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UALL Work and Learning Network: Network News: September 2020

Welcome to the UALL Work and Learning Network and to our first issue of Network News. We're so pleased to share with you these September updates from the network for the start of the new academic year. The theme for this month is innovation, inspiration and response - exploring work and learning during this changing year and celebrating achievements. We are very aware that issues such as access and outreach have always been a crucial consideration within our field and have only grown more pertinent with the restrictions and disruption arising from the pandemic. In this issue, we will be exploring recent news and publications journals that focus on understanding what we do within the field of work and learning. We have highlighted a few institutions and practitioners who are working to expand our boundaries and to create new ways of providing learning as related to professional work practice for further and higher education. Our spotlight this month is a contribution from the team at University to Business Education (U2B) from Glasgow Caledonian University that focuses on the issue of 'access' and provides resources towards creating a more accessible learning experience.

Editorial: Innovation, Inspiration and Response

Covid-19 has brought about many challenges and opportunities in the past 6 months, ones we have all been working through within our various roles and institutions. Curriculum and practice have moved online, blurring the distinctions between face to face and distance learning. Some provision ended in June, while others courses, such as degree apprenticeships, have been running throughout the summer. We have had to find new ways of contacting staff and students, and for many the focus in September now to plan for 2020-2021. There have been many inspiring stories and solutions for work and learning practice in all its variations that the network hopes to tap into , as this response shows not only the ability to respond to changes in the curriculum, but ways to plan and deliver much needed educational provision related to employment and lifelong learning.

How has Covid-19 changed our practice? Already research is becoming available about how the pandemic has affected what we do and how that might change. As Covid-19 and Brexit will continue to affect what we do for the beginning of the academic year 2020-2021, looking at issues ranging from online tuition versus face-to-face provision, labour market shifts, and personal circumstances such as childcare are impacting returning to the workplace and to studies. We hope to keep you posted in the meantime, with the best advice being to ‘expect the unexpected’ and working together as a network to build and grow our collective resilience and resources for 2021.

Paula Nottingham 

Spotlight: The Institute for University to Business Education (U2B)

Another Route to Accessing   Teaching, Learning and Assessment Resources:  what you can do on your mobile phone

Marty Wright; U2B Academic Head and Mairi Morton; U2B Academic Development Tutor, Glasgow Caledonian University; The Institute for University to Business Education (U2B).  In U2B we aim to learn from our students in the same way as they learn from us. Part of our learning has involved developing a tool kit of resources aimed at supporting and guiding our students to attain the best from their University level studies. These are intended to provide ways of overcoming the challenges that we know some of our students have with both computer and internet access. Our latest U2B resources acknowledge and promote the usefulness of the mobile phone and/or tablet, for accomplishing academic work, particularly when they might be the only device to hand when at home, travelling/commuting or during a break at work.  We are not, and would not, advocate that a mobile phone can replace a laptop or desktop computer but it can help offer an alternative to some students who struggle to access PCs and laptops, and enable them to access course materials where they would otherwise be unable to do so. This may help them optimise time set aside for study and assignment preparations, even enable them to make a start on writing their assignments.

We are, therefore, signposting both our continuing students and our new students to resources suggesting a variety of ways in which mobile phones can be used during their Programme / module.  The resources are aimed at giving our students hints and tips on how to access the library, research a topic, find and store relevant academic materials, make notes from their reading, and use One Drive to save and store sources and draft assignment data in a way that allows them to work between their own device and a  laptop to desktop computer without losing  any data. We have also  included the creation of mobile phone friendly versions of assignment / project templates and worked to ensure the existing blog of academic literacy activities are mobile phone friendly. GCU mobile phone technology will be introduced to our students  as another option to support and complement their university studies. 

We are pleased to share a sample of the resources we have created at this link:

Featured Follows We're highlighting the work of several networks this month. University of Chester has an active community that supports both work and learning practice and research.

University of Lincoln We have noted that Tracey White form University of Lincoln – long active in work and learning has achieved a National Teaching Fellow form Advance HE.

UVAC Some very useful reading from UVAC’s Mandy Crawford.

Office of National Statistics The latest data and analysis about Covid-19 in the UK.

Recommended Reading Please find below a selection of recent articles and work from our membership base that explore the theme of access and innovation.

CRADLE (2020) Boud, D., Ajjawi, R. & Tai, J. Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning, Deakin University

"EURASHE webinar "Quality in Work-based Learning: the way to maximise the value of Professional Higher Education" – the workshop concentrated on guidance for apprenticeships and other learning in the workplace for Higher education institutions and employers. Please find presentations here:

Recent publications

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning Current issue Work And Learning E-Journal International Link to journal Volume 9 Issue 1 June 2020 Jan Etienne (2020) (Ed) Communities of Activism Black women, higher education and the politics of representation, London: Trentham Books

Elda Nikolou-Walker's ‘Inclusive Education And Work Based Learning- Managing a Process of Change: The Arguments of Jennifer Todd, Thomas and Loxley’ chapter 5, in  Kenon, V. H., & Palsole, S. V. (Eds.). (2019). The Wiley Handbook of Global Workplace Learning. Wiley. Retrieved from Google Books. QAA COVID-19: Thematic Guidance The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) (2018) UK QUALITY CODE, ADVICE AND GUIDANCE: WORK-BASED LEARNING


We're really looking forward to the journals below, due to be published in the next coming month.

Special Issue: “Creativity in Work-Applied Management” Special Issue Editors Dr Debbie Scott, Centre for Work Related Studies, University of Chester, UK ( Dr Paula Nottingham, Middlesex University, UK ( Prof Tony Wall (Editor-in-Chief), International Centre for Thriving, University of Chester UK ( Links to the papers can be found under the Early cite tab:

Submissions open: ICPPD Conference additional call for papers. The 7th International conference on Professional and Practice-based Doctorates has reopened a call for papers so additional abstracts can be added to the conference programme. The conference has been rescheduled for 25th & 26th February 2021 in York.  To submit an abstract and/or register for the conference go The deadline for submission is Friday 25th September.

Thank you so much for being a part of our network and best of luck to all those embarking on the year ahead - we hope the resources provided will be of use to you.

Regards, UALL Work and Learning Network

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