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Today, it is widely accepted by universities and employers that those students who gain work experience and maximise their learning from it are contributing strongly both to their studies and to their employability.
This module will provide you with the opportunity to critically evaluate your working practices in terms of management style; leadership; change; and working relationships and relate these to your own experiences with a view to informing your personal development and your future career.
1.1 Module aims
The aims of the module are to enable students to:
- gain maximum personal development benefit from their work experience through a series of reflective and peer learning activities;
- evaluate their work experience in terms of their discipline specific knowledge to extend their understanding of the business world application of their classroom studies.
2.0 Learning outcomes of the module
2.1 Knowledge and Understanding
Successful students will typically:
critically assess management styles and leadership and how this affects the individual in the workplace;
analyse barriers to and effective practices in building working relationships;
apply models of reflective practice for personal development;
appreciate change, its origins and impact.
2.1 Skills and Attributes
Successful students will typically be able to:
reflect critically on own learning and skills in relation to personal and career development;
demonstrate well developed social and transferable interpersonal skills.
critically observe management styles and leadership with a view to informing own future practice.
3.0 What teaching methods are used on this module?
The module is delivered through seminars delivered locally and through a one-hour weekly presentation supported by Powerpoint slides and explanatory notes, posted up on StudyNet. The lectures introduce you to theoretical tools and concepts together with practical management examples. You are expected to develop your understanding of both theory and practice by independent reading and self reflection using the wide range of e-book and electronic journal resources referred to in the lecture and seminar support notes. These resources can be accessed through your StudyNet portal.
Seminars will take place locally each week relating to a unit of learning.
In advance of each seminar, students will use the information provided in this module guide and subsequent updates to identify the relevant unit and seminar material and prepare answers in advance to the questions scheduled for discussion on the day. Students will work through the electronically available readings developing their own responses to the seminar discussion question by applying the theoretical knowledge and practical understanding they have gained through study of employment practices, relevant lectures and readings. When they arrive at the seminar, the local tutor will facilitate their discussion of the seminar question. It is expected that different ways of answering each question will become evident. Through this experience, students are expected to deepen their understanding of the key role played by debates and disagreements in the process evaluating issues.
Students are active participants and contributors to the module and its success. They are required to become familiar with the content of the main texts and to research and read around the subject as the module progresses.
Seminar preparation is an essential part of the learning process and students should expect to spend several hours in preparation for each week. They are required to draw on knowledge of their work experience and from other business disciplines whilst developing their understanding through researching organisations, industries and case studies of emerging factors. As the module develops, through their active participation, students should gain some awareness of how the students and staff may be viewed as a learning system and develop self-reflective skill set.
The module is divided into 11 units of learning (week 12 should be used for reflection and revision). For each unit of learning the following will be supplied:
Materials â€¦â€¦â€¦these will be a series of electronically available readings with narrative binding the readings together in pursuit of the learning outcomes, selected chapters from e-books with linking narrative .
Presentation â€¦â€¦..this will constitute up to one hour of 'lecture' which will likely use PowerPoint slides with a voice over. These may be enhanced by the use of video clips, news extracts and web based material
Seminar â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦.this will include a series of seminar topics which you are required to prepare to answer in the seminar. The local tutor will act as a facilitator and adviser to the seminar.
Activity â€¦â€¦â€¦..this is additional to the seminar and will be used to check for student knowledge and understanding. Details of these will be linked to each learning unit and will be released each week. It will be used to check student knowledge and understanding.
Module schedule - Units of Learning
Presentations in the form of lectures will give an overview of a learning unit. Seminars will explore topics in greater depth and focus on the themes given below. This will include; reinforcing key concepts and theories; comparing different perspectives and reviewing theoretical and empirical material that may be applied to your work place experience.
The emphasis in seminars is on student participation and the discussion will be based on the preparation and reading that has been undertaken by students.
All lectures and teaching materials will be on StudyNet. Any notices, announcements or changes of arrangements will be posted on StudyNet and therefore the site must be checked on a regular basis.
5.0 Weekly programme
The module unit themes are listed below.
Organisations - Structures, Forms and Processes
Management and Leadership
Giving and Receiving Feedback
The weekly Learning Materials; Presentations; Seminars; and Activities will be produced in due course.
5.0 Assessment Details
The purpose of the assessment for this module is to test whether, and to what extent, you have reached the learning outcomes for the module.
