WORK PLACEMENT MODULE
Course + Code
Table of Contents
TOC o “1-3” h z u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc79502648 h 3Methodology PAGEREF _Toc79502649 h 3Literature Review (Range of Sources) PAGEREF _Toc79502650 h 3Presentation of Findings PAGEREF _Toc79502651 h 6Work Placement Module PAGEREF _Toc79502652 h 6Conclusion and Recommendations PAGEREF _Toc79502653 h 10Reference list PAGEREF _Toc79502654 h 12Appendix PAGEREF _Toc79502655 h 14
Work Placement Module
IntroductionAs experience requirements become more stringent, students are left wondering how to gain valuable experience that will give them a competitive advantage in the job market. Fortunately, a legacy of literature highlights that work placement is beneficial to both students and employers. However, in most cases, a work placement module that does not impart the students with the relevant skills and knowledge is a waste of time. A balance has to be struck between the theoretical and practical aspects of the work environment for the work placement module to be effective. Therefore, this report proposes a work placement module that offers both practical and theoretical learning experiences to Level 5 Undergraduates in the School of Business and Law.
MethodologyThe report is based on a thematic analysis of relevant secondary literature on work placement benefits, applications, and considerations. The literature sources will be appraised to find themes and trends that are invaluable to the creation of the proposed work placement module. Javadi and Zarea (2016) explain that a thematic analysis approach can be conducted unsupervised. In other words, one does not need to set up the data in advance and can make alterations as they delve into the research. In this case, the relevant literature will be analyzed using inclusion and exclusion criteria. Such criteria will enable aid in the narrowing down of research studies and literature applicable to the designing of the work placement module.
Literature Review (Range of Sources)The themes in the literature emphasize the importance of practical skills, knowledge, and tools for young people to succeed in the working environment. A study by Brooks and Youngson (2014) found that resources, information, interpersonal skills, systems, and technology were the most pertinent requirements for young people to make it in the work environment. These findings are consistent with the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) report, which propagated the theory that resources, information, interpersonal skills, systems, and technology played a crucial role in preparing students for the work environment (O’neil, 2014). Suleman (2017) reports that it is possible to bridge the gap between necessary job skills and classroom learning if students are taught in a real-world context. The situation can be looked at as a transaction between employers who have problems that need solving and workers armed with the practical skills and knowledge to address these problems.
Another report identified a trio of foundational skills that would give young people an advantage in the job market. Brenner (2000) explains that 1) basic skills, 2) thinking skills, and 3) personal qualities brighten one’s employability prospects. In an ideal world, such skills would be embedded into the curricula of educational institutions. However, there is still no discernible framework for integrating personal skills because of difficulty in defining the nature of individual personalities and functional manners (Brenner, 2000). Similarly, Brenner (2000) explains that educational institutions have found it difficult to define the three skills and have instead developed lessons as a contingency or substitute. For the most part, these lessons often predetermine activities to acquire personal skills through several projects offered to students. When students articulate these behaviors, they are considered to have met critical learning outcomes.
For millennia, educators have had a difficult time finding a consensus on the levels of acceptance and definitions of disciplines like integrity, self-management, self-esteem, sociability, and responsibility. McGunagle and Zizka (2020) explain that most employers reply with good personal appearance, honesty, attendance, ability to accept criticism, positive attitude, and a straightforward attitude when asked what skills a good employee should have. At one time, all these disciplines were taught in schools. However, the global education approach has undergone a fundamental shift (Benavot and Naidoo, 2018). Currently, the realities and routines of formal education have rendered it financially unfeasible for educators to educate, supervise and nurture students in these disciplines.
Therefore, employers and educators agree that such skills ought to be taught. Certainly, such a need designates a work-placement module as the most suitable. Dunne (2017) explains that students need to also have the skills and knowledge to apply and interview for a job, nurturing a good work attitude and habits, learning new skills, adapting to change, developing critical thinking, and solving problems. In most cases, vocational programs are deemed to be the most feasible avenue for nurturing employability skills in young people as well as sharpening their perception of career education (Popescu and Roman, 2018). However, vocational education is mostly limited to students who are not pursuing tertiary education. It is therefore essential that schools take advantage of work placement modules to impart students with practical skills and knowledge for them to succeed in the work environment.
