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The Learning Institute

The Learning Institute

Pre-Course Tasks (Level 5)

These pre-course tasks will link to the first Level 5 module, FDLI2001 Understanding our personal and professional selves. 

If you need any help accessing these materials, please contact us.

Welcome from module leader 

The first module you will study in Level 5 is FDLI2001 Understanding our personal and professional selves.

FDLI2001 will explore models of reflection and encourage students to undertake a reflective and critical review of their personal, academic and professional development, knowledge and understanding. You will consider the role of the professional and how they evidence this through their own experience. 

The module uses an intrapersonal approach to support each student's own development as a practitioner.  Additionally, it allows them to review and reflect upon their personal, academic and professional experience to date and to set future targets.  Specifically, students will develop a personal and professional profile which will help facilitate and guide them in the remainder of their level 5 studies.

You will find four activities below.  Though the FDLI2001 tasks are not particularly strenuous they are important, in order to support you in being prepared for the start of the Level 5 course and will be used in sessions.

Activity 1: Article by Jenny Moon 

Please read and make notes for yourself on the article referenced below.

It provides a brief guide to thinking about reflection, a discussion of its application in higher education learning and some practical support for the use of reflective activities.

Moon, J. (2001) PDP Working Paper 4: Reflection in Higher Education Learning. Available at: https://nursing-midwifery.tcd.ie/assets/director-staff-edu-dev/pdf/PD-%20Working-Paper-4-Moon.pdf (Accessed: 13 July 2022)

Activity 2: Reflective practice (CPD activity) 

Research shows that reflection is an important way of supporting effective practice in a number of settings including education and health. Most settings have some form of performance management which requires reflection i.e. strengths and areas for development. Also, most roles in education and health entail supporting others to reflect on their learning and their practice.

This CPD task seeks to support practitioners by helping them to understand some key principles of effective reflection and how a model of reflection can be applied.

Download the CPD task here

Activity 3: Coaching wheels (CPD activity) 

What does it mean to be a good Educational Professional?: Using a coaching wheel for reflection and self-evaluation

This CPD task is designed to introduce the student to self-evaluation, using a coaching wheel. It is argued that self-evaluation is a professional attribute that fosters professional growth. Additionally, it should support understanding of professional practice.

The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) suggest that a “Coaching Wheel” is a valuable tool for supporting self-evaluation. Using a wheel can help to explore current reality and critically reflect on yourself as a professional and on your practice. In short: It helps you to reflect on what you have done and think about what you might do next. It can enable practitioners to learn from experience about themselves, their work, and the way they relate to others. It can also provide relatively safe and confidential ways to explore, examine and understand professional experiences in the quest for professional development.

Download the CPD task here

Activity 4: Morrell research paper 

Please read the research paper referenced below, and consider the following points:

1.Why does Morrell consider the terms profession and professional to be somewhat problematic?

2.What does Morrell say that the term 'naïve functionalism' means within the context professionalism?

3.This article focuses specifically on the nursing profession, however the discussions about professionalism may also be applied to other professions. Could you provide an example?

Reference: Morrell, K. (2004) Analysing professional work in the public sector: the case of NHS nurses. Available at: https://repository.lboro.ac.uk/articles/preprint/Analysing_professional_work_in_the_public_sector_the_case_of_NHS_nurses/9495026 (Accessed: 13 July 2022)

Activity 5: An overview of the various online resources you will use 

The student portal

As a University of Worcester (UW) student, you will use a range of different online resources, which will be available through the student portal, MyDay.

To access this:

  • Go to www.worcester.ac.uk
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Students
  • Click on Login
  • Enter your UW email address and password - you will receive these details as part of a welcome letter from the University once you have accepted your offer

You can also download a MyDay app for Apple and Android.

It is possible to customise this screen using the Personalise button on the top right, so that you can remove shortcuts that are not relevant (e.g. the print and copy portal, as this is a facility for students based on the UW campus).

If you have any problems with your login details at any point, you will need to contact the UW ICT Service Desk direct on 01905 857500 (open Monday to Friday, between 8.30am and 5.30pm). You can also access support via the live chat facility here.

