Community Engagement (CE) and Work Integrated Learning (WIL)

Report
THE RELEVANCE OF WORKPLACE
LEARNING IN GUIDING STUDENT AND
CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
Dr Joyce Nduna
SATN 2011 Annual
Conference
27 - 29 November
2011
1
1
Structure of the Presentation
• Introduction
• A theoretical framework for workplace learning
• Researching current practice on workplace learning in a
UoT
- Methodology
- Research findings
• Institutional attempts to address the shortcomings of
current practice and to respond to the HEQF
• Discussion
• Conclusion
• Table 1: Suggestions to improvements on WPL
2
Introduction
• Increasing calls for graduate employability and
associated graduate attributes
• Terminology
• Workplace learning - a long established tradition of UoTs
• Little or no alignment of workplace experience to the
learning outcomes of programmes and qualifications
(with some notable exceptions)
• UoTs under scrutiny
• Lack of funding from the Department of Education, as
time spent in the workplace was not regarded as contact
time for student learning.
3
A theoretical framework for workplace learning
Conditions for the enhancement of student learning in workplace contexts
No.
Item
Condition
Literature
1.
Alignment of
workplace learning
with academic
learning
Workplace learning should be aligned with
academic learning through a logical relationship
between the learning outcomes of the
programme and qualification and learning
outcomes that takes place in the workplace
Wilson, Stull and
Vinsonhaler, 1996; Ricks,
1996; Schaafsma, 1996; Van
Gyn, 1996; Engel-Hills et al.,
2010; Winberg et al., 2011.
2.
Preparation of
students for the
workplace
Students should be adequately prepared for
workplace learning and it should be
considered when and how they should
engage with workplaces at different HEQF
levels in curriculum
Engel-Hills et al., 2010;
Jacobs 2010;
(Franceschini 2009
3.
Partnerships and
collaboration
There should be vibrant interaction and
collaboration between academia and the
world of work
Teichler 2000; Foster and
Stephenson 1998; Garrick
and Kirkpatrick 1998;
Teichler 1998
4.
Student support
4.1
Workplace
mentoring
There should be quality mentoring in
workplaces to ensure that students are
supported and not just ‘placed’
4.2
Communication
and use of
technology
Students in worksites should be provided
with continuous support through the use of
educational technology
Megginson et al, 2006;
Clutterbuck, 2004; Shea, 2002;
Hudson, Hudson and Mayne
2010
Ivala and Gachago 2011;
Hoehle and Scornavacca 2007;
DeSanctis, Wright and Jung
2001; Bostrom 2003; Barnes
2003
4
A theoretical framework for workplace learning
Conditions for the enhancement of student learning in workplace contexts
No.
Item
Condition
Literature
5.
Assessment and
accreditation
There should be effective assessment strategies
and explicit articulation of learning outcomes
and assessment criteria
FitzSimons 2000; Onstenk
1998; Noss 1997;
Buckingham 1997
6.
Monitoring and
evaluation
Students should be visited and monitored in the
workplace and follow-up activities for workplace
learning should be set up to provide students
with opportunities for reflection
Illeris 2011; Clifford and
Thorpe 2007; Brewer and
Wyse 1999
7.
Support for staff
The capacity of staff to plan, implement and
monitor workplace learning should be assessed
and capacity building programmes should be
offered
Killion 1999; Guskey 1998;
US Department of Education
Professional Development
Team 1994
A programme workload model that allows
lecturers and coordinators to manage workplace
learning should be developed
Hull 2006; Calzarossa and
Serazzi 1994
There should be adequate allocation of
infrastructure, financial and human resources
as the logistics of workplace learning are
associated with high resourcing levels
Rainbird, Fuller and Munro
2004; Boud and Garrick 1999
8.
Resources
5
A theoretical framework for workplace learning
Conditions for the enhancement of student learning in workplace contexts
No.
Item
Condition
Literature
9.
Research and
Quality
Management
Evaluation research should be a top priority in
order to establish a more Integrated or aligned
approach between the workplace and higher
education and improve the quality of workplace
learning
Wilson 1988; Weaver
1993; Bartkus and Stull
1997; Cates and Jones
1999
10.
Recognition of
Prior Learning
(RPL) - as the
accreditation of
work experience
within a formal
qualification
Effective systems and processes for the RPL
should be set up in higher education to
facilitate career progression and alignment of
academic learning with workplace learning
Solomon and Boud,
2011; Wihak, 2007; Day,
2002
11.
