Information Technology Extended Work-Based Project September 2003
Session Objectives • To give you a brief introduction to the style and content of the Extended Work-Based Project Module, so that you understand what is required of you, and what sorts of things you need to undertake. • To provide you with the information you will need in order to carry out preliminary tasks effectively
What exactly is the Extended Work-Based Project? • This is a module accredited by Liverpool Hope in which you undertake tasks largely decided by you either within or for an organisation. • There is a great deal of flexibility in what you can do, how you do it, and when you do it within the semester.
What sorts of things are intended? • The idea behind EWBP is that you are carrying out a sizeable project over which you have a large measure of control, rather than just undertaking ‘work experience’. • This project should be challenging and worthwhile.
For example? • modifying or creating a web-site • creating a marketing ‘multimedia’ package • undertaking market research • analysing or presenting data • modifying or creating a database • delivering IT or other training • automating accounts/stock control
What is the purpose of it? • The main purpose is to allow you to apply skills learnt during your time at Hope in a real-world context. • An important subsidiary purpose is that this experience will help you develop as an autonomous learner.
How much work is involved? • Exactly the same as on any other 30-credit module, 300 hours of student learning. • In this case you are expected to spend about 20 days (approx 140-150 hours) in the workplace, 70 hours of which will be doing the project. • The other time is for research and write-up.
Are there any lectures or seminars? • There are three lectures: this one (introduction), one one in the middle of this semester about Research, and one more at the end of the semester (reporting). • You will also be entitled to six separate individual half-hour tutorial sessions with your project supervisorr. • In addition you will be given a ‘reporting’ slot for your project.
The Virtual Learning Environment • An important element on this module is the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) • This is an on-line learning system, which allows you to manage your own learning, to download documents and to communicate with your supervisor and other students.
How will I know what to do? • You have been given a brief version of the module handbook. You will need to read this carefully. • The full version is on the VLE. You can log in under your student name (password = your student ID) at: http://lw2.hope.ac.uk
Do I have to find my own placement? • The short answer is ‘yes’. As stated earlier, an important aspect of the module is autonomy, and part of this is that you find the placement. • There are three ways suggested: • ‘Cold Calling’ to organisations you would wish to work with or work for. • Business Bridge • Using your part-time job. • There are some additional possible placements held in reserve.
On the VLE is a letter of introduction from Liverpool Hope. You need to make an electronic copy of this letter, amend it with your details, and print it off. How do I introduce myself to an employer?
What sort of things can I do in the workplace? • This is really up to you. You are free to negotiate, within certain constraints, any project which fits certain basic Academic Criteria.
What are the criteria for the project? • It should take around 40 hours to complete. • It must be academically challenging. • You must either be learning or applying new skills. • It must require the use of ICT. • It must have value and be relevant to the organisation.
How do I find out who my project supervisor is? • The BIM Notice Board just outside the IBITE school office have lists of students and their supervisor. • It is up to you to initiate contact with your supervisor.
What happens in the tutorials? • The content and structure of each of the six tutorials is clearly-defined. • You will find all the details on the VLE. • You will need to prepare for the tutorials in advance.
Who decides on my project? • You do! • However, you must negotiate the project with your employer, and discuss it in depth with your project supervisor. • The end result of this process will be a Negotiated Learning Agreement which specifies what you are doing and what the outcomes will be.
What exactly is a ‘Negotiated Learning Agreement’? • It is a document which describes what you intend to do, and where and when you intend to do it. • It will contain project outcomes and learning outcomes. • It will contain agreed percentages and deadlines for submission. • It will be discussed and agreed with your project supervisor, and your employer.
How do I complete my Negotiated Learning Agreement (NLA)? • You can get an electronic copy from the VLE. • There is also a set of guidelines on the VLE explaining precisely how to fill in the NLA. • This is the first major task of the module. You will be expected to have a draft of this ready to be discussed at the first full meeting with your tutor, either next week or the week after.
What else am I expected to submit for Assessment? • There are five elements of Assessment • Negotiated Learning Agreement (5%) • Project Action Planning (10%) • Literature Review (25%) • Portfolio of Practical Work (30%) • Project Reporting (30%)
When are the deadlines for these Assessments? • You must submit to the School Office: • A Negotiated Learning Agreement by Mid-October • An Initial Action Plan by early November • A Literature Review by mid-January • A Project File by Late April • You will be called for a viva or presentation during the May.
How do I keep on track? • The VLE will contain advice on a week-by-week basis, telling you what you should be doing and when. • However, this makes the assumption that you are undertaking your work-based project as a one-day per week placement over 20 weeks.
When do I need to start? • There is a suggested programme in the handbook, which suggests that: • This week you should be making contact with a possible employer and your tutor. • Next week you should be putting together a learning contract. • The week after, you should be putting together and submitting an action plan. • These are the earliest dates by which you could reasonably be expected to do these things. However, if you have not got under way by the end of next week, you will probably disadvantage yourself.
What do I do now? • Firstly, get on to the VLE and read the information. • Secondly. make contact with your tutor to say ‘hello’, and to make your first real appointment. • Thirdly, start thinking about possible placements and projects. • Finally, download and examine the NLA, and begin to complete it.
Where can I find more Information? If you don’t know what to do, consult • The Module Handbook (brief version) • The VLE: http://lw2.hope.ac.uk • The BIM/IBITE Notice Boards • Your Project Supervisor • Tony Fleet (NB... as a last resort!)