 

University of Worcester emails

Once the foundation degrees have started, we will only contact students via their University of Worcester (UW) email accounts

You will receive a welcome pack from the University, and this will include details of your ICT account (a username and password).  Once you have used this to log in to the student portal, you will be able to access your UW emails.

It is important to check your UW email account regularly, so that you are aware of any communication from your PAT, module tutors and other Learning Institute staff.  You will also receive emails direct from the University.  It is possible to set up 'rules' to filter out some of these emails if they are not relevant (e.g. information about campus-specific things such as car parking).

You can also sync these emails to a mobile device (e.g. a smartphone) using your usual Email app, or by downloading the Outlook app.

 

SOLE

SOLE is the Student Online Environment used by the University of Worcester.  You will access SOLE for a range of different reasons, including (but not limited to):

  • to register with the University
  • to update your personal details
  • to access module grades
  • to apply for mitigating circumstances 

Use this PowerPoint for a demonstration of the SOLE page - you will need to click on the Slide Show tab at the top, and then click From Beginning.

Scroll over the screen. Wherever a hand symbol appears, you can explore the SOLE area.

First of all, try out the Register tab to see what will happen when you register on the course. You will then be able to do this once the University of Worcester have confirmed your username and password for online services.

Following this the show will finish - click on the link again to try out other tabs and links such as Course information and Assessments.

 

Blackboard

Blackboard is the primary virtual learning environment (VLE) used by the University of Worcester.  You will use it to access:

  • learning materials for every module on the foundation degree
  • reading lists
  • sessions delivered live online via Collaborate
  • course specific documents (e.g. course handbooks, timetables)
  • additional support materials

You will also use it to:

  • participate in discussion boards with fellow students
  • upload assignments to Turnitin

You will receive printed copies of key materials (e.g. module outlines) in face-to-face sessions.  However, if a document needs to be updated for any reason, these changes will be made to the version stored on Blackboard and the materials will generally not be reprinted, so it is important to check the materials on Blackboard if you have any queries.  The module leader will send an announcement to all students informing you of any major changes.

 

Turnitin

Turnitin can help to detect potential plagiarism in your assignments and will also be used as a method of assignment submission.

You will receive further guidance on Turnitin during the first two modules of the foundation degree, including a demonstration of how to upload an assignment and advice on how to interpret the similarity report that is generated.

 

Office 365

As a UW student, you will have access to a number of the Microsoft Office 365 apps, including:

  • Word - program for word processing
  • Excel - program for creating spreadsheets 
  • PowerPoint - program for creating presentations
  • OneDrive - cloud storage, so you can access files on any device with an internet connection
  • Teams - cloud-based software that allows you to collaborate with other people
  • Forms - create online forms/surveys

 

Library services

As a UW student, you will have access to a huge number of resources such as e-books and journal articles via the online library.  Detailed guidance on accessing these resources will be provided during the first module.  You can contact The Learning Institute Academic Librarian for help and support at any point during your time on the course by emailing library@learninginstitute.co.uk.  Support is also provided by the Academic Liaison Librarians at the University.

Additional reading suggested for FdA Early Years Professional students. 

Listed in order of related modules.

*Stewart, N. (2011) How children learn: the characteristics of effective early learning. London: British Association for Early Childhood Education.

Eberle, S. (2014) The Elements of Play. Available at: https://mindsplain.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/the-elements-of-play.pdf (Accessed: 14 July 2022)

Grieshaber, S. and McArdle, F. (2010) The trouble with play. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press. Available on the UW library

Blandford, S. (2016) Developing professional practice 0-7. 2nd edn. Abingdon: Routledge. Available on the UW library

Rodger, R. (2016) Planning an appropriate curriculum in the early years: a guide for early years practitioners and leaders, students and parents. 4th edn. Abingdon: Routledge. Available on the UW library

**McLachlan, C., Fleer, M. and Edwards, S. (2018) Early childhood curriculum: planning, assessment, and implementation. 3rd edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Available on the UW library*

*Note for students: This book is not available electronically through UW, and unfortunately it is no longer being sold in paperback format. It is possible to purchase an e-book version through Amazon and other retailers (more details here). We have also requested digitisations of the first four chapters, and these should be available online from September 1st 2020.

**Note for students: Although this text focuses on the New Zealand curriculum, it has a good exploration of theory for each chapter and has some really good international comparisons.