Work-based Learning Pedagogies and Academic Development

Grant type: Themed Funding: Work Based Learning
Round: Workbased Learning
Amount awarded £14,923.00
Completed: January 2012
Leader(s): Professor Carol Crossley
Organisation: Middlesex University
Contact Email:
Jon Talbot
Professional Development Unit, University of Chester
Kerry Harman
Middlesex University
Pauline Armsby
Westminster Exchange, University of Westminster
Ruth Helyer
Business School, Teesside University
Sue Graham
Academic Registry, Northumbria University
Start Date: 3 January 2011
End Date: 29 December 2011
Interim report received: 1 September 2011
Final report received: 11 January 2012

This research project team examined the pedagogical practices of tutors working on Work Based Learning (WBL) programmes in HE in England and Wales and carried out an in depth review of the literature on related pedagogies. The findings specify essential knowledges and abilities a tutor should have who is engaged with WBL in HEI and offers a practical and informed response to a potential barrier to the successful delivery of WBL due to a lack of adequately prepared staff to act as advisers.  It presents an in depth and annotated literature review on related pedagogies and its findings contribute to the current debates and issues. 

Through asking and finding out what WBL pedagogies are and what the rationale underpinning work-based learning strategies might be, it takes up the challenge of more traditional knowledge transmission pedagogies in HE and puts forward a reasoned argument for WBL’s academically sound pedagogies, such as the epistemology of practice,  and its increasingly pivotal role in the future direction of HE. This is a direction which needs to manage growing complexity through the pursuit of new knowledge, widening participation and collaborating across disciplines and across different domains of professional practice. It requires being proactively engaged with the private and public sectors, professional bodies and various institutions. Most importantly it has to be able to offer purposeful and relevant pedagogies, successful delivery and assessment that continue to raise standards through emphasis on learner centred learning and transdisciplinarity; on learning technologies including accreditation of prior learning, learning agreements, projects, critical reflection, reflexivity and relevance; and on ensuring the availability of advisers who have the knowledge and characteristics to be experts in the epistemology of practice and in learning conversations.

This report will support practitioners and students of WBL in the development and articulation of their practice through the shared insights, conceptual frameworks and ideas which are contained in this work.