The University is committed to life-wide learning which for us can be articulated as three broad strands: the curriculum (programme of study); the co-curriculum (a menu of credit-bearing modules that sit outside the programme of study); the extra-curriculum (a framework of activities in which most students already engage that we wish to foster and develop).The next three slides give more detailed information about the nature of each area.
The opportunities we offer for learning outside the formal curriculum is very important to the University and our students (their personal development and employability).This represents the third strand of opportunities available to all students and is headlined as the Plymouth Award scheme.Full details about the Plymouth Award scheme can be found on the website: www.plymouth.ac.uk/plymouthaward. We also have a stand at every open day and preview day, staffed by students and staff who will be able to answer any questions you may have.Students who successfully complete the Award receive a separate certificate on graduation and the Award is recognised on the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) that every student receives. The HEAR details all achievements that have been authenticated by the University.To achieve the Plymouth Award students undertake 80 hours effort across three from five areas of activity (Supporting the University, Health and Wellbeing, Volunteering, Cultural and Social Awareness, Working Life) and complete a reflective portfolio explaining what they have learned through engaging with these extra-curricular activities. This process provides a great platform for career interviews. There is no restiction on the time taken to complete the Award although it must be undertaken whilst the student is registered at the University.
The Plymouth Award is about learning from a wide range of extra-curricular activities therefore we ask students to complete a minimum of 20 hours of activities in three of the five categories. Cultural & Social AwarenessPersonal Health & WellbeingSupporting the University CommunityVolunteeringWorking Life Students must complete a minimum of 20 hours within each of their 3 chosen categories, you can do a number of activities under 1 category to equal the 20 hrs, but they need to be included in the action plan. plus an additional 20 hours of activity across any of the categories. By doing this, your breadth and depth of activity significantly improves you learning, and this will show in job applications and interviews.
We have developed plenty of resources to help you complete the award, one of them is the ‘Activity Tracker’ it is a tool developed by the Plymouth Award team to help you monitor the number of hours of activity you undertake. Although you do not have to use this as part of the scheme, you may find it useful in ensuring you have achieved the minimum requirements for each category. Activity Tracker is available on the PLYM001 and PLYM002 TULIP sites once you have registered.In addition, you will be encouraged to begin noting your thoughts and feelings about the activities in the form of ‘patches’. A patch is a short piece of reflection in the form of a diary, Pebblepad entry, a video, photos, audio description or any way which is meaningful to you. In the patches you are encouraged to think about:Was the activity enjoyable?Did it present you with a challenge?What did you learn from this activity?
Using ePortfolio as a vehicle for patchwork learning in extra- curricular contexts David Croot Teaching Fellow Teaching and Learning Directorate Plymouth University
Outline• ePortfolio• Patchwork learning• Extra-curricular context• Evaluation of pilot
ePortfolio• …is a purposeful collection of information and digital artefacts that demonstrates development or evidences learning outcomes, skills or competencies. The process of producing an ePortfolio (writing, typing, recording etc.) usually requires the synthesis of ideas, reflection on achievements, self-awareness and forward planning; with the potential for educational, developmental or other benefits. Specific types of ePortfolios can be defined in part by their purpose (such as presentation, application, reflection, assessment and personal development planning), pedagogic design, level of structure (intrinsic or extrinsic), duration (episodic or life-long) and other factors."
What is “Patchwork text”?• Classic definition of Patchwork text is “a learning and assessment process where students build up a final piece of written work through an iterative process of peer feedback and review”.• However, it may also be more restricted to a developmental learning process owned and managed by a single learner (without the sharing/peer review element) who creates their own learning patches which are then “stitched together” to create a final reflective piece which can then be shared with others. ((Winter, Hungerford et al. 2004)• The important common element is that these “patches” represent critical learning incidents that may be lost over time between occurrence and final reflection. Learning is revealed as appreciation of interrelationships/connections, not merely remembering and regurgitating information
Is patchwork text methodology worth it?• “My reflective practice diary has been my lifesaver. When I first started writing I felt like Bridget Jones, and I really could not see how keeping this diary, putting my actions, thoughts and feelings down on paper was going to help me in the assignment or my development. However, six months on, my views have totally changed, agreeing with Hays (2005) who suggests that writing nourishes retrieval and creativity, visualises thoughts and extends the writers observations into new ideas. She goes on to comment that idea sorting is one of the remarkable powers of written language, in that it doesnt just reflect or communicate your thinking, it actually leads it! Although some argue that the expectation to develop reflective practice diaries in your own time is an imposition on your private life, I can only say the rewards of keeping a diary far outweigh the imposition into my private time”.
• My reflective practice diary has been my lifesaver. When I first started writing I felt like Bridget Jones, and I really could not see how keeping this diary, putting my actions, thoughts and feelings down on paper was going to help me in the assignment or my development. However, six months on, my views have totally changed, agreeing with Hays (2005) who suggests that writing nourishes retrieval and creativity, visualises thoughts and extends the writers observations into new ideas. She goes on to comment that idea sorting is one of the remarkable powers of written language, in that it doesnt just reflect or communicate your thinking, it actually leads it! Although some argue that the expectation to develop reflective practice diaries in your own time is an imposition on your private life, I can only say the rewards of keeping a diary far outweigh the imposition into my private time.
Extra-curricular context• Plymouth University uses a three-stranded approach to the student experience:
Extra-Curricular Extra-Curricular• Life-wide personal development• Recognised through the Plymouth Award scheme • Activities • Reflection • Articulation of learning
CategoriesCultural & Social Awareness Personal Health & Supporting the University Volunteering Working Life Wellbeing Community Committee member Weight management Welcome week All activities organised Part time work (paid for a sports club or programme with assistant through the UPSU or voluntary) society with UPSU Recreation Fresher Angel Volunteer Office SU Sabbatical Officer Organising a Personal fitness Course Charity fundraiser Student internship social/cultural event programme Representative Duke of Edinburgh Camp America, with the University Exercise classes with Student parliament Scheme BUNAC or CCUSA Working in the Recreation with UPSU University Officer FLUX or XING Chaplaincy Participation with Student Ambassador Training Attendance at careers Hall warden or Health & Wellbeing Scheme Mentor programmes fairs resident assistant week at the at the University or in Business Ideas with UPP University schools Challenge Journalist or radio Regular participation St John’s Ambulance Students in Free presenter at UPSU in planned sporting Citizens Advice Enterprise (SIFE) Citizens Advice activities through Bureau CV Clinics at gateway Bureau Recreation or UPSU School Governor Student Associate Scheme
September February / March Time Additional Documents Thoughts Reflective portfolio From undertaking activities within the categories I have learned...
Final reflection• Draws together the patches and ensures the student draws learning from the activities.• Developed as an ePortfolio asset and shared with peers or with evaluator.• Carried forward into later life/career; can be integrated with other learning strands (curriculum, co-curriculum); can be shared with potential employers.
Evaluation• Over 30% of PU students are “active users” of ePortfolio (a high proportion), but unevenly distributed.• Not all students are “native” ePortfolio users.• Some staff are ambivalent (or even hostile) to ePortfolio.• To date, 400 students registered for extra- curricular Award (in second year of operation) with 200 completions. By national standards this is a remarkable achievement. Only 50% use ePortfolio. Rest use MS Word.