He Bulletin Autumn 2011


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He Bulletin Autumn 2011

  1. 1. HE Bulletin Autumn edition 2011 Contents Partnerships and programmes..........2 You said we did!................................3 Student representatives....................4 Become an ambassador for higher education...............................4 Blended and distance learning.........5 Graduation........................................6 Sports internships..............................8 Sports student invited to House of Commons..........................8 Landscape Design students win silver gilt.......................9 Nuclear Decommissioning students graduate.............................9 Motorsport race team claims two podium finshes.........................10 Art & Design student opens her own shop........................10 Important contacts..........................11 A-Z of HE: This term T – W.............12 Welcome to those of you who have enrolled on a higher education course with Bridgwater College for the first time! And welcome back to all of our second and third year students also. We hope that 2011/12 will be an enjoyable and successful year for you all.
  2. 2. Partnerships and Programmes You may not be aware of how many universities Bridgwater College are in partnership with. Below you can discover the exciting and diverse range of higher education qualifications we offer: Bournemouth University: Began partnership with what was Cannington College in 1998, which merged with Bridgwater College in September 2004. The programmes currently offer are: • FdSc/BSc Hons (Top Up) Landscape Design • FdSc/BSc Hons (Top Up) Countryside Management • FdSc/BSc Hons (Top Up) Applied Animal Management • FdSc Creative Audio Technology • FdA Media Practice • BA Hons (Top up) Early Years Care and Education • BSc Hons (Top up) Applied Computing Oxford Brookes University: We currently offer one Degree programme with this partner which is delivered at the College. • FdSc Motorsport Engineering University of Plymouth: We have been in partnership with the University of Plymouth since the year 2000 and offer the following programmes: • CHE Food Technology • CHE/FdSc Agricultural Management • FdSc Public Services with Outdoor Education • FdA Early Years – Sector Endorsed University of Central Lancashire - UCLAN: Partnership with UCLAN is relatively new, beginning in 2009. The build of the Energy Skills Centre at Bridgwater College has provided the perfect resource to offer the following qualifications: • FdSc Nuclear Descommissioning • FdSc Nuclear Engineering University of Bath: This is our most recent partnership and 2011 will see its first year of delivery for the degree on offer: • FdSc Engineering Systems As well as our university partnerships we also provide a range of other higher education and professional qualifications: • HNC/D Business Studies • HNC/D Sports Science • HNC/D Computing - delivered both at the College and via distance learning • HNC Electrical/Electronic and Control Engineering • HNC Computer Aided Manufacture and Automation • Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media • HNC Vehicle Operations Management • Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) • Human Resource Management • Management and Leadership • Strategic Management and Leadership • Counselling Practice 2
  3. 3. You said We Did! Your feedback is vital to us improving how we work with you, ensuring we provide the best experience possible. We collate student feedback in a variety of ways including termly HE student forums. During these forums you have the opportunity to reflect on items you feel are going well and highlight any areas that may need further improvement. We always take our students feedback into consideration when making enhancements and make every effort to ensure suggestions made are followed through where possible and within the current academic year. Student feedback has shown: Students felt the HE Induction enrolment evening at the Bridgwater site last year was too long in length, especially after many of them attended after a full day’s work. Enrolment in September 2011 was co-ordinated with your feedback in mind. The length of the enrolment process was shorter and workshops were reduced. Students were given a designated time to arrive and enrol with the College and/or University. Students were unhappy with the scheduling of exams. In some cases students were required to sit two exams in one day. Where possible, Bridgwater College does, and will continue to, schedule examinations evenly and to avoid students sitting two examinations in one day. However, due to room availability and the volume of exams this is not always possible. When studying at a university it is standard practice that more than one examination may be sat in the same day. We always try to give plenty of notice of your exam schedule so you can plan. Some students felt there were not enough computers available for students to use around the College. Throughout the College there are over 1,000 computers available for student use. During the summer the Learning Resource Centre received a major refurbishment. Thanks to your comments we have included even more computers for our students to use and also introduced Mac computers. You felt that communication regarding changes to taught sessions could be expressed more effectively to students. This year programme teams are working to identify more effective ways in which students can be notified of any changes to lessons in advance where possible. Ideas being explored include using Blackboard more extensively to communicate updates and network systems such as facebook to cascade messages. It is important to note that the main method of communication is through College email and all students should be checking this on a regular basis. 3
