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Exemplar of use 2  - University of Nottingham

Page history last edited by kirstiec 10 years, 7 months ago Saved with comment
An overview of use


Reflective practice and independent study:  The Nottingham Advantage Award  “Public Engagement, Volunteering and Citizenship” module, run by Community Partnerships, University of Nottingham. 

e-Portfolio context: 
The Nottingham Advantage Award is an employability scheme run by the University of Nottingham’s Careers and Employability Service. The Moodle VLE is used to provide module structure, resources and final assignment submission.  Students were required to keep a learning journal in Mahara which formed the basis of their final 1000 word assessed independent study.  


Dates of provision: January to March 2013


Reason for implementation: The module is designed to support students’ personal and professional development. Devised and run by Sharon Clancy, Head of Community Partnerships, the “Civil Society, Volunteering and Citizenship” module is designed to provide a socio-political policy context for volunteering and community engagement through a broader understanding of civil society and the place of voluntarism within it. 


Key features:


  • supporting the acquisition of a range of knowledge and skills, including employability skills
  • guest speakers from the third  sector
  • debate and discussion
  • opportunity for the development of research networks amongst the student cohort 
  • skills development around research and community-based and applied research skills.


Purpose/s:  To host and share reflective learning journals and for students to build their final essay.


Learning processes involved: information handling, reflection, feedback.


Practice:  There were 4 face to face sessions with separate topics led by the module leader and several expert internal and external speakers. These sessions were discursive, lively and encouraged debate. Following each session, the students were asked to reflect on an area of research emerging from the debate and were prompted to consider ‘3 things that have made you think, and why’. They were also encouraged to share their journals with the course leader for feedback and other students in the group if desired. 


Key staff involved: Sharon Clancy and Kirstie Coolin


Sharon Clancy is public engagement lead for the University of Nottingham and was previously the head of a charity supporting the third sector in Mansfield, North Nottinghamshire. Through her work in both community education within that sector and in community-based student learning at the University of Nottingham, she has grown increasingly convinced of the importance of personal reflection in supporting lifelong learning. Sharon first became aware of the Mahara tool – which facilitates self-reflection on-line – through working with the University of Nottingham's Centre for International ePortfolio Development, who have championed responsive and innovative e-Learning tools. Community Partnerships now use Mahara as a key tool in their Public Engagement and Citizenship module.  


Kirstie Coolin is Head of the Centre for International ePortfolio Development and is championing the use of e-portfolios at the University of Nottingham, leading on and disseminating the Nottingham Mahara pilots. She is also working with Community Partnerships on the “Building Enterprise” project, promoting knowledge exchange between the University and the community.




Public Engagement, Volunteering and Citizenship Group and Forums - screenshot


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