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Article

Jonathan Garnett

The article identifies and examines key elements of a work-based learning framework to consider their use as part of the higher education response to the apprenticeship…

Abstract

Purpose

The article identifies and examines key elements of a work-based learning framework to consider their use as part of the higher education response to the apprenticeship agenda for the public sector in England.

Design/methodology/approach

This article draws upon work-based learning academic literature and the authors 28 years’ experience of the development and implementation of work-based learning at higher education level in the UK and internationally.

Findings

The article suggests that while the experience of work-based learning at higher education level appears to offer many ready-made tools and approaches for the development and delivery of higher and degree apprenticeships, these should not be adopted uncritically and in some cases may require significant repurposing.

Research limitations/implications

This article is intended to inform practitioners developing degree apprenticeships. Given the degree apprenticeship is still at a relatively early stage in its implementation, this has limited the extent to which it has been possible to review entire degree implementation to the point of participant graduation.

Practical implications

The article draws upon real-life implementation of innovative curriculum design and is of direct practical relevance to the design and operation of work-based learning for degree apprenticeships.

Social implications

Degree apprenticeships have the potential to increase productivity and enhance social mobility. Effective design and implementation of degree apprenticeships in the public sector has the potential to make a significant impact on the quality of public services.

Originality/value

The article provides an informed and sustained examination of how degree apprenticeships, especially those designed for public sector employees, might build upon previous higher education experience in work-based learning.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Content available
Article

Carol Costley and Abdulai Abukari

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of work-based research projects at postgraduate level. The focus of this paper is to measure the impact of masters- and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of work-based research projects at postgraduate level. The focus of this paper is to measure the impact of masters- and doctoral-level work-based projects which was the specific contribution of one group of researchers to the Nixon et al.’s (2008) study.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on data generated as part of a wider study that examines the impact of work-based learning projects across undergraduate through to doctoral level from the perspective of employers and from the employees perspective. The research study is based on a sample of alumni who had graduated from work-based masters and professional doctorate programmes and their corresponding employers in a UK higher education institution.

Findings

At masters and doctorate level the work-based project can often make an impact on the work context and also have a developmental effect on the employee who becomes a practitioner-researcher to undertake the project.

Originality/value

This paper finds that work-based projects are often an investment that companies make that have the propensity to yield tangible business success as well as providing an incentive for key staff to remain in the company and achieve university recognition.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

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Article

Garth Rhodes and Gillian Shiel

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the value and learning potential of work‐based projects to both worker‐researchers and their organisations.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the value and learning potential of work‐based projects to both worker‐researchers and their organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

Within the School of Health, Community and Education Studies at Northumbria University, work‐based learning (WBL) programmes are becoming increasingly important as a vehicle to enable individuals to gain academic credit and qualifications through developing their personal and professional repertoire of skills and knowledge, and also as a mechanism to improve organisational practice/change. To this end the School has used work‐based projects (WBPs) to work innovatively in partnership with employers. Three short case studies are used to explore how WBPs have been used effectively to meet the particular needs of both the workplace and the learner and to discuss the challenges that these initiatives pose in higher education (HE).

Findings

The paper finds that a number of identified issues currently challenging the authors' approaches to WBL have a wider resonance across the WBL community: issues concerning individuals undertaking work‐basedlearning who are unfamiliar with academic learning and how they can be supported to use the skills of enquiry as a tool to implement change in practice; the complexities of using WBL approaches within multi‐ professional groups at differing stages in the continuum from novice to expert and who present individual diverse entry behaviour and learning needs; and the challenges facing the WBL academic working, to recognise and assess the diverse learning acquired throughout the WBL journey so that it can be formally recognised within an HE setting.

Originality/value

The interrelation between action learning, action research and WBPs is introduced and discussed and the impact of the WBL process on the learner, the HE academic and the organisation scrutinised.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

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Article

Paula McIver Nottingham

The purpose of this paper is to examine work-based learning (WBL) pedagogy within higher education (HE) related to the use of the “field of study” concept.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine work-based learning (WBL) pedagogy within higher education (HE) related to the use of the “field of study” concept.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews WBL literature to discuss the original context of the concept and relates this to current pedagogic approaches through qualitative interviews and written explanations.

Findings

WBL pedagogy continues to use the concepts from field of study WBL but the study also indicates that academic practitioners are developing pedagogy to meet the needs of current workplace and educational policy.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is limited in its scope due to the small number of respondents but there are potential implications about emerging directions for this pedagogic range.

