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Courses and Training Thread, Ultraversity in Training and Courses; This quite interesting if it wasnt for the price tag might consider doing it. http://www.ultraversity.net/home/FMP...ID=33381&-find Russell...
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    russdev's Avatar
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    Ultraversity

    This quite interesting if it wasnt for the price tag might consider doing it.

    http://www.ultraversity.net/home/FMP...ID=33381&-find

    Russell

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Might be interested myself if i can get SMT to stump up for it as part of my CPD hehe. See if pay review is granted else will ask for this as part of payrise.

    Here's hoping

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Hi Russ, Bossman,

    I've actually finally signed up instead of lurking in order to post a reply (how keen is that?). I'm halfway through the Ultraversity degree now and am very pleased with it. I was studying for a BSc (hons) with the OU in IT and Computing but it was very slow. UV even took some of my credits as prior learning which has allowed me to move on with things ... more about that another day.

    What I did manage to do was persuade my management team to finance my first year. This degree is very much workplace oriented and will not only provide you with a very good qualification at the end but help you work better, smarter and more effectively as you study. It is an amazing formula - and it works. It is still £2k cheaper than your average course.

    There are several Ed. It folk studying and sharing issues so you are never isolated. Why not get in touch with UVand have a chat, find out more:

    "ULTRALAB is a learning technology research centre at Anglia Ruskin University.
    www.ultralab.net - Using technology to make learning more delightful. Ultralab's radical three year online degree - stay in work and learn. BA Hons Learning Technology Research - www.ultraversity.net
    September start dates - places still available!"

    Best thing I have done in years. Post in here or email me if you want to know more. Sorry if I sound like a bit of an evangelist but trust me, I have done enough HE courses to know when I'm onto a good - and useful - thing.

    Right, rattled on enough- sorry about that.

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Hi Robbersdog and welcome
    This learning thing sounds really good - I have looked at the website and am quite keen - the thing is, I don't think I really understand what you actually do. ops:
    Can you give us some examples of the sort of thing you have done - what you have been 'researching' etc
    I would like to do some further study and this looks a great way to do it, if I can get my head around what it actually consists of!!

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Right you are then Witch, I'll try and put it across. I worked as an IT support tech for about 3 years in a training environment. The department became interested in e-learning and so did I. They started up a post for someone to develop the e-learning side - someone with a technical background but who could take on a wide range of tasks. I had just completed a level 3 course in relational database theory with the OU when I was given the job. I was drifting away from the pure technology into, well, unknown territory.

    When I hear about the UV programme I couldn't resist it. With the shift in emphasis I needed to focus my studies elsewhere because I wanted to continue degree studies. My concern was that they had to be relevant. UV allowed me to focus on my currnent practice, to understand the workplace, its structure, my role and how it all worked together. In the first year you develop traditional academic study and research skills in order to look at what you do and do it better. You are encouraged to submit your work - which has to display your progress in academic understanding at the necessary levels - in a variety of media. Oh yes, you have to produce thousands of words (no escaping that) in a disciplined, structured, academic tone - but you can use video, websites, all sorts of means to do this (the technology part of the degree, if you like). This aspect is one of the reasons I found the learning truly 'delightful' as UV say.

    You learn in a social group by sharing ideas, developing thoughts and examining each others work critically. With people from so many walks of life sharing their experiences and development it makes for a very interesting and colourful environment. Fascinating. My colleagues range from someone running a language school (and therefore focussing on issues related to that) in Spain, to teaching assistants, IT specialists, nurses and people in administrative and managerial positions.

    It is not what people do that is the interest - it is how you apply higher level thinking to whatever your practice might be. For example, you work in IT and another person is in the fire brigade. It makes no difference - you still apply the same research methodologies (which you are taught) to investigate and perhaps improve your work, workplace, processes etc. You learn, are empowered, and have an impact. What's more, you really begin to look at your own work and training. You see opportunities you never saw before and develop the confidence to seize them - if you want to, that is.

    As you can tell, I could rattle on about this for some time. I would strongly recommend that you contact UV staff (who are always willing to talk) to get a better idea.

    I hope this helps. Just say if you would like to know more about something specific ... anything about it really and I'll try and post a meaningful reply.

    Robbersdog

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    Re: Ultraversity

    sounds good cost is mian thing for me £1500 a year for 3 years just way to hefty for me or the school.

    russ

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Hi Witch,

    I should have mentioned an example of a research project (based on my practice). I had identified - through processes taught during the year - an area for possible improvement. I had to research this in a proper academic style to show that there was or was not room for improvement.

    This involved forming a hypothesis, looking at the literature related to the problem, learning about the research methodology, interviews and questionnaires in the workplace, analysis and presentation of results and then a look at what it all meant.

