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Providing negotiated work-based learning using a flexible learning continuum Dr Richelle Duffy & Gillian Shiel Negotiated Work-Based Learning.

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Presentation on theme: "Providing negotiated work-based learning using a flexible learning continuum Dr Richelle Duffy & Gillian Shiel Negotiated Work-Based Learning."— Presentation transcript:

1 Providing negotiated work-based learning using a flexible learning continuum Dr Richelle Duffy & Gillian Shiel Negotiated Work-Based Learning

2 Six key characteristics : Partnership between organisation and HEI Learners are all employed Derives from the needs of the workplace and the learner - work is the curriculum Learners engage in a process of recognition of current learning and practice prior to negotiation of study A significant element of the programme is through learning projects undertaken in the workplace The HEI assesses the learning outcomes against a transdisciplinary framework of standards and levels (Adapted from Boud and Solomon, 2001)

3 Key challenges and successes faced by learning partnerships Financial factors including; – Staffing levels and work patterns – Flexible curricula and delivery structure – Learning partnership agreements Quality impact including; – Organisational drivers and priorities – Government policy (pace and direction) – Engaged and autonomous learners/employees – Benefits to stakeholders

4 Key elements of the work-based programme include: Engaging and motivating staff in challenging times Negotiated learning Whole organisation working Encouraging creativity Critical reflective practice

5 A Tripartite Learning Model: New relationships, New Issues to Consider Learner UniversityEmployer

6 Case study: Learning Partnership with a Local NHS trust Results of a internal survey indicated staff wanted learning programmes that: Provided flexible access (for shifts and rotas) Equal access irrespective of status Matches individual learning, level and pace Matches the level of work experience Relevant to individual practice and team tasks Link to relevant disciplines and with agencies Leads to positive change Academic credit

7 Northumbria Provided: Flexible pathways – step-on, step-off Profession specific awards Tripartite model of support and development Spiral of productive reflection and critical enquiry Action learning sets promoting engagement in professional communities Each of these points will now be discussed…

8 The Tripartite WBL Model: Learner HE providerEmployer Innovative delivery APEL & transferability of credit Negotiation Student Identity Development of a learning partnership agreement Awareness of existing provision – avoid duplication Competence to deliver (Who does the delivery HE / Employer?) Quality of support e.g. work-based advisor Recognising that learners come from a wide-ranging of experience, knowledge, and motivations Diagnosing needs leads to a programme of learning appropriate to personal/professional and organisational needs. Flexible assessment methods e.g. mind maps, reports, professional presentations, employer inclusion, Managing expectations of all parties Effective communication Who pays the programme fee? Who does the learning benefit? Time

9 Maintaining a positive learning partnership Development of the learning partnership agreement (handout) Preparing and supporting work-based advisors Clear accountabilities and responsibilities Regular, open and honest communication

10 ExplorationProposalEnquiryPlanningImplementation Presentation & Evaluation Personal, professional & organisational negotiation Literature, workplace, professional networking Methodology resources evaluation Learning applied to workplace Disseminate findings & make recommendations Spiral of productive reflection and critical enquiry

11 Activity: Developing and maintaining a learning partnership Using the template for the six stage learning process discuss and agree the responsibilities under each heading

12 Action learning sets and communities of practice 1.Shared values and vision 2.Collective responsibility for students learning 3.Reflective enquiry 4.Collaboration focused on learning 5.Group as well as individual professional learning 6.Openness, networks and partnerships 7.Inclusive membership 8.Mutual trust, respect and support

13 Learner experience …allowed me to continue to work and earn whilst having a fundamental impact on my working practice. The flexibility allowed me to choose an area of development in my practice to implement positive change within my organisation. Lorraine – Early Years Workforce Development Manager Being able to access modules which are more pertinent to my individual learning styles and professional skills and knowledge has inspired my belief in both my academic ability and professional confidence. This opportunity has been a great escape from the notion of feeling undermined and under- valued as a professional Diane

14 Learner experience … it was stimulating, relevant and related to the 'day job'. It was also flexible enough to fit around my work and home commitments. As a result I have developed strategies to manage areas I found more challenging such as conflict resolution and this has had a very positive impact on my employing organisation, service delivery and quality of care. Helen – Clinical trials nurse

15 Case Study A unique learning partnership has been developed between Northumbria University and a local academy The partnership has been built on a collaborative view of professional learning provision and a work-based learning programme developed strategically so that talent is recognised, encouraged and developed

16 Career progression of talented and committed staff: An impressive 48% of teaching and associate staff on the Professional Practice Awards Programme have successfully gained internal promotion. 10% of the staff working towards postgraduate or undergraduate qualifications with an equivalent number of both teaching and associate staff. Developing and sustaining the highest quality education provision through attracting, developing and retaining talented and ambitious staff.

17 A Real Learning Through Work Experience The PPA acts as a real learning-through-work experience, very different to a traditional undergraduate or postgraduate course, giving individuals personal, professional and organisational benefits and promoting a wealth of expertise which feeds back into the organisation. It also gives participants the opportunity to work together and move outside their professional comfort zone where shared vulnerability is used for surfacing internalised beliefs, assumptions and practices. Val – Deputy Head with responsibility for professional learning

18 Negotiated Work-Based Learning Positioning on the Flexible Learning Continuum ( Adapted from Cross, 2007) AreasDirectedFlexible ControlEmployer ledNegotiatedStudent led DeliveryUniversityBlendedOrganisations premises DurationTraditional semester Pre-determinedAs required CurriculumPre-definedNegotiatedWork provides the curriculum DevelopmentPrescribed prospectus ReactiveProactive, responsive, reflexive and timely MethodsInstructionalBlendedFacilitation Role of employerDictatesNegotiatesAllows free choice within defined parameters

19 References Boud, D., Cressey, P. and Docherty. P. (2006) Productive Reflection at Work. London: Routledge. Boud, D. and Solomon, N. (2001) Work Based Learning: A New Higher Education. Buckingham: SRHE and The Open University Press. Cross, J. (2007) All or nothing. Informal Learning Blog [online]. Available from: [ nothing/. [Accessed 16 th July 2013]. nothing/ Rhodes, G. and Shiel, G. (2007). Negotiated work-based learning in part-time higher education programmes. In Brennan, L. Hemsworth, D. (eds.) Incorporating into Higher Education programmes the Learning People do for, in and through Work: A guide for higher education managers and practitioners University Vocational Awards Council p

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