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An embedded approach to PDP and graduateness: challenges and change at The Open University Dr. Ann Pegg firstname.lastname@example.org@open.ac.uk May 2011
Centre for Inclusion and Curriculum The Open University Walton Hall Milton Keynes MK7 6AA www.open.ac.uk
The Open University - OU has 190,272 Undergraduate level students (2009/10) The Open University in Ireland has 55 staff in the Belfast National Centre, 6 in the Dublin Enquiry and Advice Centre and 348 part-time tutors supporting over 4,255 students in Northern Ireland and 3,385 in the ROI. Over 70% of OU students are in full-time or part-time employment
Qualifications awarded 2009/10 Foundation degrees 399 First degrees 10,133 Higher degrees 2,728 AGE 25-34 UG 29% PG 31% 35-44 UG 28% PG 36%
The Open Degree and Named Degrees Over 40% students graduate with an Open Degree a personal qualification shaped around interests and career needs Can focus on one main subject, but with the freedom to mix in a few modules from other areas uses successfully completed credit from previous university-level studies elsewhere (for example, from a foundation degree or incomplete studies)
The Undergraduate Levels Framework To facilitate quality across the whole curriculum from 2005 To ensure progression and choice are balanced with the equity of assessment and achievement across all faculties Through a process of discussion and committee approval at the highest level for all the university Now managed through a gate process and realised through learning outcomes
Employability and the undergraduate levels framework A set of achievements and personal attributes that support individuals in developing their careers, raising their aspirations and enabling students to further their contribution to society. The University recognizes and values the capacity of OU students for autonomous and self-directed learning, important employability skills in themselves.
CBI /UUK skills CBI/UUK Employability SkillsOpen University Undergraduate Levels Framework: Learning Outcomes Self Management Personal and Career Development Learning how to Learn Business and Customer Awareness Practical and Professional skills Teamworking Assessed in some courses and awards through professional practice, in others through communication skills. Problem solvingKnowledge and Understanding Communication and LiteracyKey skill – Communication ; Information Literacy Application of NumeracyKey skill - Numerical Skills Application of information technology Key skill - IT skills and Information Literacy
Exchange ideas Is there a quality framework across your institution that embeds an approach to employability skills development? If so, how well does it work?
Personal Development Planning Within Undergraduate Levels framework as Personal Career Development and Learning how to Learn For a variety of modules – both generic and to meet the needs of specific occupational requirements, eg. Nursing Degrees, Engineering Degrees An opportunity to develop the Open University pedagogy that is grounded in learner experience and draws on lifewide and lifelong learning The issue: variety, engagement and assessment
Exchange ideas How is PDP developed for students across your institution – if there consistency of approach? Is PDP assessed ?
Defining Graduateness Building on the enhancement theme work in Scotland – Graduates for the 21 st Century Running an on-line forum Talking Point for Associate Lecturers and staff Surveys, interviews and focus groups with students across the UK An event at Walton Hall for Faculty, Regional/Nations staff and QAA staff involved in the Undergraduate Levels Framework
Defining Graduateness Many universities are linking employability and learning outcomes to their definitions of graduateness For many OU students graduateness is not only about employability or employment but personal fulfilment and a demonstrable love of learning Focus groups in 2009 showed that students had a nuanced approach to what it might mean to be a graduate and to what they understood as employability Get the job you really want help your children value learning speak the language of employers
The challenges What does Graduateness mean for OU students when it is an idea dislocated from place and developmental life stage? Engagement with PDP - for work, for learning, for self Integrating the tangible and assessed aspects of learning with the process of learning for distance learners Robust statement of achievement for all graduates, national and international Student ownership of Graduateness – does one size fit all?
The changes Ensuring that embedded skills are recognised and articulated by students – developing PDP to facilitate this Moving innovative practice in PDP and team working into common practice in curriculum development A higher profile for employability within the OU Strengthening the connection between learning and lifewide expereinces Recognition of the role of the image of the OU
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