The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Creating Resilient Professionals through Work Based Learning in Graduate Apprenticeship Degrees

Sarah Lavery, University of Strathclyde Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering James Weir Building Glasgow Scotland (United Kingdom)

Dr. Stewart Beattie, University of Strathclyde Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering James Weir Building Glasgow Scotland (United Kingdom)

Dale Lyon, University of Strathclyde Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering James Weir Building Glasgow Scotland (United Kingdom)


Experiential learning is being recognised in degree-level qualifications in many countries. The resilience of learners who have encountered such learning and the potential to cross-fertilise traditional degree programmes is the subject of this study. 
This study will look at immersive learning and reflective observations that exist in Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) Degrees. Professional skills are vital in underpinning degree-level apprenticeship programmes and this study will seek to define how professional skills contribute to the resilience of the learning community when that learning in undertaken partly or wholly within the workplace. The study will also comment on the opportunities that arise from institutions adapting to recognising the success and achievements of learners in the workplace.  
The students are creators of their own learning journey and learn through a hands-on approach which is difficult to replicate outside of the workplace. Students can see a clear pathway to develop their professional skills and understand how the theory they are learning in class applies in practice. 
Self-reflecting on the experience gained in the workplace is a crucial part of the learning experience on the programme. Reflective accounts contain information on the learner journey through the programme. Charting that journey by looking through the lens of resilience is a key opportunity to learn, as an institution, the key benefits and opportunities arising from this style of learning. 
The paper will go into detail of the tasks and reflective responses given in each of the four years since the first delivery of the GA programme. We shall interrogate the evidence-based responses and conclude by highlighting lessons learned and future improvements that could be made to the overall programme, and which areas could potentially be a useful addition to the Undergraduate (UG) degree programme. 
Comparing apprenticeship programme work based learning to the traditional undergraduate Civil Engineering Degree programmes will highlight where the richer learning opportunities are found by GA students through the exposure to the Work-Based learning module. 
Potential areas of the Work-Based Learning Module to be explored as useful additions to the professionalism toolkit are: reflective thinking and writing skills, keeping regular diary entries,  
logging Initial Professional Development (IPD) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD), gathering work-based evidence, on-campus presentation sessions, projects, links with professional bodies (e.g ICE), and mentoring support from Work-Based Learning Advisors through coaching and regular meetings.  
By evaluating the current Work-Based Learning Degree as part of the GA, a clearer picture will be created as to what aspects of the immersive learning experience are particularly effective and transferable to undergraduate degrees in institutions learning from the apprenticeship mode of learning. 

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