Educational institutions also have a responsibility to integrate the necessary skills and knowledge into the general curriculum. Russell (2014) explains that since the work environment is activity-centric and the school environment blends both theory and activity, work placement presents the best chance for student s to be imparted with the necessary skills and knowledge. Similarly, Choe, Kim, and Choi (2018) contend that post-secondary education has to have a higher capacity for job-specific training and skills clinics, leaving high school for broad-based core academic and general employability knowledge and skills. Brenner (2000) also explains that both the current and future work environment should emphasize that a balance is found between learning at work and at school. Such a submission reiterates the need for a work placement program for young aspiring employees.
The current work environment is also increasingly adopting automation and other capital-intensive practices and procedures. The advantages of automation are in its capacity for scale (Dodel and Mesch, 2020). However, the downside is that such systems are characterized by meteoric changes. For young people, the knowledge and skills acquired during their education period may prove to be obsolete by the time they penetrate the work market. Therefore, work placement allows an individual to amalgamate the knowledge received in class with the practice and theory of an actual working environment (Brooks and Youngson, 2014). This way, the employee is well-versed with the fundamental processes and procedures of work and can navigate any meteoric changes in technology. Consequently, the employee can continuously update their knowledge to suit current work requirements hence keeping themselves relevant in the job market.
Ultimately, the literature points out the need for resources, information, interpersonal skills, systems, and technology for young people to succeed in the working environment. However, there is a lag in the acquisition of these skills because of the inexhaustive high school approach and the overly theoretical nature of postsecondary instruction. For the most part, an ideal avenue for the realization of these tools and skills is a work placement program. An exhaustive work placement program can renegotiate critical thinking skills, integrity, self-management, honesty, self-esteem, and interpersonal skills, which have proven elusive for educators across the world to define and disseminate. The next section of this report summarizes the findings to suggest a suitable work placement module to offer both practical and theoretical learning experiences to Level 5 Undergraduates in the School of Business and Law.
Presentation of Findings
The work placement module should prioritize paid work experience related to Business and Law. Compensation for the student’s efforts is likely to spur them on to appeal to their critical thinking skills, integrity, self-management, honesty, self-esteem, and interpersonal skills (Mahmud, Hidayah, and Widhiastuti, 2018). Furthermore, a legacy of literature has also found a correlation between compensation and employee productivity and efficiency. That being said, resources, information, interpersonal skills, systems, and technology should be the basis of any work placement undertaken by the students.
Work Placement Module
Title Business and Law Work Placement
Level Undergraduate (5)
The module is a work placement in a Business and Law setting and will incorporate a technical learning component. The placement module will aid the personal and professional development of the students by equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills to plan and pursue a career in business and law. The students will gain critical experience through conducting a consultancy project that will last for not more than 30 hours.
The module will also include all aspects of work placement covered through previous workshops and seminars. This will include CV preparation, seeking and applying for a placement, navigating the interview process, including mock interviews. Student s will gain knowledge, skills, and experience in relation to the recruitment and selection process and have the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge in the Business and Law disciplines.
Students will enhance their communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and basic work skills. Placements will incorporate technical learning and develop at least one technical skill. The module will be supported and delivered by an academic staff member with assistance from the career office for the preparation workshops and other academic staff for work placement supervision. Each student will be assigned an academic supervisor and a workplace mentor at the place of work who will also support the student while on placement.
The module aims to develop the student’s confidence and ability to make professional decisions using relevant theoretical and evidence dimensions.
The module also aims to solicit student reflection on their experiences and how the work placement has contributed to their personal development, critical thinking prospects and enhanced their employment prospects using online tools.
1 Analyze personal skills and characteristics and develop a personal development plan related to career strategy.
2 Develop a personal brand and apply marketing techniques to marketing themselves
3 Review current recruitment and selection processes used by organizations, and prepare relevant documents for the same.
4 Present and articulate skills and experience professionally in an interview situation.
5 Have insight into the Business and Law environment locally, nationally, and globally.
6 Reflect on and analyze the work placement learning experience and understand personal abilities in the work environment
7 Apply the knowledge and skills learned during the course to the working environment.
8 Participate and communicate in a professional manner as an individual or a member of a team in the workplace.
9 Manage personal learning in the workplace by reflecting on skills development and performance and setting manageable short-term goals using a logbook.
10 Develop at least one technical skill through work-based learning
Personality profile and analysis of aptitudes.