Information
Management
There should be centralised information
management systems that provide a holistic
picture of institutional practice on WPL and add
value to the function of the HEQC in terms of
institutional audits.
Lucey 2005; Nonaka
and Takeuchi 1995
The processes and procedures for planning,
implementing and monitoring workplace
education should be guided by an institutional
policy that encourages critical engagement and
continuous improvement, rather than
‘compliance’
Page 2002
12. Policy Formulation
6
Researching Current Practice on WPL in a UoT –
Research Methodology
Document Study
– A SWOT analysis of the Cooperative Education Unit conducted by
the UoT’s Quality Management Directorate in preparation for the
2008 evaluation by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA);
– Pre-audit report conducted by the Faculty of Engineering in
preparation for the 2008 ECSA evaluation;
– Report on the 2008 ECSA evaluation;
– Survey on Cooperative education practices conducted by the
Southern African Society for Cooperative Education (SASCE) in
November, 2008;
– A report of the 2008 internal quality review cycle providing the
scorecard for the coordination of workplace learning as
documented by UoT’s Quality Management Directorate.
– Minutes of meetings
Scorecard : Poor – No system/evidence in place
Unsatisfactory/Needs improvement – Some system/evidence in place
Satisfactory – Meeting some requirements/average evidence
Good – System in place/some benchmarking/a lot of evidence in place
Excellent – System innovative and used as the benchmark/lots of
evidence/clear leadership/best practice
7
Research findings on current practice
at an institutional level
Findings of the 2008 internal quality review cycle
Coordination (e.g. mentoring, communication, monitoring and
recording) of workplace learning was a major difficulty
The report stated that:
‘There was insufficient monitoring and inadequate assessment
conducted’ and that some students were expected to ‘find
their own placements or were placed in situations where they
did not learn anything relevant to their field of study.
It became clear that when offering workplace learning there
was a need to ‘revise the quality management process for
work-integrated learning and also ensure that students are
appropriately placed and supervised’ (HEQC 2011:34).
8
Research findings on current practice at programme level
(Engineering Programmes)
No.
Item
Current Practice
Source
1.
Alignment of
workplace learning
with academic
learning
In most cases there was little or no evidence of a
direct link between workplace experience and
outcomes of the learning programme and
qualification
ECSA Evaluation
Report, 2008
2.
Preparation of
students for the
workplace
Work preparedness programmes are not credit-bearing and not
scheduled in the timetable.
SWOT Analysis
3.
Partnerships and
collaboration
In some instances there was little or no proof of collaboration
with industry. Some learning took place in a ‘training’
laboratory/environment at neighbouring educational
institutions
ECSA Evaluation
Report, 2008
4.
Student support
4.1
Workplace
mentoring
Most of the mentors/evaluators did not have proof of
competency to carry out assessment and were not registered.
The broad guidelines used did not specify levels of cognitive
challenge or complexity required in programmes.
ECSA Evaluation
Report, 2008
4.2
Communication
and use of
technology
There was no evidence that students in the workplace and
practitioners in higher education used educational technology
to communicate, record and monitor progress
ECSA Evaluation
In some programmes there was no preparatory stage to
introduce students to the industry background in order to enable Report, 2008
them to relate their academic studies to the actual work situation
9
Research findings on current practice at Programme Level
(Engineering Programmes)
No.
5.
6.
Item
Assessment and
accreditation
Monitoring and
evaluation
Current Practice
Source
In some cases there was no evidence of students being
assessed by an industry mentor or supervisor. Assessment
was left entirely to the Cooperative education practitioners.
Pre-audit Report
of the
Engineering
Faculty
Assessment and credit awarded were not appropriate to the
type and complexity of learning in some programmes
ECSA Evaluation
Report, 2008)
The moderation of assessment was lacking
SWOT Analysis
of Cooperative
Education
Some students were not visited and monitored and in some
cases records on visits and monitoring of students were not
kept for review purposes
In some cases students were encouraged to place themselves.
This practice was found to be problematic as the suitability of
workplaces needed to be verified before placements, and
justified with follow-up visits
Pre-audit Report;
7.
Support for staff
There was no evidence that the capacity of staff to deliver on
WIL processes had been assessed and that attempts to develop
capacity building programmes and enabling workload models
for them were planned or implemented.
8.