  4. 4. Student Representatives Thank you to all those who represented their course as a Student Representative last year. Your contribution was invaluable and played a vital role in ensuring our students received the best experience possible. For new students, during the first few weeks of term, you will be asked if you would like to represent your cohort. This is a great opportunity, one that is recognised by staff throughout the College and also a great addition to your CV. AStudentRepresentativeprovidesqualitativefeedback to staff throughout the year. Feedback helps ensure we are providing the best possible HE experience to our students and the course programmes are meeting the needs of those studying them. What does a ‘Student Representative’ do? Meetings - Student representatives are required to attend all relevant programme team meetings. You will discuss your report with staff who teach on the programmes advising them of any causes for concern. Reports - Student representatives are often asked to submit a feedback report for each meeting. The report is based on the feedback gathered from your fellow students and will reflect their views as well as your own. Feedback - After attending meetings, you will feedback to your fellow students advising of what happened and if any developments occured Liaise - Student representatives will liaise with members of staff within their programme team on an informal basis as and when required. Student Reps are also intended to act as a focus for feedback from students to the universities and where applicable the Students’ Union on issues related to academic provision. If you are interested in becoming a Student Representative please discuss the opportunity with your Programme Manager. Become an Ambassador FOR HIGHER EDUCATION We believe our students have a strong influence on young people’s futures. We are looking for students studying higher education to become role models to these individuals. As an Ambassador you could: • Work with young people • Support events such as Open and Taster Events • Enhance your CV • Develop your employability skills • Raise the College profile • Receive on-going training • Enjoy yourself! For more information or to request an application form, contact Fiona Henman on 01278 441220, or email henmanf@bridgwater.ac.uk or pop into the Admissions Office. 4
  5. 5. Blended and Distance Learning Two of the higher education programmes offered at Bridgwater College are delivered in a full distance learning mode, meaning the entire qualification is conveyed to students who are not physically present in a class room. Content of the qualification is delivered to students via webinars, podcasts, listed reading materials and tasks. Students still have regular contact with their tutors and/or programme managers but this would normally be via email or in an online forum to discuss their individual progress or queries regarding the programme. Another form of study you will experience is known as ‘blended learning’: this is a term that most if not all HE students are likely to come across as it is incorporated into the majority of all the HE programmes delivered at the College. So what is Blended Learning? Blended Learning is defined as a mixing of different learning environments. It uses classroom teaching combined with technology based learning. Taking a blended learning approach to study, allows flexibility of learning and generally results in one of two outcomes: • More independent learning supported by timetabled classroom activity and greater emphasis on online working • Heavier emphasis of online learning in the classroom. Learning activities will be structured around using online materials or working with your peers. With the HE environment changing we can offer the following advantages: • Work collaboratively in learning communities online - the College’s virtual learning environment called Blackboard facilitates this within some programmes • Teaching staff can provide up to date curriculum content that is not always readily available outside of the internet • Varied learning methods within a programme can increase student learning; not all students benefit from the same method of teaching • Most blended learning approaches offer the chance to study when the student chooses to do so. If a student is absent, podcasts give the opportunity for them to view the content missed. Blended or distance learning offers you the learner flexibility over what, how and when you can study. If you have any queries about what blended learning approaches or materials are available to you, for example e-books, within the College and through your university partner you can discuss this with your programme manager or the LRC staff. 5
