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Wp symposium-he in prisonImproving access and support for Higher Education in prisons across the UK. Anne Pike, Helen Maxwell, Hilary Jupp, Mel Wharton, Pat McCarthy, Rob Parsons, Val Hancock-1-11-11
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Wp symposium-he in prisonImproving access and support for Higher Education in prisons across the UK. Anne Pike, Helen Maxwell, Hilary Jupp, Mel Wharton, Pat McCarthy, Rob Parsons, Val Hancock-1-11-11


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OU courses in prison have been a lifeline for reluctant, disaffected and rejected learners for nearly 50 years but the barriers are now bigger than ever. In this session researchers, tutors, course …

OU courses in prison have been a lifeline for reluctant, disaffected and rejected learners for nearly 50 years but the barriers are now bigger than ever. In this session researchers, tutors, course teams and Offender Learning managers come together to bring you the latest research and innovative practice (technological and off-line) from across the University. Join us to discuss how we can share the good practice, improve access and support for HE in prisons (and beyond) for another 50 years, and encourage a Widening Participation agenda which includes all of society, whatever their impediments.

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  • Improving access and support for Higher Education in prisons across the UK.
  • Hilary - Pat - a curriculum which can be studied in prison can be studied anywhere
  • Work was done on this from February to July this year. The resulting proposals are now with Helen Maxwell in OLDG together with arising issues. She now has to take this forward as an ongoing process
  • Resources: can be video, e.g. BBC news clips, company or organisation websites Own research: for example, find news items on a particular theme, or access external to the OU databases (as in law courses to make independent choices OU library: issues are prisoners access to the OU and possible licencing restrictions on downloading Collaborative learning is increasingly being rolled out. I have seen it in OUBS, Arts, Social Science and Science Faculties. Increasing use of online tuition. Do the regions have enough resources to replace these with conventional tutor support? Modes of presentation are no longer stable for the life of a course. Ongoing adjustments are being made to mode of presentation and delivery year on year, e.g. material originally provided on a dvd, is moved to the VLE, printed material moved to online delivery and changes from face to face tutorial programmes to increasing use of online.
  • We need to be able to offer programmes for which we know there is a doable route for students in prison. They don’t necessary need to be able to do all available options, but there must be a route to enable students to do any prerequisite courses and to be able to fulfill programme award requirements When is a course, not a full course? If a student must miss 15% of the continuous assessment, does that mean that we are still offering the student a good and satisfactory study experience? Who should make these judgements? Currently we are asking the Faculties to make them, but could there be more coordination through an academic director having responsibility for the Core Curriculum. When is OU quality under threat? What is fair to the students.
  • Val Hancock - WideOpen
  • Research Problems encountered by students in prison & education staff + potential workarounds Problems encountered by OU prison tutors Forum Tutors going to the same prison Tutors on the same course but in different prisons Communicate and swap ideas Establish ‘best practice’ Action Record ‘best practice’ in the wiki Trial on M150 ‘Data, Computing and Information’ (9 students, 7 tutors) Tutor Pack to advise on alternative approaches Alternative formats for materials Research Was it a success? Val Hancock - WideOpen
  • Prison Tutor’s forum (a FirstClass sub-forum of OU Associate Lecturers) Tutors are: Emailing or printing course materials published via the course website and sending them to the student. Summarising and anonymising forum contributions Emailing or printing web pages Carrying out mediated searches Re-inventing the wheel! No centralised support Excessive workload Val Hancock - WideOpen
  • Prison Tutors forum Purpose: To find what alternative approaches to activities requiring internet access were being used by ALs 95 messages over a 7 month period Lack of internet access – the original purpose of the forum Lurkers: Getting help & guidance? Empathy with personal experiences? 700-800 tutors with students in prison => 372 read forum, not all of those with a student in prison. Val Hancock - WideOpen
  • Research & action Dissemination of alternative approaches (plus other highlighted issues) tutors new to teaching and learning in a prison environment tutors returning to teaching and learning in a prison environment wiki implies up to date information only if people can be persuaded to update it! move to VLE wiki and forum Val Hancock - WideOpen
  • Prison ALs forum & ALs support wiki still going strong Part of the AL community site (home of the AL Common Room) Val Hancock - WideOpen
  • Val Hancock - WideOpen
  • Val Hancock - WideOpen
  • VLE requires you to auto-enrol on the main page before allowing direct access to the forum & wiki. Val Hancock - WideOpen
  • After main questions – move to last screen and type in outcomes
  • We want 3 or 4 outcomes from this discussion Raise awareness, work together, consideration at an early stage of course design
  • Transcript

    • 1. Improving access and support for HE in Prisons Wide Open, 1st November 2011 Anne Pike, Helen Maxwell, Hilary Jupp, Mel Wharton, Pat McCarthy, Rob Parsons, Val Hancock
    • 2.
