• An evaluation of practitioners’ views of consultancy and applied research at the University of Derby

      Edwards, Mike; Wiltshier, Peter; University of Derby (2013)
      The aim of this research has two objectives; firstly, to evaluate the development of cognitive, transferable and intellectual skills in Higher Education students, secondly, to transfer that knowledge by means of collaboration with community organisations. Experiential learning and regeneration/diversification project work is needed by all communities. The collaboration is built upon our ability to provide graduates and a community with portfolios of independent evidence of achievement obtained from working with a partner organisation. The work-related learning supports the Community Charitable Trust “New Opportunities Wirksworth” in the market town of Wirksworth, Derbyshire through the delivery of specially negotiated work-based learning. Teaching, learning and assessment in Higher Education use problem-based learning, especially in vocation-specific domains that is usually undertaken using a constructivist approach. Such constructivist methodologies are often predicated, for students and for teachers, on the delivery of experiential, entrepreneurial and applied skills. Students are seen as short-changed if they are not engaging with Problem Based Learning from lecturers working at the ‘frontiers of knowledge’. We also acknowledge that Problem Based Learning provides an opportunity for producing outcomes in new knowledge for students and communities that is highly usable when compared to memory-based learning . So, in this research we directed and managed a cadre of students to consider PBL as experiential and practical learning. The project meets the contemporary employability agenda through the application of PBL and knowledge transfer to our specific organisation, ‘Wirksworth NOW!’. The outcomes and outputs of the collaboration have applications in NOW’s core cluster components for community regeneration: arts, creative industries and culture, trade and tourism, education and training, youth. Keywords Problem-based