  6. 6. Graduation Over 300 students completed their university level or professional courses at Bridgwater College this year and their extraordinary achievements included a record-breaking 13 Firsts among the 29 Honours Degree students, plus a further 19 Distinctions at HND and Foundation Degree level, in subjects as diverse as Early Years, Strategic Management and Leadership, Accounting and Landscape Design. More than 170 of this year’s cohort donned mortar boards and gowns to attend the annual graduation ceremony at St. Mary’s Church in Bridgwater, and the presence of family, friends, tutors and other invited guests meant that over 600 people attended the event. The 13 Firsts at Honours Degree level were not the only firsts of the night! Other ‘firsts’ included the first group of students to complete the Foundation Degree in Agricultural Management, as well as the first group to complete the new Foundation Degree in Nuclear Decommissioning. One of the tutors celebrating with his students was Greg Chamberlain (pictured above surrounded by graduates), who teaches the HND in Computing and the BSc (Hons) in Applied Computing and who helped ensure that over half of his students achieved the top award — the Certificate of Commendation. One of Greg’s HND students, Michael Englefield aged 20 and from Bridgwater said, “Greg has been an excellent tutor and the best lecturer — nearly all of us are going to stay on at Bridgwater College to top up to the full Honours Degree. So hopefully we will be back at graduation with Greg next year to celebrate that achievement!” The College Principal, Fiona McMillan, was warm in her praise for all of the students and said she was incredibly proud to have seen enormous growth in the College’s higher education provision during her 18 years in office, and believed that this had a key role to play in opening up opportunities for local people, particularly in times of economic restraint. The guest speaker at the ceremony, Professor Kevin Edge, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Bath, applauded the close relationship between the College and the University. Addressing the students he said, “You will be helped by the excellent reputation Bridgwater College has, both regionally and nationally. The College’s examination and course results consistently place it among the best of all education and training providers in the South West. This reputation is why the University of Bath is so pleased to work in partnership with the College in the delivery of high- quality higher education.” He went on to say: “The national and political focus may have been on universities over the last year or so, but I think that it is clear that the Government recognises the importance of further and higher education colleges and envisages a bigger role for them in the future. Bridgwater College is an excellent example of what these colleges can do, and of the beneficial impact they can have on their local communities, and on the nation as a whole. I feel certain that Bridgwater College is well- positioned to take advantage of the new environment.” Other highlights of the event included a special performance from the College Choir and Show Choir, who pulled out all the stops to make the Graduation event a special and memorable occasion for everyone involved. 6
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  8. 8. NEW! HE SPORTS INTERNSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR 2011/12 • Do you enjoy sport? • Would you like to work within the Sports Academy or Sports Enrichment programme? • Would you like to mentor and lead young people? • Is gaining coaching qualifications something that interests you? If so, then talk to us! From September 2011 we’re looking to recruit several HE interns to support our football, rugby, racquet sports and enrichment sport provision. We also have opportunities to work within our Health and Fitness Suite and to help co-ordinate our college sports leadership, volunteering and officiating programmes. You don’t have to be studying a sports course at the College, but you do need to have a keen interest in sport and in helping young people. Your responsibilities could include assisting Sports Academy Directors, supervising activities, officiating, mentoring, coaching and leading students. This HE Internship will provide you with transferable skills and excellent work experience for your CV. You’ll also have the opportunity to gain professional coaching qualifications, work alongside experienced staff and have a valuable opportunity to work in a vibrant and fast paced Sports section. If you would like to discuss this further, please call Jason Gunningham, Section Leader for Sports and Services on 01278 441853 or email gunninghamj@bridgwater.ac.uk Sports student invited to House of Commons A student who completed over seven years of study at Bridgwater College has delighted his former tutors by achieving his Degree in Applied Sport Science from the University of Gloucestershire. James Jarad, aged 24 and from Sidcot, began his studies at Bridgwater College in 2003 on a Level 1 sports programme. He advanced through Levels 2 and 3, and then progressed onto the College’s Higher National Diploma in Sport & Exercise Science, which enabled him to complete his studies in one year at the University of Gloucestershire. He is now working part-time as a teaching assistant and works for the Somerset FA as a referee at Somerset senior level. In recognition of his achievements, James attended a special reception at the House of Commons with college staff, in order to discuss the benefits of further education. Jason Gunningham, Section Leader for Sport and Services said, “We are all extremely proud of James as he is proof that you can achieve your academic aspirations if you really want to. During his time at Bridgwater College, Jared developed into a confident and conscientious student, as well as an important member of our Student Football Leadership and Officiating Committee. In addition to his studies, he took his football refereeing qualifications and is now a Level 5 referee. He is a real inspiration to all of our students and shows that with hard work and dedication to your studies you will achieve your dreams.” 8
