Industrial Placements Course

Over the last few months I have been working with a colleague, Paul Fitzgerald, to design a structured course for Science and Engineering students undertaking a year in industry. The course spans two years. Starting in the learners’ 2nd year of their studies, the first year of the course is designed to help them find, secure and prepare for their placements. In the second year of the course the learners go on placement, but have to remain in contact with the University and complete reflective activities.

During the preparation year, the students have an extra hour in their timetables each week for a scheduled session with Paul. To enable them to get the most out of this contact-time, Paul and I have designed a flipped-approach. This means, each week, learners will be expected to complete preparation activities before the session and reflective activities after each session. Here you can see Paul and I planning how this will be structured.

Curriculum Design in progress

Thanks to Hubspot and xSofieTheHelperx online guides that I followed to make the animated GIF.

Emily and Sangeet
Emily and Sangeet

The 20 week preparation year of the course sees learners analysing what outcomes they want from their placement, develop a LinkedIn profile, a written CV and video CV. These are packaged and presented to employers on a Portfolio. These activities are facilitated via the VLE outside of the classroom, leaving the contact time to practice recruitment processes and meet employers. With this reliance on the VLE, the key development I helped Paul introduce into the course is narrative. He is more than familiar with the procedures and practices Placements, but creating an instructional narrative that brings the learning together was new to him. To support this I created two example students, Emily and Sangeet, who accompany the learners on the Placement journey. Example profiles and portfolios have been created for them, that the learners can use as examples.

The impact of this course is it gives all learners across the College of Science and Engineering at the Univerisity of Leicester a unified experience in Industrial Placements. We have been consulting with other Colleges who are considering adopting the approach. I can proudly say that we have been nominated for an institutional Discovering Excellence Award for the design and interdisciplinary nature of the approach.

The course launched this week. I intend to interview Paul and some of the learners throughout the weeks about the impact of the Flipped Approach on the course as part of my extend research into understanding the Flipped Classroom in Higher Education. By way of a taster, here is the introductory video we created. This is the first thing learners see when the enter the course on the VLE.

In the production of the video I did learn how to create Matte masking in Final Cut thanks to Dnoman56.

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