Ultraversity Project Findings

Project Overview

The Ultraversity undergraduate degree is a 100% online, full-time, programme that leads towards an award of BA (Hons) Learning, Technology and Research in just 3 years. The approach to study is not typical of most undergraduate degrees in that there are no subject specific modules with pre-determined content. Ultraversity uses action research and reflective practice as its approach to learning to enable undergraduates to inquire into their work role and that is why we call them ‘researchers’.

Ultraversity researchers also need to work collaboratively in online learning communities. It is in these communities that they meet other researchers to, share research findings, peer review and critique each-others work, discuss ideas and issues, and offer each other support socially and meet Guest ‘expert witnesses’ who bring additional practitioner knowledge to support the learning process.

Towards the end of the programme, instead of undertaking a dissertation, researchers develop an exhibition in an appropriate work context. The purpose of this is for researchers to promote learning beyond themselves in organisations and individuals, and to gain evaluative feedback on the research they have undertaken.

Although not designed as a programme that employers sign up to on behalf of their staff, the Ultraversity degree does aim to provide access to higher education for people who are committed to developing themselves in their work role. The programme is designed to develop researchers’ confidence to influence and improve practice within their work setting through developing their ability as articulate, critically reflective problem solvers.

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What action did student researchers take? – potential for organisational Impact
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Data Analysed & presented by Richard Millwood May 2006.

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Patchwork media online to enhance personalised learning – achieving high levels of personal and professional reflection
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Findings developed by Lesley McGuire, Gina Revill, Gill Roberts and Ian Tindal May 2006.

The traditional method of assessment in higher education is the essay. This requires not only a certain level of literacy, but also a familiarity with the ‘academic voice’, which can place constraints on students, including a feeling of isolation. Ultraversity took the ‘Patchwork text’ idea and adapted it to our online needs. What exactly is that and how successful has it been?

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What jobs do student researchers in Ultraversity do? – the value of learning in a mixed workforce community.
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Data analysed & presented by Tim Williams May 2006.

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