Practical implications

The paper argues that field of study WBL is still relevant to existing practice but further engagement and research surrounding WBL pedagogy is needed to examine this range of HE.

Originality/value

The added value is the evidence of evolving WBL pedagogy that can inform issues of flexibility within HE provision.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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Article

Jonathan Garnett

The purpose of this paper is to show how transdisciplinarity is woven into the key curriculum components of individually negotiated work-based learning (WBL) programmes…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how transdisciplinarity is woven into the key curriculum components of individually negotiated work-based learning (WBL) programmes and to focus upon the performative value of knowledge in the work context.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws upon WBL academic literature and the authors 22 years operational experience of WBL.

Findings

The paper suggests that while university-level WBL can enhance the performance of organizations and individuals it is also inherently challenging and challenged by the hegemony of subject disciplines and disciplinary-based university structures. WBL is concerned with knowledge which is often unsystematic, socially constructed and is action focused in order to achieve outcomes of significance to work. This contests the supremacy of the role of the university in curriculum design, delivery and validation of knowledge and means that work-based knowledge is often seen as transdisciplinary rather than conforming to traditional subject disciplines (Boud and Solomon, 2001).

Research limitations/implications

Central to the distinctive nature of university WBL programmes is the role of the external organization as a partner with the university and the individual learner in the planning of learning activities which are intended to have significance for the workplace. For individual knowledge to become organizational knowledge, and thus fully contribute to the intellectual capital of the organization, it must be shared and accepted by others. It follows that a key concern for organizations must be the facilitation of the recognition of knowledge and this goes beyond using a transdisciplinary lens when guiding and assessing the work of individual higher education students.

Practical implications

The paper has practical implications for the design and facilitation of WBL programmes at higher education level.

Originality/value

Provides an informed and sustained examination of the concept of WBL and knowledge.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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Book part

Vic Boyd

Work-based learning (WBL) has long been recognized and lauded for its transformative capabilities, enriching the knowledge and organizational and cultural impact of its…

Abstract

Work-based learning (WBL) has long been recognized and lauded for its transformative capabilities, enriching the knowledge and organizational and cultural impact of its learners. Students deepen understanding of their sector as well as professional interdisciplinarity on work-based academic programs, and in focusing on real-world scenarios in a scholarly way, open up opportunities for improvement and change. However, one of the key challenges in sustaining or continually improving provision for work-based learners in this context is in evidencing impact of enhancement-based, in-program learning and teaching activities. This chapter will examine some of the ways in which WBL values influence academic support delivery at one United Kingdom (UK) Higher Education Institution (HEI) and present examples of the operationalization of some WBL-driving principles in practice. In so doing, this chapter aims to share some of the tenets underpinning WBL practices in the UK in exploring its potential role and contribution as a socially responsible endeavor.

Details

Civil Society and Social Responsibility in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Curriculum and Teaching Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-464-4

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Article

Vincent Carpentier, Norbert Pachler, Karen Evans and Caroline Daly

The purpose of this paper is to explore efforts to bridge conceptualisation and practice in work‐based learning by reflecting on the legacy and sustainability of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore efforts to bridge conceptualisation and practice in work‐based learning by reflecting on the legacy and sustainability of the Centre for Excellence in Work‐based Learning for Education Professionals at the Institute of Education, University of London. The Centre was part of the national CETL (Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) initiative (2005‐2010) and focussed on exploring ways of transforming current models of work‐based learning (WBL) in a bid to respond to the diversity of professional learning needs within education and beyond.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents three case studies which are representative of the Centre's approach to drive theoretical development in WBL.

Findings

The three projects featured contributed to the development of WBL through synergetic cross fertilisation while operating independently from each other. Also, they are characterised by sustainability beyond the end of the CETL initiative. The Putting Knowledge to Work project developed and operationalised the concept of recontextualisation for WBL in successfully moving knowledge from disciplines and workplaces into a curriculum; and from a curriculum into successful pedagogic strategies and learner engagement in educational institutions and workplaces. The London Mobile Learning Group developed a research dynamic around theory and practice of learning with mobile media which contributed to the development of new approaches in (work‐based) learning. The Researching Medical Learning and Practice Network created a community of practice bringing together educational researchers with medical education practitioners and researchers resulting in a greater understanding of how professional attitudes and practices develop in both undergraduate and postgraduate contexts.