    In my case I had noticed that a cause of misunderstanding and failure to carry out tasks, duties etc was possibly a result of poor communications about team tasks and access to information relevant to our work. I proposed that a website, a portal if you like, for the team with all sorts of info and tools could help improve matters. As a techie type person I could put together the hardware, software, and networking to do this. I carried out a survey (in the proper fashion) and lo and behold I was correct in my assumption ( I could have been wrong but the research, conducted properly, proved me right). A simple year one task perhaps but I learned an awful lot, applied skills acquired earlier in the year, and mad a difference to the way people communicated in the workplace. How well it worked I never got to find out because I was offered another position that was even more interesting than the last.

    Other people looked at how music could affect learning - a music teacher, or different administrative practice improve a situation in a busy scholl office etc. It depends on what your practice is as to how you apply your learning. Blooming clever, if you ask me - a very innovative scheme which is creating positive and tangible results for people.

    Robbersdog

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Hi Russ,

    Appreciate where you are coming from regarding the cost £1200 per annum is a lot but still represents very good value - I was very lucky, I know. I also realise that there is not much spare funding in schools even if they want to support staff. There are other options but again, you would be better off talking to UV about them. For example, they mention payment support which you could look into. This site has some useful info - I didn't qualify but you never know if you don't ask

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/EducationAn...854&chk=MNVvXu

    Robbersdog

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Very interesting RD. sounds like a more 'managerial focus than a pure IT focus, like say you'd get from the Lancaster uni series of courses.

    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!

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: Ultraversity

    Mark interesting sounds like you and me in same boat...

    My interview in few days is for a middle management role..... But then better half says says have to lose few brain cells to become a manager

    When i asked ultralab they said it is worth 75% of full time course which means can get upto 1100 of 1200 approx.

    Just been emailing women in lea about grants i was saying that really need to know how much i am entitled to before i apply to see if i can afford it. She said apparently that when get form once filled it in it at end it says how much entitled to etc before i submit it...

    Russ

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Doing an academic study on your own place of work could open up whole a can of worms. There's something that can but read in an OFSTED report but not so well received when coming from an employ. There numerous threads here on management ecentricities and white elephants. Does any one listen to Techs?

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    Re: Ultraversity

    lol

    hence why you choose your subject well and why you need support of work place to be able to do it...

    As long as you choose your subject well should be ok

    russ

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Hi All,

    It's not a managerial course - but if you are a manager then you use that role as the focus of your practice while learning within UV. The degree is not hardcore IT either but if IT is your field of practice then that is what you use.

    As part of my role (no longer a tech, though), I had to build (metaphorically and literally) an online learning community/community of practice whilst remaining within some quite severe constraints. I had the hands-on skills to assemble the scrounged parts of a knackered old Dell PowerEdge or two and breathe life into the resulting Frankenstein's monster of a server. I was left to learn, install and configure the software (FirstClass), design the communities, sort out the security issues of connecting to a UK wide network, document the whole shebang, train people to use it, extend it beyond the UK - glad nobody got to see what lay at the heart of this - it looked good on the other end though - and .... I think you get the picture. Eventually handed the result over to the techs after taking them through it all and arranging the necessary admins courses and so on for them.

    My point is, that what I was doing was undergoing a learning experience or series of learning experiences, as part of my practice. I was able to bring this practice into UV's unique programme - part of the key to achieving a recognised degree in 3 years while remaining in employment. Much quicker than the minimum of 6 years it was going to take with the OU (which I also found rewarding) and of more relevance to me than a pure techie degree (because my practice had shifted away from that sort of focus).

    A cakewalk it ain't. There is a lot of learning, directed by UV, to do and a lot of thinking in order to develop the skills expected of a graduate. It is one of those courses where you really do get more from it if you put more in. I need to point out that if you undertake professional training such as MCSE you will have the opportunity to present this as part of your individual learning. Again, you would need to talk to UV about how this works. MCSE and similar courses are not academic programmes, you can't claim HE credits for them - but you can reflect upon undertaking MCSE etc. as a learning experience and present it as part of your professional development and build it into your assessment portfolio. Here the key is in how you analyse and document the learning experience.

    Anyway, time for breakfast!

    Robbersdog

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Good point, Russ, you do need to be smart about how you present it. My line manager looked at me very oddly when I first proposed that he cough up for my training. However, we talked and ... talked some more. (A lot more.)

    He was concerned about me discussing the workplace etc but I asked him to be my workplace advocate. This meant that he got to see and understand what I was doing. This worked to my advantage because he saw I was not trying to undermine/destabilise etc and he really saw the benefits for him and the workplace.

    Good result - as advocate he was able to remove obstacles and open doors. It worked well - but does take a little bit of, shall we say, preparation.

    Robbersdog

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    Re: Ultraversity

    Your other half is right, Mark, but I'll always opt for a bottle in front of me over a frontal lobotomy

    Robbersdog

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