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Analysing the Professional Context (30 credits at level HE7)

Analysing the Professional Context

30 credits at level HE7


You will identify significant incidents of change that have contributed to the current position of your chosen field of practice within your organisation.
This approach to learning also has collaboration at its heart. To his end, you will be required to actively participate in an online community of inquiry where you will be required to regularly share plans, ideas and findings for receiving and offering critical feedback.
You will develop a historical perspective of your chosen field of practice and 'future gaze' to identify how new and emerging ideas will affect your organisation and work-role and articulate this perspective in debate.
You will reflect upon and evaluate your own professional practice to identify current opportunities for innovation around professional or technical issues and develop a professional development plan.


Content will be largely determined by the student researcher when relating their focus for inquiry in the work-context to the intended learning outcomes for the module. It is expected that this content will be inter-disciplinary in nature and draw on academic and professional sources including work-colleagues and online community experience and know-how. In addition, specific topics common to the professional theme of the course and other topics relating to the knowledge about action inquiry will be identified and supported by experts participating in hot-seat discussions, where student researchers ask questions and experts respond.
All resources required for the delivery of the module will be available online. In addition, learners will identify resources in the workplace, in libraries, and online that is relevant to their own inquiry.
Topics that may be encountered include:

  • research skills
  • personal development planning.


Learning will be supported through an online community of inquiry where student researchers, course staff and invited ‘experts’ will engage in discussions, debates and group activities to explore key concepts, ideas, relevant topics and offer moral support.
Student researchers are expected to develop study habits which enable learning and contribute to assessment through:

  • personal reflection in a learning log;
  • regular participation in the online community and
  • creative reporting to form a 'patchwork' for assessment.

Student researchers will:

  • identify a focus for their inquiry around issues or opportunities to take action for improvement that they have identified in their work practice;
  • plan an inquiry with learning activities that address each of the intended learning outcomes of the module;
  • undertake their inquiry and share selected parts with student researchers for critical feedback;
  • for each learning activity, create a product for assessment in the student researcher' choice of genre and media;
  • evaluate the inquiry.

Learning facilitators will:

  • promote community discussion on potential focii for inquiry;
  • privately agree student researcher commitment to inquiry proposals;
  • draw out issues arising in inquiries for community discussion;
  • model critical feedback in the online community;
  • make summative assessment of student researchers' work, noting strong points and points to consider with targets for improvement.

Assessment will be through an e-portfolio of work which will address each of the learning outcomes. It will include a summative commentary identifying the individual student researchers learning in relation to the intended learning outcomes for the module in a coherent account of their learning journey.


 Learning Outcomes

when you have successfully completed this module you will:

Assessment Criteria
to demonstrate that you have achieved the learning outcome you will:
1. Locate your chosen field of practice relative to professional domains, specialisms, subject disciplines Show the inter-professional and inter-disciplinary connections of your work and identify bodies of knowledge that extend these and contribute to your professional development
2. Analyse key issues of professional argument, debate or controversy of broad interest within your chosen field of practice in debate with other student researchers with historical perspective and foresight Produce a critical account of consensual and competing ideas in your professional context using illustrative examples to support your interpretation, drawing from your contributions to debate with other student researchers
3. Critically evaluate professional requirements for your chosen field of practice in relation to your skills set and experience and your organisation's priorities for development Synthesise different sources of information and carry out a gap analysis to identify in systematic way foci for your professional development
4. Identify and critically evaluate opportunities for professional development within your work-context / chosen field of practice Produce a personal development plan that integrates work-based opportunities for learning with future module requirements providing justification from an analysis of the professional context


Your achievement of the learning outcomes for this module will be tested as follows:

Patchwork media: an assessment e-portfolio of learning activities with a summative commentary identifying learning achieved related to intended learning outcomes


  • Anne Munro, Helen Rainbird, Alison Fuller (Editor) (2004) Workplace Learning in Context: Routledge
  • Stella Cottrell (2003) Skills for Success: The Personal Development Planning Handbook Palgrave: Macmillan
  • Bill Lucas (2001) Power Up Your Mind: Learn Faster, Work Smarter: Nicholas Brealey Publishing 
  • Tracy Bowell (Editor) (2004) Critical Thinking: A Concise Guide, Second Edition: Routledge
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