boud, Soloman, Hager, Graves, Hase] • Focus on the need to learn how to learn: learner-, rather than teacher-centred [Stephenson and Yorke] • Exploratory view of the learning process represented recent development of heutagogy • study of self-determined learning replaces 'knowledge hoarding' with 'knowledge sharing'. • looks to the knowledge-based future • knowing how to learn as a fundamental competence, given the pace of innovation and the changing structure of communities and workplaces. [Herrington]

  15. Reality – Competence Competency-based approach • clarity of purpose • relative certainty in standards or criteria to be achieved, • greater guidance for the teaching/learning process • more transparent criteria to measure achievement Objections within the academic world • reductionist in nature • leads to behaviourist models in teaching and learning • inappropriate attempt to make simple what is fundamentally and essentially complex • does not allow for the unexpected outcomes of the creative learner

  16. Reality – Competence revisited Considerable advance in concept of competency relates to the collapse of dichotomies between knowing and doing. corresponds to the emergence of a more ‘holistic’ or ‘integrated’ approach complex concept - personal values/attributes, different contexts all within one conceptual framework. combinations of these values, attitudes and attributes brought to bear on the efficient learning and performance of authentic tasks. promotes a curriculum and learning framework which links practice to theory in more coherent ways contradicts belief that education which is practical is both different from and inferior to that which is theoretical.

  17. Real Needs & Real Learning Herrington identifies a number of key factors in developing a positive learning environment as follows • ‘An authentic context closely related to real-life situation • Authentic activities –real world project work • Interaction with co-learners having different levels of experience and expertise • Access to appropriate resources and learning support – scaffolding • Adoption of multiple roles and perspectives by the learners • Collaborative construction of knowledge • Embedded reflection activities • Authentic assessment’

  18. Abstraction Transfer of situated knowledge Contextualisation Application of abstract principles Realisation - The A-G Continuum Authenticity Generalisability (Der-Thanq, Hung 2002) Pedagogical design could be viewed movement along the A-G continuum into the learners zone of ‘proximal development’ (Vygotsky 1981).

  19. Towards Real Needs & Real Learning • Movement from G to A • Movement towards real-world • Increasing number of variables • Less defined scenarios • Increasing noise • More demand for collaboration • Less direct support Authenticity Generalisability

  20. Towards Authentic Learning

  21. Reality in Assessment - Authenticity Reflect the real world – and have validity as a consequence • Accommodate multiple modes of expression • Measure and promote collaborative learning • Lend itself to constuctivist approaches • Operate at cognitive/metacognitive levels • Lead to increased learner motivation • Relate to attitudes and values In viewing assessment as part of a feedback, authenticity can be seen as • Contributing to ‘Real world proximity’ • Being a relative concept indicating the degree of divergence from the real world • Breaking the distinction between learning and assessment • As important as validity, reliability, equity

  22. Reality in assessment • The emergence of a holistic, performance-based approach to assessment, which is • standards or criterion referenced; • direct or authentic; • based on teachers or trainers judgement • is based on multiple sources of evidence.

  23. Reciprocity - In Practice • NFQ, EQF • Descriptors: Knowledge, skills, competence • NICATS -Roles, functions, responsibilities, autonomy etc • Engagement with • Professional bodies: Engineers Ireland, RIAI • Sectoral bodies: IPCMF • Industry Groups: IBEC, ICTU, Micro Enterprises • Individual enterprises • NCPP • DoES, DoETE • SIF – Strategic Innovation Fund in HE

  24. Repeatable – Some examples • Chemical/Pharmaceuticals – BA in First-line Management • Community Education/Development – BA and BA Honours • Sport and Recreation – BA in Sports Coach Management • Newspaper publication – BA in Sales • Nautical/Naval Studies – Nautical Science and Engineering • Sports Coaching • Financial Services • Management in micro companies • Teaching learning for professional development

  25. TCH: BA – Sales/Advertising • Sales/Advertising • Workplace Standards – Competences • Senior managers • Video Conferencing • Work-based Learning Module • 10 credits • 10 competences • Mentor Support – Academic & Workplace • Learning Journal/portfolio • Assessment • Competence • Workplace assessment • Credit award – pass/fail • Reflective commentary • Grade • Academic assessor • Rubrics • Feedback • To academic/teaching staff • To workplace

  26. Repeatability Institute Policy and Practice • Compulsory employment of alternative, authentic assessment methods • Integration of workbased learning into conventional mainscheme courses • Allocation of credits and grades to workbased learning • Development of mentors and assessors in education and workplace • Recognition for prior learning across all programmes • Establishment of robust, sustainable academic-workplace partnerships.

  27. The next steps - Resilience • Accreditation processes • Academic and Workplace Standards • Admission criteria and processes • Recognition of prior learning • Learning evidence and archiving • Learning mentoring and support • Learning Assessment

  28. Resilience – A Supportive Environment Virtual environment to • Foster, sustain academic- workplace partnerships • Identify education/training needs - mutually • Design and develop workbased programmes • Delivery, support for dispersed populations • Manage, monitor workbased learning and placement • Record the evidence of learning and verify • Facilitate the assessment recognition of all learning • Ensure a secure and accessible environment • Provide guidance for learner progression • Provide training and support for academic and workplace staff

  29. Go raibh maith agaibh -Thank you