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Courses and Training Thread, Ultraversity in Training and Courses; Originally Posted by mark I would like to ask: what was your focus for choosing this type of course? I ...
  1. #16

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    I would like to ask: what was your focus for choosing this type of course? I presume you have an end goal in mind. Is that Teaching/ middle management/ etc...

    I'd quite like to get into a management role, ...at my ripe old age :P But then also I don't really want to enter Teaching. I know schools seem to think this is the Ultimate goal anyone should aspire to [must be all the holidays and the short working day!!! :P:P:P], but I think what I do is actually very interesting and rewarding, and wouldn't like a 'non' technical job thanks very much!
    I suppose my focus was that I'd hit a crossroads and needed to make a decision. I was tech but my new job was more management - not of people but of ... ideas I suppose. I had to look at e-learning and develop the department's knowledge an some sort of capability. My OU studies became less relevant and the 'Learning, Technology, Research' emphasis of UV became very relevant. I would also be participating in the sort of learning environment that the department might one day want to provide.

    UV is also very much about the 'real world' and how we operate in it. I found this view very useful in my new role - especially when dealing with people and putting across concepts etc.

    Oh yeah, and I'm getting to that certain 'ripe old age' where I want a change

    Robbersdog

  2. #17

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    Re: Ultraversity

    It all sounds very interesting,(although I am not sure I quite get it) It all sounds a bit 'management speak' to me.(I am old and tired and it is many years since I actually used my brain) I think I am just missing something!
    Unfortunately, as a lowly part-time tech, I don't think that I have the insight into the sorts of things I would need in order to improve methods etc. Actually, things here are so unstructured that it would be really easy to sort out how to improve things - too easy for a course like that, I think (how about "you got a problem? Actually tell the tech!!")
    Still, I will contact them to see if they think that I could do such a course!!

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Sorry, Witch - I didn't mean to give it that impression. I've probably written too much too quickly and become a bit incoherent. UV will tell it as is should be told.

    It is for anyone and is by no means exclusive. Some people studying are mothers, child minders, librarians, or even half-wits like me... (I'll maybe tell you more one day, if you're bored enough) ... all sorts. You really would be surprised. Yes, there are even part-time techs!

    Just look on it as oil for your brain, if you like

    Crikey, you can literally be doing anything in your practice. There is no such thing as 'too easy' - it's that you engage the old headpiece that matters. You are not out to change the world. You can do that later, if you want.

    I have no doubt you could do the course. It's only a question of whether you want to or not - simple as that. From what you and others have said, you sound ready for a challenge.

    Robbersdog

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    Re: Ultraversity

    @Russ...

    What about trying to negotiate a discount for edugeek members??

    I've looked into it and think I will probably sign up... been looking at OU for years but it's just not relevent enough. This looks like it's just what I've been looking for.... and the school is paying!

    So many thanks for spotting it Russ - much appreciated....

  5. #20

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    Re: Ultraversity

    i can try but i suspect that this maybe no go but heck dont ask dont get will sort approaching them at end of this week once got other stuff sorted

    russ

  6. #21
    mark's Avatar
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    Re: Ultraversity

    Surely they couldn't resist front page advertising on Edugeek alongside Lancaster Uni!!

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    Re: Ultraversity

    LOL - It's amazing what people will do for a bit more profile. As you say - don't ask (or offer) don't get.

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Well they could end up getting alot of coverage here and I'd be willing to blog my experiences to help others thinking of doing the course if I can get signed up for September...
    As far as costs go I'd say it's excellent value - I managed to get £2000 training budget each for me and my tech for next year, which wasn't going to buy alot of industry certs I can tell you!

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    Re: Ultraversity

    How would people feel if I ask one of the Ultraversity staff to get a login and field some questions in here? Just a thought that might save me tripping up and giving you duff info.

    Anyway, let me know and if the demand is there I'll get on to them.

    Cheers

    Robbersdog

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    Re: Ultraversity

    nope problem if staff went to answer the questions coming straight from horses mouth as to say.

    Russ

  11. #26
    mark's Avatar
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    Re: Ultraversity

    Yeah - sounds great RobbieDog - go to it!

    [thanks!]

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Hi all - many thanks to Robbersdog for holding the fort and fielding the questions. The answers given are pretty much spot on, as far as I can see.

    I am an Ultraversity Learning Facilitator and have been for the last three years, working with the pilot cohort to go through the system. This group (about 150 people) are graduating later this year.

    I don't want to use this space to advertise or do shameless plugs, and I appreciate the invite to come in and discuss the course with you all. The members of Edugeek are one of the main groups of people we think benefit most from the work we are doing.

