Media Professionals Module

I have just had another interesting meeting about embedding coaching principles directly into the module process. The module Media Professionals’ Workshop (school of cultural studies) explores professional practice and future career paths for students in the second year of their degree. Part of the module is focussed on a live production with a current media professional, forming 40% of their assessment. Part focuses on career planning which builds 60% of the assessment. Coaching is being considered for the second part (career planning) aiming to enable students formulate their goals and solidify a plan of action, what, where and when.

This module currently offers workshops on such as aspects as CV development, supported by the careers advice department. Our discussion today focused on using coaching methods with students on a voluntary basis, possibly as group coaching sessions, similar in format to the ones I have been developing with Tony Renshaw’s insight. Areas such as skill/competency assessment and change management could form the bases of workshops to support goal development and strategy planning. Many of the resources from the PLC module could be used to support this process. There was also some discussed about the possibility of using a reflective approach so as students can build a portfolio of evidence.

Much of this fits in with what Nick Halafihi has being doing and some cross over with Sarah Patrick’s work in health. I enquired into the nature of the course’s PDP structure, as this has been seen as a common link area with coaching, but this is currently more skill development based for this course.

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.

Beginning the search for learning Objects

Having now designed a module structure and roughed out the content we need to a range of learning objects. As the focus of the project is on design not delivery we intend to minimise amount of LO creation that we have to do. Fortunately our world is packed with resources. Leeds Met’s own repository is starting to fill, thanks to the OER Unicycle project. The S4L (skills for learning) department have a very compressive site, full of those basic yet essential skills we all have to refer back to from time to time.

These are the two resources I have been exploring today, creating a map between resources and module content labels. Writing ideas and notes on how these resources could be incorporated. I have found some interesting diagnostic tools which might compliment the ones the PC3 team have recently experienced during our caching course. Aimed at developing an employment plan at the end of a degree, they are open enough in context to be adapted for initial exercises on self-understanding and action planning.

This is just initial forage, something to wet the appetite. I have many more places, such as Leeds Met XStream VLE, lectures private stashes, Jorum, YouTube and many more to explore. I’m also looking forward to the October program meeting where I will get the chance to network with the rest of the Curriculum Design group and also the Curriculum Delivery group, both are bound to have something for we can utilise. I suspect I will end up with more than we can teach, but choice is always better for students.

Running alongside this resource collection process, will be the development of a detailed module structure and plan. Each of the eight module topics now need to be broken down into content, activities and reflection. Identifying clearly where they link into the development coaching support and speculating on the types of outcomes and issues students may engage with. We also need to identify which technology to use and how it will support particular tasks. Although coaching, reflection and the ePortfolio will lie at the heart of the process, the content and activities need to be designed to integrate with this process and naturally spark of reflection and self-development. Any ideas? 🙂

Creating a poster for PC3 events

On return from an enjoyable couple of weeks break, the first job is to finish the Poster I started for various forth coming PC3 events. The aim is to capture the developments we have made since the our initial conception of the PC3 framework. One the primary moves forward has been in investigating and choosing the technology to underpin the process. These are reflected in the changes to the over view framework (diagram at the top of poster). The next step in this process is work out the best way to integrate or present all this individual systems to students as a coherent set o tools. At the moment XStream looks to be the main entry point. I have a workshop next week on Campus Pack Fusion so hopeful should be able to start that development soon.

Introduction to PC3 project and the PLC module structure

Introduction to PC3 project and the PLC module structure

The second main development has been the creation of the *PLC module* discussed earlier. I’ve tried to capture the main elements of the module and show clear links between the process and the technology framework. There is a lot to cover over the next few months, including gathering as many LOs in the topic areas, improving access to course specifications and creating the competency maps within PebblePad.

Interview with Carnegie Leaders in Learning Director

A couple of days ago I interviewed Margaret about using the Carnegie Leaders in Learning cohort as our first pilot group for the PC3 project. I will be doing this with key staff members of each cohort prior to their initial induction onto the PC3 module. The aim of the interview was to construct two comparative scenarios. The first depicting the types of learners and their progress on the course as it stands now, prior to the personalisation route being introduced. The second was a bit of future gazing about how they perceived their learners would progress through the new personalised route, and the types of difficulties or enhancements this would bring. These will be presented in due course when I have finished the analysis. However, as this first interview was with a member of the PC3 team, it also brought up some things that maybe of interest during the development of the PC3 module and the integration of students into the personalised process.

Coaches are going to be the first port of call when difficulties arise, as well as directing learners to other university resources. For this they will all need some shared resource space that has best or most effective key contacts for the various facilities. This maybe something that is developed as shared experience, but we may want to start thinking about putting together an initial pack.

Once the PC3 module has been completed by the students they will, hopefully, be moving on to other modules that they have chosen and negotiated with their coach and the module tutor. There are several things that need to be roughly in place before this can happen smoothly. We will need to form a protocol for contacting modules students are interested in, some formal documentation on the negotiated time scales and assessments (type of learning contract with the module leader?). Some form of briefing for tutors taking on students that are being coached, with a view to defining the coach’s purpose, responsibilities and limitations. This may also include some help and advice on how best to integrate incoming students, partially once we have had experience of possible difficulties that can arise.

Another area we discussed was that of peer support. This is an area of much debate in academia with those who advocate that it is essential to successful learning and those that feel it is supportive but not always necessary. There are many examples of successful learning in isolation. However for PC3 we decided that providing a social space for our learners, to use as they see fit, will be part of the supportive process. With the first pilot group they will be entering the personalised route as a single cohort and will most likely progress as such. Some of the difficulties around peer support may not necessarily be immediately obvious during the first group. For later groups that may become more fragmented as they progress it might be an idea to enable them to invite students not on the personalised route, but who they are associating with within modules, into their social space. This way as a student moves from module to module they develop a group of personalised peers around them.

One of the main benefits to potential students taking this coached route, is their ability to organise their time to suit them. From our perspective this means making sure enough material is pre-prepared for students to access as and when they need to. One of the scenarios Margret highlighted during our interview was allowing students to access recorded lectures. This is something we must create a process for, particularly for modules taken after the initial PC3 module and those that are outside the Carnegie faculty. How we are going to do this I’m not quite sure at the moment, but I do know that during discussions with the CETL ALiC team about podcasting, many lecturers wanted to have the opportunity to edit the material rather than record and publicise. Will have to see if this preference has changed, but it is the editing that takes time and training, and maybe a barrier to this process. Food for thought?

All in all a good discussion and I’m currently writing up the scenarios from this. Still working on the best way to represent them, but should come to me soon.