Marketing for Recruitment
The recruitment and selection process, personal marketing, CVs, cover letters, tailoring of application to a specific job.
Developing an Online Profile
Online professional profile development technologies including Linked In, Twitter, Tumblr, blogging technologies, and video.
Interview skills, interpersonal skills, presenting, negotiating, pitching, competency-based interviews.
Health and Safety Practices.
The student will produce a portfolio including a CV, LinkedIn profile, and a reflective essay on what they learned during the job-seeking process and conduct a formal mock interview.
Students will assess their workplace skills in a variety of areas, including basic work practices, communication skills, teamwork skills, technical skills, and problem-solving. Students will take up placement in a Business and Law setting, working at least 30 hours a week for a minimum of 20 weeks up to 6 months. Students will obtain mentoring from the host company and maintain an online reflective logbook.
Work placement workshops will be delivered collaboratively by the Careers Office and the academic supervisor, and the placement will be supervised by an academic supervisor and a mentor at the place of work.
The student will be invited to find a suitable placement and obtain ratification from the academic supervisor. Assistance will also be given to students in securing an appropriate placement. Suitable placements are those which are obtained within the Business and Law discipline and which develop at least one technical skill relevant to the core qualification of the program.
During the placement period, the student will be visited by or conduct a telephone/Skype interview with the academic supervisor. During this visit/interview, the assessment will be made of the student’s progress, the technical content of the learning, and any necessary alterations, modifications, or adjustments will be made after consultation with the student and workplace mentor.
Students will maintain an online reflective journal during the work placement to assess their progress and set short-term learning goals.
Upon completion of the work placement, the student will write a report and conduct a presentation detailing what they have learned during their placement, including the development of their technical skills.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
To prepare themselves for placement and to secure a placement, students will undergo workshops, discussions, and an iterative process to develop and review their approach to generating recruitment documentation. This will be coordinated by an academic staff member in co-operation with the career’s office. All students will complete a CV and partake in a formal mock interview. These activities will take place as workshops and seminars in the Semester prior to work placement.
Learning in the workplace will be ‘on the job training’ supported by the academic supervisor and mentor at the place of work. The student will use reflective learning to gain insight into skills developed in the workplace.
The student will develop one technical skill related to knowledge gained on the course, for example, in marketing, human resource management, data analytics, or any technical skill in the field of Business and Law.
Placement Logbook (Learning Journal)
A detailed logbook will be used for the purpose of recording training and competency. The logbook will form an accurate record of each student’s training experience and will.
Students will submit a report at the end of their placement. Full details on what information to include in the report will be available in the placement handbook.
Host Company Assessment
Overall assessment of the student’s performance during placement will be recorded by an interview with the host company supervisor and an academic staff member. The questionnaire template used for the company evaluation will be available in the placement handbook.
At the end of the placement, the student will present to academic staff and peer outlining the knowledge, skills, and competence gained during their placement.
The student must pass each element of the assessment. Any failed element will be retaken.
Conclusion and RecommendationsThe literature on work placement highlights practical skills, knowledge, and tools for young people to succeed in the working environment. However, the concentration on theoretical output in educational institutions while workplaces concentrate on the practical aspect of work has left a gap in the acquisition process of such skills. Fortunately, work placement can bridge that gap by offering the best of both worlds to young people. This report proposed a work placement module for level 5 undergraduate students in the School of Business and Law. The module advocates for technical skills acquisition to complement the theoretical knowledge already garnered by the students. Moving forward, work placement should be conducted at organizations where the students are compensated for their efforts. Research has found a correlation between compensation and employee motivation. Otherwise, students not being rewarded for their efforts during work placement will be less motivated and may not completely immerse themselves in the working environment.
Reference listBenavot, A. and Naidoo, J. (2018). A New Era for Education in the Global Development Agenda. Childhood Education, [online] 94(3), pp.10–15. Available at: 10.1080/00094056.2018.1475676.
Brenner, R.R. (2000). A Study Contrasting Employers and Students Expectations of a Work Experience Program. [online] Available at: http://www2.uwstout.edu/content/lib/thesis/2000/2000brennerr.pdf.
Brooks, R. and Youngson, P.L. (2014). Undergraduate work placements: an analysis of the effects on career progression. Studies in Higher Education, [online] 41(9), pp.1563–1578. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277951155_Undergraduate_work_placements_an_analysis_of_the_effects_on_career_progression.
