Enhanced employer engagement with WBL modules in Engineering Foundation Degrees
The project will consist of:
1. A requirements gathering phase, in which stakeholder interviews are held in order to assimilate data on the needs of students, employers, teaching academics, professional bodies and administrators pertaining to the delivery of work-based modules in the 3 years of the part-time Foundation Degree programmes in Engineering.
2. Detailed discussions will be held with systems experts and educational advisors on the various ways in-programme support can be delivered across multiple sites. This may include adaptations of existing IT-based managed learning environments or alternatively a CPD portfolio management environment which is currently under development at Hull.
3. The options generated will be mapped against the stakeholder requirements and constraints using a formal design methodology and the optimal solution features selected for development.
4. The solution generated will be implemented across level 4 and 5 WBL modules within the FdEng degrees in support of the employer – student-academic interaction.
5. Feedback will be sought from stakeholders at the end of the 2011/12 academic year (June 2012) and the efficacy of the new scheme evaluated. Interim feedback can be sought at the end of Semester 1 2011/12 if the project termination date requires this.
6. The evaluation will be incorporated in a programme of continuous improvement for the module delivery rationale, and a review of the project written up for dissemination to FE or HE colleagues across the sector.
The outputs from the project:
1. A completed pilot study on a flexible and accessible support system for WBL within HE, with evaluation and recommendations/advisory report.
2. A demonstrable audit trail of interaction from employers in support of their employees’ HE learning, and reciprocal information flow from the University to the sponsor.
3. Improved standing for the FdEng programmes within the accreditation frameworks of professional Engineering Institutions such as IET.
4. If deemed workable, the establishment of tripartite learning contracts governed by an operational manual to cover WBL activities.
Enhanced employer engagement will ensure currency of the WBL curriculum with respect to the requirements of industry and coherence with the workplace demands placed on the students. These can then be integrated with the appropriate module learning outcomes as part of a process of continual improvement. Further, the progress and support requirements of individual students in respect of the learning outcomes of the programmes can be monitored and responded to. Detailed quality planning of selected engagement mechanisms will allow effective practices to be rolled out across the sector.
If you wish to know more about this project, please contact the Programme's Engineering team at HESTEM@raeng.org.uk with Reference Number: FP018 OCT2010.