  9. 9. Landscape design students win Silver gilt Students studying the Foundation Degree in Landscape Design were proud winners of the Silver Gilt award in the ‘Designer Garden’ category of the Show Garden competition at this year’s Taunton Flower Show in Vivary Park and similarly won Silver at the National Garden Show at the Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet with the same design. Theseawardsuccessesfollowabronzemedalachieved at the BBC Gardeners’ World Live competition at the NEC, Birmingham earlier this year. The show garden ‘Back to Nurture’ was designed by second year Foundation Degree in Landscape Design student Gavin English. Gavin’s aim was provide a relaxing family space, as part of a larger garden designed for children’s play. The objective of the garden was to stimulate a child’s interest in gardening and nature by surrounding them with a variety of influences and providing opportunities for them to observe and participate in gardening. Into the design the designers incorporated a climbing wall, play castle, sand pit and a grass covered tunnel, whilst being attractive and functional for use by adults too. The landscape materials and selection of plants used for the show garden were provided by The Walled Gardens of Cannington. Programme Manager for Landscape Design at Bridgwater College Iain Truman said, “We have had a very successful season of shows with many great results, and to achieve this second place at our final show of the season was a credit to all of the efforts of the staff and students involved.” Nuclear Decommissioning Students Graduate The first cohort of students to study the FdSc in Nuclear Decommissioning are celebrating after completing their studies. The group of five who work at Hinkley ‘A’ in Somerset have achieved excellent grades in what is an extremely demanding programme of study. The course, which is validated by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), is designed to address the training needs of the nuclear industry. Many of the older facilities are approaching the end of their active life and cannot simply be switched off; they need to be made safe, and skilled decommissioning engineers are likely to be in demand for many years to come. Shaun Cridland, a site engineer with Magnox at Hinkley ‘A’, received sponsorship from his employer to complete the Foundation Degree, and over the two year course studied subjects ranging from waste management and site remediation to robotics, nuclear processes and decommissioning techniques. Shaun said, “When I was at school I wasn’t interested in formal qualifications, but now I’m older I can really see the benefit. Since embarking on the course I’ve been promoted from team leader to site engineer and although no one gets a job for life these days, the need for qualified decommissioning engineers is set to grow. I hope, in time, to complete a further year’s study in order to achieve a full Honours Degree.” The Programme Manager for the course, Dr Bob Mudd said “This is a challenging subject that requires commitment and sheer hard work. The grades achieved by our students are among the best in the country, and we are immensely proud of their achievements.” 9
  10. 10. Motorsport race team claims two podium finishes The Bridgwater College Motorsport Race Team took on tough competition in their final two races of the season at Castle Combe Circuit, driving away with two podium places they should be proud of. The nine students, who all follow either the Foundation Degree or the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Motorsport course, regularly attend the competition circuit near Chippenham in Wiltshire, in order to put their road and race car technology learning into practice and be part of fully operational vehicle race team. The students have spent most of their first term rebuilding and developing a Radical PR6 race car for this season, and their duties on event days have included working as the pit crew (complete with student team leader) and carrying out a full pre- and post-event inspection of the car. Programme Manager for Motorsport, Simon Burt, explained, “The excellent set up of the car allowed our driver to safely and confidently qualify third on the grid in Race 1 and first in Race 2. In Race 1, Josh used his fantastic corner speed to chase down the cars in front of him to finish in second place. Race 2 saw the team start in pole position but unfortunately the more powerful challengers used their advantage to pass the college car in the first lap. Another determined and confident drive saw the College team regain the lost places moving up to second place and a commanding eight second gap over the nearest chasing car.” The students were delighted with the result, which Simon described as “a fitting tribute to the students’ dedication and professionalism demonstrated during this busy race season.” Art and Design Student opens her own shop A former Art and Design student has successfully opened her own alteration shop in Bridgwater. HelenThompson,fromBridgwater,recentlycompleted the Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media, which requires the study of a variety of disciplines including fine art, graphic design, photography, animation and textiles. Since successfully completing her course, she has opened her own shop in the Cornhill Market in Bridgwater, specialising in retailing bespoke garments, accessories and soft furnishings as well as alterations. Helen explained, “A research visit to textile businesses as part of the course inspired me to open a shop of my very own. I would not have taken this step without the boost I received from fellow classmates and college staff. Whilst others have gone on to study a degree, the course has given me the confidence to pursue my own career.” Helen’s former lecturer at the College, Mark Bunce, said “It’s very pleasing to see a former student achieve such success on completion of her studies. We are delighted she is doing so well at a time when many other similar retailers are struggling, and this is very much a reflection of her drive and determination. I would encourage others looking to follow in her footsteps to take this course, which really does set you up to progress in the industry.” 10
