• Co-delivery of higher level learning and role perceptions: A practitioner research study

      Wall, Tony; Meakin, Denise; University of Chester (2011-11-06)
      Models of higher education which support personal and organisational transformation have emerged in various forms over time. One of these forms has been the negotiated, work-based learning framework which allow learners to integrate interdisciplinary study into their work activity. Such frameworks remain as innovative approaches for learning, and are more widely recognised than ever before. So much so, more and more learning and development departments of public, private and voluntary sector organisations are seeking recognition of their in-house training courses – so trainees can be awarded university credits or awards upon successful completion of a training experience. Although this may be seen as an innovative form of widening access and diversity in universities, it is also a strategic recognition that higher level learning is facilitated out of the classroom, in the workplace, in an applied setting (professional knowledge, ‘mode 2’ learning). In designing and delivering this provision, staff from the organisation offering the training (called Associate Tutors) and the university (called Associate Tutor Advisor) work together in a close relationship to ensure adherence to quality assurance standards, requirements and processes. Even though this is a growing area within higher education, this relationship is un-researched, and this paper raises important questions. Overall, this paper investigates how staff from organisations providing such training perceive their role: Do they see themselves as trainers? Do they see themselves as academics of the University? A hybrid? Or both? This paper draws data from innovative practice through a qualitative action based research methodology. It is argued that Associate Tutors can primarily see themselves as delivering a commercial training service with a brand-value, which is focused on a ‘mode 1’ transmission of knowledge – whereas the teaching, learning and assessment activities associated with being an academic in higher education is a secondary consideration. The implications and challenges of these perceptions are shared, discussed and critiqued in order to further develop innovative practice in facilitating partnerships for mode 2 knowledge creation, outside of universities.
    • Contesting ownership and responsibility: A practitioner research study

      Wall, Tony; Meakin, Denise; University of Chester (2011-11-05)
      It is clear in higher education quality and policy guidance and frameworks that higher education institutions (HEIs) are responsible for the awards which are granted in their name, and for the student experience. Within the traditional direct-delivery model of ‘HEI-provides-to-student’ relationship, it is possible to map ownership and responsibility across an HEI, approximating functional and departmental demarcation. Yet this is fundamentally challenged in the context of collaborative provision, whereby organisations which are external and separate to the HEI deliver and assess learning which to lead to HEI credits and awards (also termed co-delivery). This remains an innovative area of consistent growth in the UK, especially for accrediting the training activity of commercial training providers – but also remains an un-researched area. Within co-delivery contexts, the student selects the training provider, pays them, and undertakes their training – and unlike the ‘HEI-provides-to-student’ relationship, the student may never come in to contact with the HEI – but the HEI is still responsible in the same way. Within such a context, who owns the student? Do students belong to the providers of the teaching and learning activity (it is their training, they deliver and assess it, they are paid for it)? Or, do students belong to the HEI, whereby the so-called ‘ultimate’ responsibility of quality assurance, assessment and awarding powers lie? Within this context, a sense of contested ownership and contested responsibility emerges and is never resolved. This paper draws on rich and authentic data from on-going practitioner research from one of the largest frameworks for co-delivery in Europe. It highlights the contested notions of ownership and responsibility in the context of the co-delivery of higher education, and the resultant professional tensions and challenges. The paper also questions these notions more generally, and examines the implications for practitioners in co-delivery and practitioners more broadly.
    • Exploring the power of high-level postgraduate international partnership work based learning programmes

      Weston, Philippa; Perrin, David; Meakin, Denise; CWRS, University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-05-25)
      This chapter explores students’ reflections of their experiential learning whilst enrolled on an HE work based learning (WBL) international internship programme jointly developed by the University of Chester and the Mountbatten Institute. The chapter commences with some background to help set in context why these two organisations came together to form this unique inter-organisational partnership involving the partner delivering and assessing, and the HEI accrediting the programme. Then using data gained from student evaluations together with quotes obtained from students’ reflective learning logs, submitted as part of their final project at the end of the taught element of the programme, the chapter explores students’ perceptions of what they perceive they have gained from this experience which they can take forward into their future careers. As such it provides a unique insight into the nature and value of this international learning experience.
    • Reflective practice for sustainable development

      Wall, Tony; Meakin, Denise; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-09-30)
      The efficacy of developing institutional approaches for, and curriculum content about, sustainable development, has been criticised as insufficient to change behaviour in practice (Wall et al, 2017). This partly reflects the deeply engrained nature of educational practices and systems and their effects on learners, and how these are an intimate part of how (un)sustainable futures are perpetuated. As Orr (1994, p. 5) articulates it, “[t]he truth is that without significant precautions, education can equip people merely to be more effective vandals of the Earth”. Against this backdrop, scholars have called for approaches which employ a deeper link between individuals’ knowledge and their critical attributes, that is, a greater need to facilitate the capacities of learners to engage in critical reflection to help transform how they view their responsibilities regarding a sustainable future (Viegas et al, 2016)...
    • Risk management and cultural virtue in HE co-delivery arrangements

      Talbot, Jon; Perrin, David; Meakin, Denise; University of Chester (Emerald, 2014-04-01)
      The paper is a case study of how risk assessment principles are used to quality assure delivery of higher education programmes by third parties. A three level system of Quality Assurance is described- external, university level and tutor level. In contrast to some who view QA as a constraint on traditional academic autonomy, the validity of each layer is recognised as performing an essential function but that quality has no meaning unless it is embedded in day to day academic culture and practice.