Choe, C., Kim, N. and Choi, K. (2018). The Effects of Job Training Programs on Employability Among College Graduates. SSRN Electronic Journal. [online] Available at: 10.2139/ssrn.3134256 [Accessed 30 Aug. 2019].
Dodel, M. and Mesch, G.S. (2020). Perceptions about the impact of automation in the workplace. Information, Communication & Society, [online] 23(5), pp.1–16. Available at: 10.1080/1369118x.2020.1716043.
Dunne, J. (2017). Work placement reflective assessments and employability enhanced through highlighting graduate attributes. Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, [online] 8(1), p.40. Available at: 10.21153/jtlge2017vol8no1art616.
Javadi, M. and Zarea, K. (2016). Understanding Thematic Analysis and its Pitfall. Journal of Client Care, [online] 1(1). Available at: 10.15412/j.jcc.02010107.
Mahmud, A., Hidayah, R. and Widhiastuti, R. (2018). Remuneration, Motivation, and Performance: Employee Perspectives. KnE Social Sciences, [online] 3(10), p.68. Available at: 10.18502/kss.v3i10.3119 [Accessed 7 Aug. 2019].
McGunagle, D. and Zizka, L. (2020). Employability skills for 21st-century STEM students: the employers’ perspective. Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, [online] ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print). Available at: 10.1108/heswbl-10-2019-0148.
O’neil, H.F. (2014). Workforce readiness: competencies and assessment. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Popescu, M.E. and Roman, M. (2018). Vocational training and employability: Evaluation evidence from Romania. Journal of Evaluation and program planning, 6(1), pp.38–46.
Russell, J. (2014). A critical analysis of work experience and its ability to prepare undergraduate sports students for a career in the sports industry. Cardiff met.ac.UK. [online] Available at: https://repository.cardiffmet.ac.uk/handle/10369/6060 [Accessed 10 Aug. 2021].
Suleman, F. (2017). The employability skills of higher education graduates: insights into conceptual frameworks and methodological options. Higher Education, [online] 76(2), pp.263–278. Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10734-017-0207-0.
MODULE SPECIFICATION TEMPLATEMODULE DETAILSModule title Placement Elective Option
Module code ML500
Credit value 20 credits
Mark the box to the right of the appropriate level with an ‘X’ Level 4 Level 5 x Level 6 Level 7 Level 8 Level 0 (for modules at foundation level) Entry criteria for registration on this module
Specify in terms of module codes or equivalent None
Specify in terms of module codes or equivalent None
Mode of delivery Taught Distance Placement Online Other Pattern of delivery Weekly Block Other When module is delivered Semester 1 Semester 2 Throughout year Other Brief description of module content and/ or aims
Overview (max 80 words) Module team/ author/ coordinator(s) School Business and Law
Site/ campus where delivered MoulsecoombCourse(s) for which module is appropriate and status on that course
Course Status (mandatory/ compulsory/ optional)
BSc (Hons) Business Management Optional
BSc (Hons) Business Management Pathways Optional
BSc (Hons) Accounting and Finance Optional
BSc (Hons) Finance and Investment Optional
BSc (Hons) Law Optional
BSc (Hons) Law with Business Optional
BSc (Hons) Law with Criminology Optional
MODULE AIMS, ASSESSMENT AND SUPPORTAims Learning outcomes (between 4 and 6 max) Content
(Topics to be taught) Learning support Teaching and learning activities
Details of teaching and learning activities Allocation of study hours (indicative)
Where 10 credits = 100 learning hours Study hours
This is an indication of the number of hours students can expect to spend in scheduled teaching activities including lectures, seminars, tutorials, project supervision, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops, supervised time in workshops/ studios, fieldwork, and external visits. 44
GUIDED INDEPENDENT STUDY
All students are expected to undertake guided independent study which includes wider reading/ practice, follow-up work, the completion of assessment tasks, and revisions. 156
The placement is a specific type of learning away from the University. It includes work-based learning and study that occurs overseas. TOTAL STUDY HOURS 200
Summative Assessment Task 1
Primary Mode Length Weighting Mark Scheme Threshold Referral task
Reworking of original task or equivalent
Detailed description of content (details of components and any special rules which apply to this assessment) Option 1b
(only where choice of assessment offered)
Primary Mode Length Weighting Mark Scheme Threshold Referral task
Reworking of original task or equivalent