It is important that you know early what the assessment diet is and what is expected of you. Assessment criteria specify what it is that you will be assessed against, and what, in general terms, you will need to demonstrate in your assessed work in order to achieve the specified grades. The assessment for this module is 100% coursework-based. It consists of two pieces of coursework; an individually prepared report (70%) and an individually presentation (30%).
a) Assignment 1 - Report (70%)
Individually, you are asked to prepare a written report of 3,500 words demonstrating an awareness of the knowledge, skills and experience envisaged of a recent graduate from this programme to enter an area of graduate employment. The research and self-reflection required to prepare the report will support you in your future career planning and decisions and the transition to future opportunities after your undergraduate studies.
The overall aim of the assignment is to provide you with the opportunity to:
demonstrate awareness of the different types of graduate opportunities i.e. graduate training schemes, professional careers, opportunities with Small and Medium size Enterprises (SME) etc;
provide evidence of how to research these opportunities i.e. resources available and reflection on the use of these;
develop an awareness of the skills, knowledge and experiences Graduate Employers are looking for and how these are changing;
demonstrate the role of self awareness and reflection in Career Development activities;
prepare a CV /covering letter as a generic career management tool to take you forward during your career;
develop a clear Career Development Plan as a result of considering your current knowledge, skills and experiences against the requirements you have researched.
You will receive further information outlining the requirements of the assignment along with supporting resources, once the module starts. There will be weekly on-line discussion on the assessment as the themes of the module are explored (and linked to the assessment).
The report should include the following sections:
SECTION 1 - Occupational Research (approximately 50- 60% of word count). The first section of the report should be as a factual reflection of the findings from the occupation or area of graduate employment you have chosen to research. This should be written in the third person and include full "Harvard referencing" to all sources of information used (details of how to reference all types of resources is available on the Academic Skills Unit site in the ASU Guide to Harvard Referencing - see StudyNet).
The following headings should be used this section:
Terms of reference - What are you setting out to research and report on i.e. Graduate opportunities in the Tourism sector
Methodology - How did you approach carrying out your research? What sources of information did you use? Include both secondary resources i.e. reports, websites, employment statistics, company literature; and primary research; speaking with current graduates, contacting employers. (Note: You are required to complete and submit the Graduate Employment Resources checklist as an appendices to support this section)
Main Findings - this should include the key information regarding this occupation or area of employment in terms of:
General Employment trends in this sector / occupation: the employment market generally in this area, recent developments, predicted future trends.
Opportunities for recent graduates - what organisations are recruiting graduates in this area of employment? What types of role would a recent graduate be doing? Where are they advertised?
The skills / knowledge and experience required - a summary based on research of a minimum of 6 different organisations of the key skills / knowledge and experience expected from an applicant at this stage in their career
How are graduates selected in the organisations you have researched? - what are the recruitment and selection methods being used? How are you expected to demonstrate your skills / knowledge / experience?
Graduate Employment Resources checklist - you are asked to complete this document (available on module site), to demonstrate that you have reflected on the value of the different resources used during your research. This will be useful for you when you do further research related to your career planning in the future. You should complete this at the end of your research and before commencing section 2
SECTION 2 - Personal analysis, CV / Covering letter preparation, "gap analysis", and Career Action plan - this section is where you look at your current skills, knowledge and experience against those highlighted by your research in section 1. This part of the report should be written in the first person as it is a personal reflection.
The suggested headings to be used in this section are:
Personal analysis - a general review of your current skills, knowledge and experience, highlighting in particular those that came up in your research.
CV & Covering letter - Preparation of a CV and covering letter to apply for a graduate level position in the area of your research, based on your current situation.
Gap Analysis - this section is where you look at your own personal analysis against the requirements identified in your research. The aim is to highlight areas to focus your personal development around. Reflect on the following areas: what areas do you lack evidence in? where do you need further examples / evidence in your applications? Where do you feel weak in your overall application?
Career Action Plan - Once you have identified the areas you need to focus on, you are asked to prepare a Career action plan which addresses both the personal development and specific career related activities you will undertake to take you forward. This should be written out in full i.e. a paragraph on each area in the first person, and you should explain the actions and what you hope to gain from them. This should include the knowledge, skills and experiences you need to further develop i.e. commercial awareness; and specific activities to support you through the selection process i.e. interview skills, making presentations etc. Both through your own research, and using the information heard during the lecture sessions about resources and support available, you should come up with clear actions with timescales. You should show the resources you will use to move the area of development forward and the timescales you will complete these in. A summary document should be attached as an appendix.
Conclusion - written in the first person, a brief reflection on how you feel having completed the overall exercise, and how you intend to use the Career Action Plan.
SECTION 3 - References and bibliography - see Academic Skills Unit Report Writing guide notes and Harvard referencing document for guidance. Both are available on StudyNet.