Recruiting for coaching ambassadors

Today we started the campaign for recruiting students as coaching ambassadors. To start this process we pitched an outline of what we wanted from the students and what benefits they would gain to a group third year sports business management students. This group was selected as it had previous experience of using coaching within their course during their second year. This was well received and a number of students approached me after presentation for further details. Attached are the handouts explaining the role and how to get registered to the University’s Job Shop as well as the recruitment application from and presentaion slides.

Coaching Ambassadors Project Job description

Ambassador Recruitment Survay Question

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Potential Cohort with Mental Health

Today Janet and I had a productive meeting with Sarah Patrick from the department of Mental Health. We were looking at what aspects of the PLC module and coaching could be used to support a part time degree in this field. One of the problems that senior people in the health sector have is finding time for their own personal development and extending their specialities. Sarah’s team ran a series of modules that covered a range of highly specialised topics. The problem with running these types of modules for people with little time is that recruitment can be very varied, resulting in periods when they are not run at all. These modules are also subject to rigours standards from various accrediting bodies which mean they needs to be some sort of continuation to retain the endorsement.

Sarah is in the process of re-write a couple of the courses and looking at how the process can be improved. At the moment students are required to spend one day a week on campus which for senior practitioner is not always practical. She is looking at providing a more online alternative. The courses are also focused around a portfolio of evidence based on competencies and one has a number of choices the student needs to make regarding the specialist direction.

Our initial ideas is to run the PLC module as a long thin over a year period as a support process for choices, finding evidence and building the portfolio. Coaching linked into the profession development module as both a support mechanism and a peer support mechanism and providing a sense of why the students have chosen what they are doing. Provided the glue for a range of different modules where students are not working within a common cohort.

There is some work to do here, Sarah homes to have a more structured view of what she is a after early next semester. In the mean time we need to consider how coaching and the PLC module can be used to support CPD and PDP. Which fits rather well I think.

Talking PC3

I have had a day of talking about PC3, once again exploring the potential application of the approach we are proposing this time with senior Faculty staff and researchers. This morning it was off to present the project to the leadership team of our Faculty of Arts and Society. There was considerable interest in my brief presentation and a recognition that, perhaps more than most, staff in this Faculty (which includes art and design) are most familiar with a coaching style of teaching. There was strong support for the approach and one course potentially ready to run in parallel with our first user group this summer. A promising start.

This afternoon I joined the university’s professors and readers to discuss the future of postgraduate awards. Here again there was clear recognition that the PC3 model offers a way of supporting one of the types of postgraduate provision that we need to provide. After a general discussion on the challenges and progress being made, we broke into more intensive discussion groups and I joined a group to discuss professional and employer driven masters programmes and the challenges they present. One of the very useful elements of this for the project was finding out more about the new postgraduate schemata that is being developed, a simplified version of the Regional University Network’s “content free” validation structures. I will find out more about this as I know it is something of interest to our cluster – and it is certainly something which will help us enormously in the project.

Process review

John and I attended the Support and Synthesis Project’s Process Review meeting in Birmingham yesterday. A useful set of presentations on various tools and techniques that we could use to do this but for me the most valuable thing was the discussions with others about the scope and nature of curriculum design and the prompt to consider in detail how we will address the process review issue.

We have had a number of conversations over the past few months which have begun this review, clarifying the needs of particular user groups. But we need to take a more formal approach to mapping the processes they follow, to identify similarities and differences and to determine the scope of what we can reasonably consider within the project.

This formalisation of the consultation will begin on January 20th when we invite interested parties to contribute to some focus group discussions on the processes for which they need support. Lots to do to prepare for that.

Real world problems

Had a useful first meeting this morning with team member Jill Taylor and June Copeman who is leading a new flexible programme in Health for assistant practitioners in nutrition. We talked about some of the challenges she is facing in setting up and rolling out this programme, not least the limitations of institutional back end systems. This is certainly something we anticipated at the start of the PC3 project and it will be very helpful to us to work with June to establish what exactly the problems are and where they are coming from: whether they are the result of limitations of the software, lack of awareness of staff, or resistance to change for instance.

We will be talking to June again in the new year and following her cohort through their first year, ensuring that the PC3 framework is developed to address the challenges raised by her programme. Working with users on the front line is as important as liaising with managers and procurers of systems. Sometimes what should be possible in theory is not at all easy in practice.