Resources
Although there was a substantial number of coordinators and
placement officers in place, workplace learning did not receive
state subsidy (with some exceptions, mainly in the health
sciences); as a result several academic departments are
considering doing away with workplace learning as they plan
new HEQF-aligned programmes.
2008 ECSA
Evaluation
Report
SWOT Analysis
SWOT Analysis
SWOT Analysis
10
Research findings on current practice at Programme Level
(Engineering Programmes)
No.
Item
Current Practice
Source
9.
Research and
Quality
Management
There was little or no evidence of a system to
receive feedback from industry and use it to
add value to academic departments in order to
inform the curriculum . In some programmes,
feedback from students and industry was not
collated or summarised.
Pre-audit Report
of the
Engineering
Faculty compiled
in preparation
for the 2008
ECSA evaluation
10.
Recognition of Prior
Learning (RPL) - as
the accreditation of
work experience
within a formal
qualification
There was no evidence that career progression and integration
of academic learning with workplace learning were facilitated
through systems and processes for the Recognition of Prior
Learning.
SWOT Analysis
11.
Information
Management
There were no centralized information management systems
that provided a holistic picture of institutional practice on
workplace learning. In 2008 it was reported that the
management of information on WIL was neither consistent nor
centralised.
Pre-audit Report
12.
Policy Formulation
Although the processes and procedures for planning,
implementing and monitoring workplace learning are guided by
an institutional policy on Cooperative Education, there is no WIL
policy that is inclusive of other modalities of WIL (e.g. projectbased learning) to assist students to complete their
qualifications when workplace opportunities are not available.
Minutes of
meetings
11
Institutional attempts to address the shortcomings
of current practice and to respond to the HEQF
• Drafting of a discussion document with the research findings and
an action plan to improve the current practices on workplace
learning in 2009;
• Use of the discussion document in 2010 as a basis for Institutional
workshops/discussions around:
- conceptual clarity on how learning happens in a work
environment and how workplace learning is aligned to academic
knowledge;
- the HEQF re-curriculation process and the implementation of
other modalities of WIL; and
- WIL policy formulation
• Workshops that provided opportunities for some academic
departments to share how they have piloted project-based learning
as part of the experiential learning programme towards the end of
2011
12
Discussion
From these institutional interventions, it is evident that
workplace learning, as is currently practised, presents the
following two main challenges:
• Firstly, when viewing workplace learning as a separate
experiential component, it is unlikely to be funded by the
Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).
• Secondly, when treating workplace learning as an integral
part of teaching, learning and assessment strategies for an
academic programme, it implies that this component should
be conceptualised as ‘learning’ rather than ‘work’ and that
the number of credits should be determined during the
programme conceptualisation phase. It is expected that the
DHET will be willing to fund workplace learning if it is
coherent and well conceptualised.
13
Discussion
Questions raised during institutional discussions
1. If workplace learning is conceptualised as a credit-bearing element of a
professional curriculum, will it be appropriately funded by the DHET?
2. Can workplace learning (credit-bearing but not funded by DHET) be an
optional component of a professional curriculum?
3. How do we curriculate workplace learning as an optional component in the
curriculum?
4. How will UoT programmes then differ from those of traditional universities,
especially if these universities also implement project-based learning,
problem-based learning and work-directed theoretical learning as components
of their curricula?
5. Should we not be looking more critically at the pros and cons of the current
experiential learning component in relation to availability of placements,
economic climate, and institutional cost of offering workplace learning?
6. If the credits of the learning outcomes to be achieved are entered as
experiential learning in the HEQF template does the institution have the
resources to support this? How will this be funded by the institution?
7. Do we have all the facts on the table to make an informed decision?
14
Conclusion
• Workplace learning within academic programmes in UoTs currently
faces challenges that require urgent attention
• Such challenges could be addressed through a collaborative
curriculum development process that requires commitment from all
relevant stakeholders.
• Partnerships could make it possible for external stakeholders to
monitor and assess the impact of workplace learning on student
development
• There is a need for a clear national strategy for WIL in UoTs to enable
workplace learning to make a meaningful contribution to both
student and curriculum development.
• This paper confirms previous work on workplace learning
documented in various publications by authors who conceive, define
and present workplace learning ‘as a curriculum model that links work
and academics, and that is based on sound learning theory’ (Wilson,
Stull and Vinsonhaler 1996: 158). ‘Cooperative education is an
educational programme that is not simply concerned with
employment’
(Cates and Jones, 1996: 66).