    Ultraversity started off as a research project, as so many Ultralab ideas do. We set out to change the face of higher education and look at how we could engage people in learning who wouldn't normally have a chance, or who missed their 'traditional' chance when they left school. We wanted to create a degree path which was tailor made to each individual and not be stuffed full of content. To this end we designed the course to be one that involves reflective practice and action inquiry, focussing entirely on your work place.

    What this means is that you look at what you do in the work place, what your work place does in its community and try to understand better how it fits together. You learn about the processes and theories that underpin action research and then apply this to what you do. You also get the opportunity to undertake some action research, which sounds very grand, but is in fact something you probably do every day. Whenever you do something to 'fix' a problem you usually think through what the problem is and what the likely solutions are. You would normally select a solution and check to see what impact that has on the initial problem. If it works, great, if not, you have to think again. This is exactly the process behind action enquiry, except in an academic sense you do it more formally.

    The degree is accredited by Anglia Ruskin University and is a full credit British Honours degree. On completion of the first year you are entitled to a Certificate of Higher Education award. At the end of year 2 this would be a Diploma level award, but completion of year 3 brings about graduate-ness: BA (hons) Learning, Technology, Research.

    The degree thus involves you using technology, doing research and, erm... learning!

    Throughout the degree you are engaged in thinking and reflecting on what happens at work and looking at ways to better understand how you can be more effective. It is a degree designed to help people be better at what they already love doing, and hopefully then open up other 'doors' for career progression. It isn't any good for people who don't really have an opportunity to reflect on their work during the course of their day (I would think most trades folk would not get much from this kind of approach), but we have people from education, health, IT, Parents (carers) and it fits very well with these kinds of backgrounds.

    There is loads more I could tell you about the research findings we have arrived at, but it gets a tad boring to read and I've already banged on a lot anyway. Sorry for the monster post... I seem to be worse than Robbersdog!

    Please do ask whatever questions you would like to and I'll do my level best to answer them for you.

    Thanks again for agreeing to let me come in here, and thanks also to Robbersdog (who is in Cohort 3 of the degree, halfway through the three year course).

  13. #28

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Hi UV,

    Many thanks for picking up this bone. Nice bit of text there - got any fingers left?

    There was me thinking I could type the hind leg of a donkey. Main thing is that you have said it a lot better than I would have.

    Robbersdog

  14. #29
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    Re: Ultraversity

    Damn, I looked at being part of the First Cohort group when it was first starting, and am now kicking myself around my office for not following up, but money issues stopped me from progressing it.

    Money seems to be my problem again this year, as I'm moving house during this summers holidays.

    My other issue is that I've already got a BTEC HND in Computing and the OU has scored it as two years worth of degree (240 Points). I'm almost loath to re-start from the beginning.

    Is there anything that can be done there? I'm gonna look at the website at lunch time when it's a bit quieter in here.

    Perhaps I should also add that I am seriously considering going into teaching, but as other members have posted, I'd also hate to move away from this rewarding job of Network Manager where I can still get my hands dirty. It's always about the money!!

    Was there a site for looking at grants etc for myself to do this Degree?

    Many Thanks

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Hi Simon, there are three things that can be looked at here - first off, that BTEC may well carry some credits which are valid for the UV degree as well. Without knowing the BTEC content it's hard to say, but generally the guidance is that if there is some content in the BTEC modules that is similar enough to the BALTR modules then you can APL them (that is, be given the credits towards the degree APL = Accredited Prior Learning). With the OU running such a wide range of degrees there is almost certainly going to be more flexibility in their APL procedures, but overall it takes a lot longer to get through the required credits when on an OU course. If we could APL that number of credits then you would only *need* to do the final year for the degree (although it would be important to do a lot of background work to understand what is required in y3 anyway). To avoid you falling short in Y3, I would recommend that you did at least two of the Y2 modules anyway, if not more. We could be more certain once we have seen your BTEC work.

    The second thing is that many of the first cohort are deciding to go into teaching and we have spoken at length with the Teacher Development Agency about the possibilities. The UV degree is not teacher training, but you can certainly go from it to either a PGCE or into a Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP). If you were heading in to Primary teaching the path is a little easier, in that you only need to gain curriculum knowledge alongside class management technique, etc, and a GTP is ideal for that. For secondary there is a requirement to have a specific subject, but I would think ICT would fit the bill here.

    Finally, the degree allows you to stay in full-time employment - the idea is that you earn whilst you learn (to coin a phrase). If you are in receipt of benefits then fee waivers can operate, but otherwise you are looking at a student loan if you need one. Since the degree is a third of the price of other degrees (currently it is £1200 per year) then you would be looking at a far lower loan to begin with. Student loans operate in an odd way in that you repay them when your earnings allow, and at a vastly reduced interest rate. It's a bit of a black hole for me, that one, so do ring up and ask someone who knows more about it (ring the UV number and ask for Lindsey or Rex).

    Does this help?



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