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Week by week blog

CPD Code for Registrants of the Engineering Council

  • Take ownership of their learning and development needs, and develop a plan to indicate how they might meet these, in discussion with their employer, as appropriate.
  • Undertake a variety of development activities, both in accordance with this plan and in response to other opportunities which may arise.
  • Record their CPD activities.
  • Reflect upon what they have learned or achieved through their CPD activities and record these reflections.
  • Evaluate their CPD activities against any objectives which they have set and record this evaluation.
  • Review their learning and development plan regularly following reflection and assessment of future needs.
  • Support the learning and development of others through activities such as mentoring, and sharing professional expertise and knowledge.

End of week 1 - 12/8/16

Kolb's Learning Cycle is a theory that demonstrates the way that students will continually improve their learning by keeping their studies under continual review. By keeping a learning log, students are already preparing for CPD as they are taking ownership and responsibility of their own learning. Kolb's Learning Cycle shows that students will use the reflections recorded in their logs to improve their learning further, and that the more frequently they reflect on their studies, the more their learning will improve. By keeping the learning logs, students are showing that they are continually improving and seeking to improve their learning at university. In the future, they will have to prove that they are continually developing and seeking to develop their professional skills, as well as their knowledge and understanding. Therefore, reflective practice can be seen as a great way of preparing for CPD in the workplace.

By using a learning log like this, students are, in effect, using the same reflective skills and techniques as they would use to write a quarterly report/ reflective report in the workplace. Therefore, this form of reflective practice is a good way of preparing for writing quarterly reports for CPD in the future.

I have also been completing my own learning journal whilst working, which is showing me the benefits of reflective practice first hand. By reflecting on each day I can look forwards, gradually improving my competence. So far the journal has been very helpful and I intend to publish it on this page when I am finished.

End of week 2 - 19/8/16

Research this week has also been focused on the possibility of students producing a Learning Philosophy Statement. This would follow a similar format as the Teaching Philosophy Statements which academics are commonly asked to write when they start their teaching. It could include information such as personal goals which students aim to consistently meet during their degrees, a justification of why they chose to study engineering and how they study. The idea is that students could place this statement at the start of a log book. The statement would serve two purposes: it would act as a motivator and it would allow students to monitor and reflect on their initial thoughts throughout their degree, highlighting areas that they need to improve on.

After extensive research it seems that this idea has never been used before. I will hopefully be meeting with interns from the WMG soon to ask them to create their own LPS and give feedback on how useful they think they idea would be.

End of week 3- 26/8/16

This week research has been looking at the guidelines institutions give for writing quarterly reports. By looking at examples from the IMechE and ICE, it was clear to see that example reports all had certain characteristics, such as: outline descriptions of projects worked on, experience gained, evalution of the period- reflection, what was learnt, how has understanding developed and relation of all these points to the five core competencies of the UK-spec and to objectives that employees set themselves.

We can implement this at Warwick by asking students to outline how they have developed in each of the five competencies during that quarter through lectures, laboratories and extra curricular engineering related activities. We can ask them to include information about what they've learnt and what skills they've gained/ developed and how this relates to the competencies and their objectives. We can then ask them to propose a 'Development Action Plan' (a set of objectives for the coming term), that they can refer back to when they write their next quarterly report.

Research is still ongoing as I've emailed the ICE to ask them how they might advise us to structure the report so that students get the most out of it.

End of week 4- 2/9/16

This week I have been looking in more depth at how we can present these ideas of reflection in the ES101 learning guide. I have decided to include a section on being a reflective learner, which will enable students to improve their learning, and a section on using a log book to write their quarterly reports. The latter will give advice to students how they can use a log book record what they have been doing and reflect on what they've learnt, and how they can then use this information to write their quarterly reports. The idea of using a learning log has now been replaced with the idea of using a study diary, if students feel it will help them, as part of the being a reflective learner section. This section will focus purely on helping them to develop their own learning through changing their approaches to study, whereas the log book will help them to develop as engineers and recognise how what they are learning relates to the five core competencies.

The use of log books and quarterly reports in an essential part of continuing professional development. This section of the guide will be ideal for them in their preparation for CPD and becoming competent engineers.

End of week 5- 9/9/16

ES101 Learning Guide

ES101 Tutor Guide

Learning philosophy statement template

Quarterly reflective report template

Reflective report marking sheet for tutors

This week I have sent out the learning philosophy statement template to a few interns working in the WMG. They have sent back their own learning philosophy statements and provided some feedback with regards to how they found it. The interns thought that the statement was a good idea and that it motivated them.

However, I noticed an interesting trend in their statements. The information in itallics is there to provide students with guidance when they're writing their statements. The responses that I recieved were almost entirely comprised of answers related closely to this information, with little or no original input. This showed that the guidance, when placed directly under each question, will confine the students' answers to the themes mentioned in the guidance. This is not what we are looking for: the module is designed to enable students to take ownership of their own learning and knowledge and not just simply do what they need to do to satisfy the basic requirements. Therefore, it is clear to see that this may be an issue that needs addressing.

This week a work experience student, who was in year 13, was also working in the school. I asked him to read the first section of the guide "Learning at University", as he is thinking of going to university in a years time. He gave me some feedback, saying that it was good, clear and useful.

End of week 6- 16/9/16

I spent the majority of this week summarising my research and putting together the ES101 Tutor Guide.

I communicated with some of the topic lecturers to check the suitability of the topic descriptions which are in the learning guide. Feedback was positive.

I spoke to Dr Kremmyda about the tutor guide, with the aim to have it finished by next week.

End of Week 7- 23/9/16

This week, I met with Prof. Gill Cooke. We discussed my research on the benefits of relfection, and how we can use ES101 to help students to take responsibility for their own development, by writing reflective reports.

This week I have mainly been finalising the ES101 Tutor Guide and compiling a presentation for the teaching away day next week, where I will be presenting the module to members of academic staff in the school.

References:

The Good Study Guide, Andrew Northledge, 2005.

IMechE example report: https://workspace.imperial.ac.uk/mechanicalengineering/Public/files/TOOLKIT+for+MPDS-UpdatedMarch11.pdf

ICE report guidelines:http://www.bristol.ac.uk/media-library/sites/eng-systems-centre/migrated/documents/ice-ipd.pdf