15
Table 1:
No.
1.
Item
Alignment of
workplace learning
with academic
learning
Suggestions to improvements on WPL
At institutional level
Facilitate an institutional process of
curriculum evaluation, review and design.
At programme level
Align learning outcomes of
programmes and qualifications with
workplace experience
Consider other modalities of WIL to
assist students to complete their
qualifications when placement
opportunities are not available.
2.
3.
Preparation of
students for the
workplace
Partnerships and
collaboration
Facilitate the curriculation and
development of credit-bearing work
preparedness programmes
Accommodate work preparedness
programmes in departmental
timetables
Advise when students should engage with
workplaces and how, at different HEQF
levels in curriculum.
Provide additional offerings that
promote multi-lingualism
Create a database of university-workplace
partnerships
Encourage vibrant interaction with
workplaces
Use a partnership approach to new
programme development.
Establish advisory committees and
encourage workplace sabbaticals for
staff as well as industry/community
input in classroom.
Clarify roles of staff in faculties and
strategic/support units and encourage
collaboration
Collaborate with strategic/support
units
16
Table 1:
No.
4.
Item
Suggestions to improvements on WPL
At institutional level
At programme level
Student support
Ensure that students have
workplace mentors and
develop systems that
encourage Interaction
between university staff and
workplace mentors
4.1
Workplace
mentoring
Develop capacity building programmes on
mentoring and assessment for workplace mentors
4.2
Communication and
use of technology
Encourage the use technology to provide continuous Use technology to
support and assist students to integrate theory and communicate with students in
worksites
practice during their placement in worksites.
Visit students regularly and
keep record of visits
5.
Assessment and
accreditation
Align assessment of workplace learning with an
institutional assessment policy
Involve lecturers in academic
departments in the
assessment of workplace
learning
Provide assessor training
Ensure that assessment of
workplace learning is
followed with departmental
moderation
17
Table 1:
No.
6.
Item
Monitoring and
evaluation
Suggestions to improvements on WPL
At institutional level
Ensure quality of mentoring in workplaces and that
workplaces are adequate learning environments.
Provide adequate training of workplace mentors/
supervisors/tutors
Encourage logging of mentor qualifications.
At programme level
Verify the suitability of
workplaces before placements
and justify with follow-up
visits
Develop a monitoring plan
that makes provision for
recording students being
monitored in the workplace
Consider departmental and
programme needs and
ensure that workplace
mentors are qualified and
competent.
Set up follow-up activities for
workplace learning (e.g.
structured reflection) to
provide students with
opportunities for reflection.
7.
Support for staff
Offer staff development programmes and build staff Develop enabling programme
workload models
capacity on level descriptors and their alignment
with qualifications and programmes on the HEQF
18
Table 1:
Suggestions to improvements on WPL
No.
Item
8.
Resource allocation
for WPL
9.
Research and Quality Encourage collaborative evaluation research on
Management
workplace learning to inform its continuous
improvement
At institutional level
Budget properly for quality implementation of
workplace learning and solicit external funding.
Revise the quality management process for
workplace learning
Encourage the development of national HEQC
quality guidelines for workplace learning and
expansion on what has already been developed for
service-learning (HEQC and Jet Education services,
2006).
10.
WPL and Recognition
of Prior Learning
(RPL) - as the
accreditation of
work experience
within a formal
qualification
At programme level
Ensure allocation of adequate
human resources and
infrastructure to ensure
effective visitation and
monitoring of students
Develop a system to receive
feedback from the workplace
and use it to add value to
programmes or to inform the
curriculum.
Collate, summarise and
compare feedback from
students and workplaces
Consider the experience of working adults and use Assess the relevance of work
RPL processes
experience of working adults
to academic programmes and
assist working adults to use
RPL processes in order to be
exempted from workplace
learning
19
Table 1:
Suggestions to improvements on WPL
No.
Item
11.
Information
Management
Centralize information on workplace learning in
order to provide a holistic picture of institutional
practice on workplace learning
Liaise with other programmes
in order to develop and
implement a consistent
information management
system for workplace learning
12.
Policy Formulation
Develop a WIL policy to guide the planning,
implementation and monitoring of workplace
learning
Plan and implement
workplace learning according
to developed policy guidelines
and consider WPL as one of
the four proposed WIL
modalities
At institutional level
At programme level
20
Thank You….
Questions?
21

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