UVAC conference York, 13th – 14th November

This has been a well run conference: 11am – 6pm Thursday & 9am Friday until 12.30pm – a sensible schedule that allows for people to attend the whole event.

Richard and I did a uvac-idibl-presentation slot that wnt down well, lots of commanality with the Middlesex Work-based learning approach as described by Alan Durrant Head of Work Based Learning, School of Arts & Education.

The biggest impression that I am taking away is of the development of a two tier market growing up. Numerous examples of large employers working with Universities to develop bespoke courses – lots of resource required for this not to mention the challenge of curriculum set in aspic.

I suppose it takes us back to one of the core ideas behind Ultraversity & now IDIBL and that is trusting in the ability of the learner to negotiate the curriculum (focus of their inquiry) with the University in line with their needs and the needs of their employer.

Perhaps this is the clear blue water between us and other work-based approaches:
– one is high overhead negotiations with individual employers for particular groups of workers developing a prescribed curriculum that matches exactly what an employer defines;
– the other is a generically defined process curriculum that allows for personalisation through the design of individual inquiries focused on improving work-practice.

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