• Managing knowledge transfer partnership for a rural community: the outcomes at Wirksworth, UK

      Wiltshier, Peter; Edwards, Mike; University of Derby (2014)
      Purpose – This paper aims to propose a knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) model, using higher education (HE) students researching in the UK. It is focused on community engagement via charitable trusts, New Opportunities Wirksworth (NOW) & Ecclesbourne Valley Rail (EVR). The researchers designed and implemented a pilot study that explored the potential of a small, yet attractive and active, market town to diversify and regenerate using tourism. This project, which has been funded by the UK Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF), has been devised to operate and monitor a KTP in the culturally important heritage market town of Wirksworth, in Derbyshire. Design/methodology/approach – A systems-thinking constructivist approach is used and employs problem-based learning (PBL) through engagement of students in research and data collection. The authors identified that skills for sustainable development within the community are dependent on the reintegration of complex, inter-dependent and inter-disciplinary factors. A holistic approach to the learning and knowledge shared within the community underpins UK initiatives to promote capacity development in ways to change knowledge applications across product and service boundaries. Therefore, in addition to encouraging diversification and regeneration through tourism, this project supported the University of Derby's academic agenda to promote experiential and entrepreneurial learning in students working at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. This paper accords with the current university initiatives to meet the student employability agenda through the application of PBL and knowledge management. Findings – The creation of outcomes and recommendations for Wirksworth's stakeholders provides sustainability through the knowledge creation and sharing processes. There are seven outcomes that chart a path to development and knowledge transfer (KT) and sharing. The authors simultaneously provided an environment for students to gain skills and a community to acquire new knowledge, and these are the outcomes and output of this project. New learning styles may support inclusive academic practice (see related samples of PBL such as Ineson and Beresford in HLST resources 2001). Implications for building a KT community through the social capital accumulated in the project are explored. Originality/value – In taking PBL from the classroom to the community, the authors have created a new KT environment in which skills can be acquired and a regeneration strategy can be tested in a work-or-practice-related setting. Students recognise that they are building learning for themselves that is unique in that it cannot be recreated in a classroom setting. The authors see this project developing into a robust long-term partnership between communities and institutions with KT benefits to teaching staff in addition to students. These benefits will include new skills for PBL, working collaboratively with partners in the community to develop key skills in HE students, innovation in assessment, inclusive learning and teaching, experiential and entrepreneurial learning in practice.
    • Managing knowledge transfer partnership for a rural community: the outcomes at Wirksworth, UK.

      Wiltshier, Peter; Edwards, Mike; University of Derby (2014)
      Purpose This paper proposes a knowledge transfer partnership model, using Higher Education (HE) students researching in the United Kingdom. It is focused on community engagement via charitable trusts, New Opportunities Wirksworth (NOW) & Ecclesbourne Valley Rail (EVR). The researchers designed and implemented a pilot study that explored the potential of a small, yet attractive and active, market town to diversify and regenerate using tourism. This project, which has been funded by the UK Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF), has been devised to operate and monitor a knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) in the culturally important heritage market town of Wirksworth, in Derbyshire.. Design, Methodology, Approach A systems-thinking constructivist approach is used (Checkland & Scholes, 1981; Kolb & Kolb, 2005) and employs problem-based learning (PBL) through engagement of students in research and data collection. We identified that skills for sustainable development within the community are dependent on the re-integration of complex, inter-dependent and inter-disciplinary factors. A holistic approach to the learning and knowledge shared within the community underpins UK initiatives to promote capacity development in ways to change knowledge applications across product and service boundaries (Taylor & Wilding 2009; Hislop 2009; Leitch, 2006; Dawe et al 2005; Wals et al 2002; Haskins 2003;;). Therefore, in addition to encouraging diversification and regeneration through tourism, this project supported the University of Derby’s academic agenda to promote experiential and entrepreneurial learning in students working at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. This paper accords with the current University initiatives to meet the student employability agenda through the application of PBL and knowledge management (KM). Findings The creation of outcomes and recommendations for Wirksworth’s stakeholders provides sustainability through the knowledge creation and sharing processes. There are seven outcomes that chart a path to development and knowledge transfer and sharing. We simultaneously provided an environment for students to gain skills and a community to acquire new knowledge, and these are the outcomes and output of this project (Hendry et al, 1999; Brown & King, 2000; Kolb & Kolb, 2005). New learning styles may support inclusive academic practice (see related samples of PBL such as Ineson (2001) and Beresford (2001) in HLST resources 2001). Implications for building a knowledge transfer community through the social capital accumulated in the project is explored (Ellis, 2010; Mulgan, 2010; Senge, 1994). Originality In taking PBL from the classroom to the community, we have created a new knowledge transfer environment in which skills can be acquired and a regeneration strategy can be tested in a work-or-practice related setting. Students recognise that they are building learning for themselves that is unique in that it cannot be recreated in a classroom setting. We see this project developing into a robust long-term partnership between communities and institutions with knowledge transfer benefits to teaching staff in addition to students. These benefits will include new skills for PBL, working collaboratively with partners in the community to develop key skills in HE students, innovation in assessment, inclusive learning and teaching, experiential and entrepreneurial learning in practice.
    • What is a learning town? Reflections on the experience at Wirksworth.

      Wiltshier, Peter; University of Derby (The University of Naples Federico II, 2017-12-30)
      This paper explores the legacy of regeneration project work and knowledge management and transfer as a result of intervention through a charity designed to support new business opportunities, specifically in arts and entertainment, tourism, skills development and training. As part of the University of Derby’s own work-related learning and problem-based learning, a project team was assigned to work alongside the charity ‘New Opportunities in Wirksworth!’ (NOW!). A participant observation, action research approach has been used to elicit and analyse the knowledge transfer, both explicit and implicit. Staff and students from the University of Derby have been contracted to research tourism development specifically in festival supply and demand, the attractiveness of the destination and its key features the market, mining heritage and volunteer railway. Staff and students also committed to an events strategy, marketing the destination and finance for start-ups. The University is engaged in tacit and explicit knowledge transfers. Key stakeholders have reflected on a decade of achievements and both fails and success stories. Agendas for the future have been identified and the project NOW! Has a legacy of both tacit and explicit knowledge for the benefit of other communities. There is an ongoing desire to explore how both public and private sectors can benefit from knowledge sharing and to benefit ongoing problem-based learning in education and training.