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Investigating the Work Setting (30 credits at level HE4)

This module will introduce you to workplace learning. You will deepen your understanding of your role in the workplace looking at it from a range of perspectives. This activity will act as a foundation for the research work you will undertake during the degree introducing you to.

Module Description

You will begin to explore the complexity of your workplace and the influences on your role and how these impact on you and your colleagues. You will use elementary research skills such as data recording, critical thinking, reflection and analysis during the exploration and develop presentation skills to clearly convey your research and findings.

As your studies progresses, you will regularly share plans, ideas and extracts with your peers in the online community and will provide critical feedback on others' work.  This will help you to explore how each other’s workplace provides research opportunities to support your studies.

You will develop your own personal development plan (PDP) that will form the framework for your level 1 studies making an explicit link between learning opportunities both at and through work with the Level 1 modules you are planning to study. This will enable you to develop graduate study skills and transferable employment skills of analysing your learning needs and developing a PDP.

Module content will be appropriate to individuals in their work setting and will be supported by learning

facilitators who will help students identify appropriate methodology in order to achieve the module


This is a web delivered distance learning module. Students will need to have access to the internet to access learning resources, participate in the online learning community and submit their electronic portfolio for assessment.

All key resources will be available online. In addition many key resources will be work context specific and defined during the planning of the learning activities, with the support of the learning facilitator to take account of the student’s work context.

Outline Content

  • Planning own learning activities linked to intended learning outcomes
  • A range of approaches to personal learning in the workplace, including observation skills, discussions; goal setting and SMART targets
  • Mapping the structure of the work place: relationships and demands; decision-making processes
  • Foundation research skills – collection and analysis of data
  • Build personal e-learning space including assessment e-portfolio
  • Basic Internet skills, e.g. Internet access, student management systems, community software
  • Work collaboratively online
  • Desk research techniques: identification of key documentation; identifying professional bodies; identifying relevant competencies and standards for particular work roles
  • Using self evaluation to plan learning needs

Learning Outcomes (threshold standards)


On successful completion of this module the student will be expected to be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

1. describe their role within the work setting


2. identify the key competencies for their work role

Intellectual, practical, affective and transferable skills

3. analyse their work setting relationships


4. produce a self evaluation against key work role competencies


5. develop a PDP (personal development plan) based on their self evaluation


Portfolio 100%

Key Texts/Literature

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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