Originality/value

The experience of the WLE offers an example of innovative ways to continue to develop our understanding of work‐based learning and inform practice. The impact of the WLE activities on theory, policy and practice is evident in the creation of national and international platforms strengthening existing institutional links.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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Article

Jacqueline Chelin

The purpose of this paper is to disseminate information about the development of a work‐based learning (WBL) honours degree top‐up in Library and Information Sciences…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to disseminate information about the development of a work‐based learning (WBL) honours degree top‐up in Library and Information Sciences (LIS), focusing on the motivation for this development.

Design/methodology/approach

The context for the work is explained. The characteristics of work‐based learning (WBL) are explored in terms of the relevance to LIS learning and teaching. The rationale for the development of the WBL top‐up is proposed and considerations that need to be borne in mind in the implementation are offered.

Findings

A synergy between the ethos of the existing approach to the education and development of LIS students at the University of the West of England and that of WBL was discovered.

Practical implications

There are implications for the training and development of teaching staff to engage fully and excel in a WBL approach, and for the institution to support this approach. There are also implications for advising employers and potential learners as to the benefits of WBL, and to ensure that it fits appropriately into the professional framework.

Originality/value

The value of the paper is in the sharing of an approach to developing a positive new way of working, how this fits with different government, local and professional agendas and the implications it has for all concerned.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 62 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

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Article

Lalith Liyanage, Rebecca Strachan, Roger Penlington and Biddy Casselden

Information and communication technologies have transformed higher education providing e‐mechanisms to support the delivery of content, communication and interaction. One…

Abstract

Purpose

Information and communication technologies have transformed higher education providing e‐mechanisms to support the delivery of content, communication and interaction. One example is the widespread adoption of virtual learning environments (VLEs) by higher education institutions to provide a key interface among learners, the content and tutors. The aim of this paper is to explore the effectiveness of the design of educational systems for work based learning (WBL) from the learner's perspective. The study includes consideration of the use of technology to support the work based learning process for the learner.

Design/methodology/approach

Case studies from four postgraduate programmes and one undergraduate programme within the School of Computing, Engineering and Information Sciences (CEIS) at Northumbria University are presented. Key results from a survey of students on these programmes are discussed.

Findings

The results demonstrate that there are different motivations for this type of provision when compared with more conventional higher education programmes. In this digital age, technology should be a key enabling factor and students expect its adoption to support the learning process. However, academic institutions and staff are still not fully exploiting the possibilities of new media technologies through adapting their approaches to learning.

Originality/value

Traditionally the WBL concept has focused on two of the stakeholder contexts, namely the learner and the academic environment. Consideration of the other two important stakeholder contexts: the workplace and the external environment could significantly enrich the student experience and overall effectiveness of WBL delivery. The current study aims to address this deficit by considering all four stakeholders contexts in one model in order to evaluate the effectiveness of design of educational systems for WBL. This paper presents the first of these stakeholder contexts, the learner experience.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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Article

Sue Shaw and Chrissy Ogilvie

This paper seeks to challenge the view that student part time employment detracts from academic attainment and presents evidence that when linked to formal undergraduate…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to challenge the view that student part time employment detracts from academic attainment and presents evidence that when linked to formal undergraduate study provides rich learning experiences. It also explores the extent to which formerly accepted pre‐requisites for work based learning (WBL) apply in this model and how the workplace adds value to student learning, while essentially being a source of income through low level and not necessarily degree related employment.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors explore the literature on WBL, most of which refers to a model that differs in form to the one described here. The paper draws on small‐scale research data on the student experience, gathered through tutorial groups, sample interviews and a reflective essay. This data was analysed against both pre‐determined and emergent themes.

Findings

There is clear evidence of benefits to students from this form of WBL, both in their studies and learning skills, which were anticipated, but also in their performance, job satisfaction, reward and prospects in the workplace, which were not.

Practical implications

This study suggests that student part time employment, derived from economic necessity can deliver real benefits to students and reduce some of the limitations of classroom based HRD learning by using a Virtual Learning Environment to link the University's academic delivery with the student workplace. This has implications not only for how academics regard the workplace as a vehicle for learning but also for how HRD students and practitioners might view the training and development of part‐time/casual (student) employees.

Originality/value

There is very little published research on this form of work based learning.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 34 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

Keywords

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