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Paul Mayes :: Blog :: UKAN-SKILLS project

January 17, 2008

Below is a draft version of our poster for the York event next week. Looking forward to seeing everyone there

A team led by University of Teesside Library & Information Services has been successful in a bid for funding of £50,000 from the JISC Next Generation Technologies and Practice Phase 2 Programme.

The team includes the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada and FE colleges in the Tees Valley including Redcar & Cleveland College and Darlington College.

The Project (called UKAN-SKILLS) will last 16 months and will look at ways in which student skills can be developed, reinforced, supported and evidenced in a planned and coordinated way during a whole academic programme. Four separate approaches to skills development have so far been prioritised by users: 1. a 'standalone module' during programme; 2. a very embedded or stealth approach; 3. a PDP approach; 4. an intensive 'module’ at the beginning as a progression bridge from previous programme). These will be looked at in joint dialogues with teaching staff in the Tees Valley and Canada. The dialogues will thus yield a wide range of planning templates that other academic programme leaders or teams in the wider community can use. Academic, employability and life skills are increasingly being recognized as vital. However, the planning and coordinating process to develop and assess them whilst making them interesting and relevant within the curriculum is complex and time-consuming, especially where the programme is very modular.

The point or times in a programme where skills are described; advocated; practised; reinforced; advised on; assessed; and fed back on will each have good practice 'learning objects' attached to them as well as links to national resources.

From September 2008 - December 2008 these templates, resources, etc will be evaluated with programme staff and students. Various good ideas and material will be stored in a new repository developed by UPEI that the University of Teesside will support for at least 5 years after the project. This will allow sustained access by the whole HE community and provide a focal point and ’habitat’ for community discussion.

Focus groups with academic staff (using the JISC UIDM approach) have identified the two priority skills of academic writing and critical thinking for use as pilot skills in the project. A freely-available UIDM toolkit will be developed as part of the project.

 

Posted by Paul Mayes

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