This page was last updated July 2010 when the HELP CETL project completed.
The HELP CETL has supported a programme of research and development activities, the purpose of the which is threefold:
Below is a short description of some of the activities that the HELP CETL has supported between 2005 - 2010. Many activities have resulted in the production of an output, all of which are available to download from the UPC Repository. You can access the repository by clicking here.
Collaborative Curriculum Design
This project aimed to produce a number of learning packages to inform the teaching and delivery of the tourism curriculum across the UPC partnership. The work brought together colleagues from across the partnership to develop pedagogic styles and resource materials for the benefit of the region which may have value to the wider tourism community. In this way an opportunity has been created for those that teach and support the tourism curriculum within UPC to mature and develop as a community. The key outputs are teaching packages designed to support students in blended forms of delivery and assist staff in understanding the process of creating reusable learning objects.
HE in FE Part Time Staff Support and Induction
This activity aimed to provide a level of support for part time HE in FE staff equating to the opportunities afforded to full time staff. The two key aspects were to engage part time staff in activities, normally only offered as paid activities for full time staff and to develop the UPC staff induction package. This enabled staff to take part in staff induction activities and to support them in taking the HE in FE Learning and Teaching in Higher Education [LTHE] M level module. It also included delivering a workshop aimed at supporting new lecturers in HE, as well as a more general introduction to the University and UPC processes. By developing a culture of inclusion for new and part time staff it is hoped that colleges will reap the benefit to teaching and learning which is both non-discriminatory and has a direct impact on the quality enhancement agenda for HE in FE.
The HELP CETL funded pairs of co-mentors to enable them to participate in shared activities over several months. The aim of the project was to encourage pairs to ‘establish their own parameters’ for joint activity and develop a supportive relationship based on their academic interests and pedagogical approaches to supporting learners in their subject areas. Indications from the study are that co-mentoring can significantly help both university and college staff to broaden their knowledge about and experiences in aspects of teaching, learning and research. A further stage of the project is currently being planned. For more information, please contact Claire.email@example.com.
Business and Foundation Degree Partnerships
This was a three year project designed to assist staff involved in Foundation Degree programmes with developing partnerships with businesses. An online practical guide has been developed to help staff identify ways of engaging businesses. The website, found at www.gradsouthwest.com/engage, provides information on the benefits of engaging with employers, understanding employers, finding employers and knowing the job market. The guide also includes case studies of practical things that work, provided by staff across the partnership.
Over the past 3 years a number of activities have been undertaken by practitioners across the UPC network. The focus and aims of the activities have been to broaden the understanding of blended learning so that opportunities are available for all UPC students to benefit from flexible learning. This work has been underpinned by a Blended Learning Strategy which combines Government agendas along with current University policies to enhance and expand student learning opportunities.The activities have involved staff training and awareness, development and research for blended learning resources and tools, along with developing college specific agendas.The work continues in three main areas: Higher Education Study Skills (HESS); Investigating New Technologies for Assessment; and Unlocking the E-potential of Foundation Degrees. Outputs have been delivered in a variety of forms from individual staff development to reports on interactive tools for embedding within the curriculum. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Foundation Degree Students' Progression to University
The aim of this project was to identify learner perceptions regarding their transition from Foundation Degree study in a partner institution to complete their final year towards an Honours Degree at the University. The Development Activity sought to identify current provision for students progressing to the University, explore their experiences and identify successful induction strategies undertaken by host faculties. Data were collected using questionnaires, focus group discussions, diaries and reflective reports. A conference paper was delivered at the 2008 Annual Conference for the Society for Research into Higher Education for wider dissemination.
The Experience of Enterprise Education for Art and Design Students
The overall aim of this activity was to capture the learning experiences of a group of art and design Foundation Degree students as they engaged with an enterprise education module. This activity, carried out at Somerset College included a description of the approach to enterprise education at the college, students’ perceptions of the module and reflections on their learning experience. The research indicated that although graphic design students unanimously recommended the module to others, fine art students were more ambivalent in their evaluation, but nevertheless felt that it was valuable to include such a module in their degree course.
Progression Days for Arts Students
The HELP CETL and the Faculty of Arts supported two events for Stage 1 and Stage 2 Arts students who are thinking of progressing to the University. The events welcomed students from a number of Colleges across the partnership. The event for Stage 1 offered students the opportunity to enjoy a campus tour and a talk from the Students’ Union, Chris Groucutt from UPC and David Coslett, Dean of the Faculty of Arts. The Stage 2 event added to these activities accommodation advice, information about progression bursaries, as well as sessions with Faculty of Arts Programme Managers, to discuss in more depth their progression opportunities. Following these events, the majority of students reported feeling more a part of the wider University Partner College Arts and Media Community whilst other comments agreed with one student who said, ‘It gave me an insight into what standard of work would be expected.’
Learning Experiences of Part Time Students
A collaborative project has been carried out by Somerset College and City of Bristol College into the learning experiences of part time students studying higher education in further education colleges. Their work drew upon data from focus group discussions, questionnaires and interviews to provide an insight into the initial experiences, support and course experiences of part time students. The full report provides specific recommendations relating to staff and IT support, communication and information, access to resources and support services and recognition of part time students’ status.
What do Foundation Degree Graduates Do?
This project aimed to investigate what students from Foundation Degree programmes do when they graduate and to explore their motivation for studying and experiences in the labour market. It has utilised data from the HESA DLHE Survey (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education) carried out six months after graduation and a new longitudinal survey carried out for the first time in 2006/7, for graduates two and a half years into their careers (surveying 10% of Plymouth graduates from 2003). The project reports on the first destinations of UPC FD graduates six months after completing their programmes, comparison of UPC FD graduates with other groups (e.g. FD graduates nationally and graduates from honours degrees) and the experiences, motivations and attitudes of FD graduates before, during and after their programmes. They are now due to embark on a longitudinal study investigating the career progression of students three and a half years after graduating.
Study Skills Support for Foundation Degree Students
This activity, carried out at Bournemouth and Poole College, examined the impact of dedicated learning support on independent study skills and how it could influence student retention and achievement. A learning support assistant employed for this study provided study skills and proof reading support for students on higher level courses. This was provided on a flexible basis using large group tutorials, small group tutorials, one to one support, email support and telephone tutorials. A research paper and advice booklet was provided which could be used by other colleges wishing to use a similar system. Recommendations from the activity included that support should be in place prior to the commencement of the courses, to ensure that the learning support assistant is suitably qualified and experienced and that written guidelines about the support should be made easily available.
Accrediting Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) :
Systems and processes designed to address APL in cooperation with UPC and the JISC funded Pineapple Project. Activities undertaken by lecturing staff in partner institutions including APEL in the hospitality industry.
Co-mentoring for staff:
Development of research skills and teaching practice. Development of team teaching, and offering careers advice to students.
Cross faculty case studies of existing good practice. Specific events that address issues of progression. Roles and responsibilities for supporting progression. Establishing channels of communication.