UHI Millennium Institute, HoTLS - Experiential Education Presentation, Martha's Vineyard Summer School
MARTHA’S VINEYARDSUMMER INSTITUTEPlan for AdvancingExperiential LearningRhiannon TinsleyRob Macpherson
What does Scotland mean to you?TARTAN?THISTLES?SCOTTIES?MOUNTAINS?Or even whiskyand shortbread??
All aspects of:Highland Tourism and Hospitality...Rob’s brief (The “faculty viewpoint”):To investigate how best to incorporate and embed co-opeducation within a newly designed Tourism & Hospitalitydegree – to the benefit of UHI students, Highland employers and,potentially, a wider professional and academic communityRhiannon’s brief (The “administration viewpoint”):To explore the potential applications and models of experientiallearning to progress institutional strategic aims in terms of:• teaching, learning and assessment strategy• curriculum strategy
Institutional Profile• 1 institution; 14 colleges• 100+ learning centres• covers 50,000 sq km• 7,000 students (5,000 fte)• strategic aim: double numbers by 2015•150+ programmes (ugr & pgt)• Arts & Humanities; Business;Health; Science & Technology• 58% aged 21 or over• 52% part time• 54:46 female:male• 86% students local from Highlands• £30m turnover p.a.• awarded university-leveldegree granting powers 2008
Revelations• we are two countries separated by a commonlanguage – terminology very different• experiential learning comes in many flavours –not all available in Mad Martha’s• we are not absolute beginners – our institution isalready engaged in differing aspects of experientiallearning across a range of its subject disciplines• while we came with a willingness to learn, we alsohad much to contribute• at home, we will not be starting a revolution, moreseeking an evolution in existing practice
Our Learning Journey• Our new Tourism and Hospitality degree embedding experientiallearning, and starting from a fresh sheet of paper, can be a pioneerprogramme, indicative of wider possibilities within the institution• In planning the implementation of this new degree – what Rob camehere to plan – there were levels of institutional complexity that weneed not detain you with here (see next slides)• The value of the Institute was that we both realised that we neededto spend more time considering the larger questions (Rhiannon’sbrief) rather than the specific questions (Rob’s brief) as, in someways, the latter would be easier to accomplish than initiallyperceived• There is a P.R. job to be done at home – but there arenew colleagues, friends and institutions (WACE) to helpus on our journey
Tourism & Hospitalitydegree with co-opStakeholdersStudentsFacultyEmployersProfessional BodiesExternal Funders(government/Europe)Institution (UHI corporate)The “Academy”IssuesQuality of academic leadershipUHI Academic processesNew UHI statusLack of awareness of co-op conceptAcademic credibility of tourism“Slave labour” perceptionVested interestsContextPerceived local economic needs (15%)International dimension - $4bn p.a.Industry trends in the context of economicuncertaintyGovernment policySkills agendaNichesHighland tourismHeritage/ancestral/family tourismEco-/environmental tourismShort breaksEvents tourismOutdoor adventure tourismGolf tourismFood/whisky tourismFormatCo-op “embedded”3 year programme (extending to 4eventually?)Model – 3; 1+2; 2+1?Exit routes – generic vs specialised?Local vs global focus?Tourism vs hospitality balanceCredit value for co-opContentProgramme balanceProgramme aimsLearning outcomesCore skills“Graduateness”
• To develop a degree-level programme in Tourism and Hospitality that integrates work-based learningthrough to deliveryGOAL (or, more properly, Rob’s goal)NEEDS• Attractive to students• Meets employers needs• Is financially viable and sustainable• Meets institutional requirements for programmes• Meets a variety of nationally agreed standards (occasionally non-complementary)OBJECTIVES• Develop a prototype action plan (out of this Institute) for programme development with alternative models• Facilitate faculty discussion around the potential outcomes of this action plan – to encourage buy-in• Consolidate agreements into a revised action plan• Advocate the revised action plan to and through appropriate institutional bodies• Implement agreed action plan, once institutional approval has been achievedQUALIFICATIONS, ASSUMPTIONS AND CAVEATS• Senior management buy-in and support already in place, and assumed to continue• Resources for programme development already agreed, delivered and assumed to continue• An appropriate and qualified academic leader can be secured for the project• Institutional strategic aspirations override individual academic partner agendas
S WO TStarting with a blank pageFunding in placeIdentified institutional strategic priorityEvidence of market demandAlignment with national skills agendaAlignment with employability agenda“Anecdotal” evidence of employer demandStarting with a blank pageLack of facultyLevel of staff qualification/experienceLow morale/confidenceAcademic credibility of co-op model within UKAcademic credibility of disciplineMinimal pre-existing collaboration betweentourism and hospitality facultyDevelop an innovative Learning, Teachingand Assessment modelPotential to recruit strong student numbersStrengthen links to employersDevelop international collaborationPioneer model to others (internal & external)Build on existing “Ex Ed” programmes(that we didn’t know we had)To market our programmes more effectivelyCompetition from other institutionsInternal agenda/priority conflictsStaff resource and time availabilityUnable to appoint appropriate academic leaderKey personnel changesHistoric lack of student numbers in pre-existingprogrammesTimescale pressure to meet funding requirementsUnable to secure sufficient high-quality co-opopportunities
TRANSFORMATIONAt some point over the weekend – possibly whileeating baked cod in The Black Dog Tavern – and likeall good Ex Ed students, we had a transformationalexperienceWe realised that we did not have to “sweat the smallstuff” – and that Rob’s brief could be easilyaccomplished within the existing parameters of UHI,its validation processes and its QA and QE systems
So........Instead, we felt we should “sweat the big stuff” andshare with you part of the Gnome of Rhiannon’s brief...GOAL (or, more properly, Rhiannon’s goal)• To explore the potential applications and models of experiential learning toprogress institutional strategic aims in terms of:• teaching, learning and assessment strategy• curriculum strategyNEEDS• To continue to develop programmes that are attractive to students• To align potential Experiential Education programme with TLA and curricularstrategies and with institutional strategic, faculty & network development plans• As part of institutional strategy, to continue to best meet employers’ needs• To ensure programmes are financially viable and sustainable• To ensure institutional QA and QE expectations are met• To ensure institutional requirements for validation of programmes are satisfied• To ensure programmes meet nationally agreed standards
The Plan• Return to UK • Evaluate what we have learned from the Institute - by 31 July 2008 (but, really, continuously)• Convene potential early adopter groups - by 30 September 2008 (using Rob’s HoTLS network as an example)• Advocate potential Ex Ed applications to (internal) friends, foes and fence sitters- by 30 November 2008
The Plan (2)• Consider how best to engage external friends and supporters and seek mutual alignment of needs/goals- by 31 December 2008• Consider MVSI abroad initiative - by ????????• Consolidate & further our Ex Ed experience• Actively champion Ex Ed solutions to future curriculumchallenges• And – who knows – possibly return to another Institute!