      • Hilary Jupp: Civilizing influences in a hostile environment
      • Pat McCarthy: OU Core Curriculum for Prisons
      • Rob Parsons: B201: A business school initiative
      • Helen Maxwell and Mel Wharton: The Virtual Campus
      • Val Hancock: Supporting OU prison tutors
      • Anne Pike: Stats, Students and Strategy
    • 3. Civilizing influences in a hostile environment
      • Hilary Jupp
      • Student Services Manager, Prisons Liaison 
      • Faculty Coordinator, Social Sciences
      • Open University in the North
    • 4.
      • ‘ The degree of civilization in a society can be
      • judged by entering its prisons.’
      • Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881)
    • 5.
      • “… if we are serious about widening participation, we must do more … Giving all prospective students a chance, fuelling social mobility and helping to make the UK a fairer country are at the heart of The Open University's mission.”
      • ( THE, 6th October 2011 )
    • 6.
      • “ Our Openings, Access & Taster courses are designed to encourage new and under-represented audiences into higher education by removing some of the barriers often faced by these groups.”
      • (MB letter to Guardian 30th September 2011).
    • 7.
      • ‘ at the time, you know, I just got my sentence and my head wasn’t really around doing anything serious at the time.’
      • (Oliver)
      • ‘ It’s the first lesson you learn, [to] keep a fairly low profile….’
      • (Ross)
    • 8.
      • ‘ We had “Jane” and she was really really helpful, sitting down with me, talking about what I could achieve, that really did help, encouraged me a lot.’
      • (Oliver)
      • ‘… the only person really was “Jane” , she was understanding.’ (Richard)
    • 9.
      • ‘ It was a bit daunting because of the use of these word I hadn’t heard of … and also the question, you’re never
      • really sure if you’re on the right lines.’
      • (Louis)
    • 10.
      • ‘ being able to talk to your tutor helps a lot, that helps a lot.’
      • (Ian)
      • ‘ When I’ve had tutors coming in it’s actually helped me a lot.’
      • (Oliver)
    • 11.
      • ‘ It’s the biggest change that’s ever happened to me, and the best thing I ever done. It’s been such a positive thing for me.’ (Richard)
      • ‘ Apart from the learning aspect, self-confidence and belief in myself that I can achieve things again.’
      • (Ben)
    • 13. Challenges in Module Design
      • Use of resources on the internet
      • Requirement to do independent searches for material on or through the internet
      • Use of OU library managed links
      • Use of Collaboration as a learning and assessment tool
      • Use of Elluminate and VLE forums for tuition
      • Changes to presentation media and tuition during module life.
    • 14. Programme level challenges
      • Ability to be able to offer coherent and complete programmes of study (prerequisite modules)
      • Academic judgement on how much of a course can be missed, in both learning materials and assessment, without losing academic credibility of quality?
    • 15. Focus of the Core Curriculum and Resource
      • A higher focus on the Open Programme?
      • Making choices about what programmes are those the OU wishes to offer to the Prison Service
      • Resource in terms of course presentation and production (academic leadership and curriculum management support)
      • Resource in LTS.
    • 16. A Core Curriculum for Prisons an ongoing process
      • Patricia McCarthy (Consultant to OLDG) [email_address]
      • Helen Maxwell, Offender Learning Programme Manager [email_address]
    • 17. B201 Business Organisations and their Environments Offline project Rob Parsons
    • 18. B201 Business Organisations and their Environments 60 point 2 nd level module Compulsory in several OUBS qualifications 5 assignments, one of which results from a collaborative activity, the other four including marks for peer interaction. End of module exam.
    • 19. Organising taking the offline version requires considerable co-ordination
    • 20.  
    • 21.  
    • 22.
    • 23.  
    • 24.  
    • 25. The Virtual Campus
      • Helen Maxwell & Mel Wharton
      • Offender Learning, Student Services
    • 26. Virtual Campus & OU study
      • What is it?
        • The Virtual Campus enables prisoners to have access to a virtual learning environment which is both secure and supervised.
        • Working in partnership with the National Offender Management Service, Skills Funding Agency and Meganexus.
