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Developing Work-Based Learning at a Distance Ben Oakley, Head of Award tel. 01908 652 646 Website at:

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Presentation on theme: "Developing Work-Based Learning at a Distance Ben Oakley, Head of Award tel. 01908 652 646 Website at:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing Work-Based Learning at a Distance Ben Oakley, Head of Award tel Website at:

2 In the next 20 minutes we will.. Discuss the main messages from our consultation with employers Share some of the OU materials developed to meet work-based learning needs Consider how reflection can be integrated into work-based learning

3 Background About the Open University ‘Blended’ learning – 13 regions – tutor contact No entry requirements New Course from May 2008: Foundation Degree in Sport, Fitness & Health Currently 650 students studying first module Large modules (60/30 pts. – 9/6 months) Developing materials a key focus

4 Employer Consultation: Overall Course Content Phase 1 (2006) Interpersonal skills Customer focus Legal / regulatory environment (health & safety) Accredited technical / practical skills – Fitness Training – Register of Exercise Professionals. We, as academics, focus on what students’ know, employers want to focus on what they can do …

5 Skills identified by employees

6 Legal and regulatory environment Engaging students …7 new readings developed: Healthy Living whose responsibility? From Lyme Bay to licensing The voluntary regulation of the fitness industry Legal frameworks for health and safety (pdf) The hidden work of a facility manager Managing a monumental crisis

7 Customer Focus DVD film Halo Leisure film extract used in ‘compare and contrast’ assessment –Customer expectations –Customer feedback –Customer complaints

8 Employer Consultation: Level 2 Content Phase 2 (2008) Behavioural change / exercise psychology Special population groups (e.g. diabetics, asthma) Private sector – Sales and retention Public Sector – Community development – Exercise Referral

9 Blending the Materials Study guide –the ‘voice’ of the lecturers Moodle Website –forum, online activities, formative tests, audio clips (no Power point) Course text or ‘Reader’ (Routledge) –The Sport and Fitness Sector: an introduction (2008) –Exploring Sport and Fitness: work-based practice (2009) DVD – link with BBC –films and audio clips

10 Integrating Reflection into WBL Focuses for reflection Very good or very bad experiences Specific incidents (Gibbs, 1988) Integrate learning into practice (OU 2006, Kolb 1984) Engaging students new Reader chapters and films developed – photocopy of sample chapter available

11 Reflective ‘checkpoints’

12 Developing Self Awareness Topics Communication, Motivation, Leadership, Instruction, Customers The following skills are developed: asking questions as a ‘trigger’ for reflection collect semi-structured interview date from work colleagues or customers structured work-place observations –‘Use the observation checklist you designed in activity xx to observe, record and evaluate the communication skills used by the instructor. You may find it useful to watch the clip more than once. –Make a list of the pros and cons of using observation and an observation checklist.’

13 Summary and key lessons Employer consultation is time consuming and largely about relationship building … often we tend to focus on the public sector since it is easier Integrate as much awareness of employability issues as possible using a range of media BBC Radio 4 archives a rich source of business related material e.g. ‘In Business’, ‘Nice Work’, ‘The Bottom Line’, ‘Am I normal’ (et. al.) all rich sources and FREE Not everyone responds to ‘reflection’ Possibility of HFCE project (6-12 months time) to create & share ‘Employability’ related resources with other HEIs your interest to


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