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Independent Lifelong Learning (20 credits at level HE5)

Developing a capability to tackle lifelong learning as the need arises in professional practice. A review of professional expectations in relation to your working practice will uncover an area for learning.

20 credits at level HE5


You will plan that learning, including the resources needed, learning activities, the intended learning outcomes and a mode of assessment. Students will be encouraged to consider a diversity of learning strategies and to be imaginative in their proposed mode of assessment. For this modules intended learning outcomes, a learning journal will be maintained and a reflective account of the complete experience made. Finally, you will consider the influence on your work practice of the new learning gained.


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:

  • Identification of an appropriate topic / subject;
  • Personal Development Planning;
  • The nature of learning outcomes and of appropriate assessment method(s); 
  • Proposal formulation;
  • Issues of credibility; the validity and transferability of personal knowledge


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. Identify learning needs in relation to your work practice Present a review of expected professional knowledge and select an appropriate area for learning and update your personal development plan
2. Negotiate and plan a programme of learning in an academic or professional context Create a schedule which identifies people, resources, context, learning activities, intended learning outcomes and assessment mode for learning independently
3. Sustain a programme of independent learning Reflect on selected parts of your learning journal and account for the learning journey
4. Explore the implications for your work practice of this newly acquired knowledge Describe how your work practice will change as a result of this learning


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. 


  • Race, P., (1996) A Fresh Look at Independent Learning, [Last accessed April 2008] 
  • Stella Cottrell (2003) Skills for Success: The Personal Development Planning Handbook Palgrave: Macmillan
  • Moon, J. (2004) 'A Handbook of Reflective and Experiental Learning: Theory and Practice', RoutledgeFalmer
  • Moon, J. (1999) 'Learning Journals: A Handbook for Academics, Students and Professional Development', Kogan Page 
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