      • What are the benefits?
        • Offers students the ability to use IT skills
        • Offers range of media e.g. DVD/audio extracts
        • Offers communication between tutor and student
        • More time efficient for the prison e.g. direct submission of eTMAs
    • 27.  
    • 28.
      • Openings pilot
        • Openings courses are available on the Virtual Campus for those prisons that have the system and students registered.
        • June pilot = 2 prisons (Featherstone/Stafford).
        • September pilot = 6 prisons.
        • November pilot = 23 prisons.
      • What next?
        • Ability to communicate with tutor and submit eTMAs via the secure relay messaging system (All modules).
        • Additional content and advertising OU on homepage e.g. Offender Learning Website/Tasters/Study skills
        • Work with partners and OU faculties to add further courses to the VC (Core curriculum route)
    • 29. Alternative approaches to online activities for prisoners and others without access to the internet Centre for Open Learning of Mathematics, Science, Computing and Technology (COLMSCT) Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Val Hancock AL [email_address] Val Hancock - WideOpen
    • 30. Action research
      • Research
      • Student interviews
      • Prison education staff interviews
      • Prison tutors forum
      • Action
      • Prison tutor support wiki
      • M150 Trial
      • Research
      • Statistics
      • Tutor questionnaires
      Val Hancock - WideOpen
    • 31. PRISON TUTORS FORUM One of the first shocks was to discover that the prisoner had no internet access which made things rather challenging on a course that was using the eTMA system, issued TMAs via a website and required students to take part in FirstClass discussions for TMAs! I'm not clear on who provides the student with TMA questions when they are only available online (I sent a hardcopy of TMA01 just in case) There is no alternative to electronic submission of the ECA and if it can't be submitted electronically he will fail the course I think it is too much to expect either the prison Education Officer or myself to provide hard copies of everything they need He cannot do any of the iCMA's Just wonder what colleagues do in this situation? I hopefully can and will see the students F2F but what about all the online stuff? I don’t think he is allowed CD/DVDs Val Hancock - WideOpen
    • 32. Content analysis Val Hancock - WideOpen Theme Number of messages Offering help & guidance 39 Lack of internet access 35 Asking for help & guidance 22 Reflecting on personal experiences 13 Welcoming forum creation 11
    • 33. Prison Tutor Support wiki
      • Alternative Approaches
      • Solutions for overcoming problems due to lack of internet access in prison
      Advice & Guidance Practical advice for tutors who have students in prison Prisons Guidance on the facilities and requirements of individual prisons Val Hancock - WideOpen
    • 34. Forum & wiki 2011 Val Hancock - WideOpen
    • 35. Val Hancock - WideOpen
    • 36. Val Hancock - WideOpen
    • 37. Useful Links
      • AL community site (auto-enrol if first visit)
        • /site/AL-FORUMS
          • (bottom block on the page)
      • Prison ALs Support wiki
        • http:// =606674
      • Prison ALs forum
        • http:// =533732
      Val Hancock - WideOpen
    • 38. Stats, Students and Strategy
      • Anne Pike,
      • Researcher (IET) & AL
      • Higher and Distance Education in Prison Research Interest Group
    • 39. Prior Qualifications 2010-11: Comparison Prison v Non-prison student
    • 40. Non-prison v Prison student success rates
    • 41. Top courses in prison 2011 Law Level 1 The Arts: past & present Personal Finance Learning to change Using Maths Starting Law Starting Maths Understanding society Starting Psychology Business Level 1 Social Science Level 1 Intro to management Title 40 W100 43 AA100 43 DB123 50 Y165 54 MST121 59 Y166 62 Y162 91 Y157 95 Y163 125 B120 130 DD101 141 Y159 No of students Course
    • 42. The benefits: the student view “ It [OU] makes me feel a lot more like a human being. I’m not a number in a box, I’m an individual, I’m allowed to share and expand my mind” “ If it hadn’t been for the OU I’d have folded in on myself years ago.” (Andrew) “ I just can’t wait to get out and use the skills that I’ve learnt and try and put this behind me and I shouldn’t say this about jail and it sounds a cliché but jail is where I’ve found myself” ( Ethan )
    • 43.
      • ‘ The degree of civilization in a society can be
      • judged by entering its prisons.’
      • Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881)
    • 44. A visit to Norway see full account at http:// /
    • 45. Thank-you, Questions
    • 46. For discussion
      • How can the OU improve access and support for students in prison?