  11. 11. IMportant Contacts Generally your first point of contact regarding your study is your Programme Manager, however listed below are various contacts which you may find useful whilst studying with us: HE Quality Systems Improvement Co-ordinator Name: Helen Wells E-mail: wellsh@bridgwater.ac.uk T. number: 01278 441339 HE & Quality Administrator Name: Natalie Fursland E-mail: furslandn@bridgwater.ac.uk T. number: 01278 441339 HE, Adult & International Marketing Coordinator Name: Kelly Radford E-mail: radfordk@bridgwater.ac.uk T. number: 01278 441215 Senior Finance Assistant Name: Mary Newman E-mail: newmanm@bridgwater.ac.uk T. number: 01278 441287 Admissions Manager Name: Fiona Henman E-mail: henmanf@bridgwater.ac.uk T. number: 01278 441416 Admissions Assistant Name: Rachel Broadhurst E-mail: broadhurstr@bridgwater.ac.uk T. number: 01278 441881 Learning Resources Manager Name: Virginia Havergal E-mail: havergalv@bridgwater.ac.uk T. number: 01278 441244 Bridgwater Centre Main Reception T. number 01278 455464 Cannington Centre Main Reception T. number 01278 655105 11
  12. 12. A-Z of HE: This Term T - W Teaching Methods When studying at HE level students will find unit lecturers will use a range of teaching methods to assist with the delivery of their classes. All methods are designed to help engage students with their learning and help develop their way of thinking. Applying different teaching methods within a subject allows creativity and increases student participation. Listed below are examples of teaching methods used and the types of learning they encourage: Lecture/seminar An effective teaching method when delivering information to large cohorts of students: • Specialist knowledge is delivered to students by academic or industry experts • Students learn through listening and write their own notes for reference to help with assignments and exam revision • Students have the opportunity to discuss points with the academic specialist Group Discussion Learning comes by participating in discussions with peers and listening to other people’s views: • Encourages creativity • Enhances knowledge • Writing notes collectively Presentations Help to develop the research skills of students: • Allows in-depth knowledge and learning of a subject • Builds confidence amongst peers Workshops Provides practical application of a subject, allowing students to learn hands-on: • Informal discussion of a topic between peers and academics • Experience within a subject Assignments Encourages own learning and can compare a student’s view or opinion to that of an authors: • Develops research skills • Encourages in-depth and reflective learning • Reinforces learning and understanding Undergraduate All higher education programmes studied at Bridgwater College are known as undergraduate programmes. The most common being: • Bachelor’s Degree which generally amounts to three years of full-time study • Foundation Degree programmes are two years in length when studied full-time. The ‘Top-Up’ option is available for students to complete at another Institute to obtain their full ‘Bachelor’s Degree’ • Qualifications offered after this level are known as Post Graduate Degrees an example of which is a ‘Masters’ Virtual Learning Environment Both Bridgwater College and our university partners operate their own virtual learning environments (VLE) to aid student study. Whilst VLE’s can help in the learning process and research elements of your course, it also assists in the organisation of you study as there are an extensive range of facilities available for you to use. A VLE usually includes the following functions: • Programme handbook • Timetables • Course information • Administrative information • Teaching materials • Reading materials • Links to resources on the Internet • Self-assessment tests or mock exam papers • Formal assessment procedures • Discussion forum • Plagiarism information and/ or plagiarism detection software Work Based Learning All our HE programmes either include a specific work based learning (WBL) module or will have work based learning elements embedded across subject units. WBL is knowledge and experience that can only be gained by working in the industry, it is called this because of the nature of its intended learning outcomes. WBL allows a student to put theory into practice. Knowledge gained through WBL can be implemented throughout most, if not all units of your programme. Students can take advantage of the vast and current knowledge of industry experts and gain insight into the opportunities available to them on completion of their programmes. Most students will agree that the experience and knowledge gained through industry is invaluable and is a great help when completing their assignments and presentations. WBL can help to make you more employable in the future, a potential employers like their staff to have industry experience. 12