Good practice; better practice:a review of practice-based professional learning in four Central Academic Units in the Open University

Yorke, Mantz (2006) Good practice; better practice:a review of practice-based professional learning in four Central Academic Units in the Open University. Open University, Milton Keynes.

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This paper synthesises and discusses a number of themes arising from self-evaluations conducted by four Central Academic Units in the Open University. Some of the themes were also discussed in an earlier paper, Issues in the assessment of practice-based professional learning, which is available on the PBPL CETL website. Some pedagogical implications of the difference between professional learning in two milieux, on placement and in one’s own workplace, are acknowledged. In the latter milieu, a course participant has the advantage of familiarity with the workplace environment, but this may make it difficult to draw in a proper manner on workplace resources when responding to course assessment tasks. A number of curricular issues are discussed, including the appropriate blending of theoretical and practical understandings; the problems of providing workplace learning opportunities; some aspects of e-learning; and the twin challenges of stating standards for courses involving professional learning, and assessing against them. The more individually focused is the curriculum, the greater the problems of ensuring robust assessments and the greater the cost implications (the same apply broadly in respect of the assessment of prior experiential learning). The problematic nature of grading is often under-appreciated. However, when even a three-point grading approach (fail/pass/distinction) is adopted in practice-based professional learning, challenge presents itself – and is particularly evident where the distinction grade is involved. This is an aspect of assessment that demands further inquiry. Another aspect of assessment that is worthy of further study is the use of assessors and/or verifiers from the workplace. The Foundation Degree in early years is pioneering the use of verifiers, which is an approach that merits formal study since it has implications that could extend well beyond the Open University. The challenging curricular and assessment issues have implications for staff and student development, and for quality assurance.

Item Type: Book/Report/Proceedings
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Educational Research
ID Code: 62864
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 12 Mar 2013 16:10
Refereed?: No
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2020 03:44

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