• An innovative delivery of foundation degrees; but not without its problems!

      Wiscombe, Caroline; Robinson, Peter; Wale, Debra (2007-12-05)
      This observational study explores the trials and tribulations of developing a work based Foundation Degree (FD) in Travel Operations Management in association with two other HEI’s, employers and related organisations. It is delivered on-line using Pebble Pad technology and supported by a face to face induction with ongoing email and telephone tutorials. Whilst a first cohort of 60 students is now enrolled and progressing with their first modules, it has not been an easy two year developmental journey. The process has highlighted a number of difficulties including resources in planning and developing on line learning materials (both the materials themselves, the costs of technical expertise and ongoing Technology Supported Learning (TSL) training). In addition agreeing the programme regulations (including the size of modules); agreements in financial arrangements between employers and the HEI partners (each of which have different rates of pricing for FD); preparing industry personnel for their mentoring and coaching roles and changing personnel in supporting organisations contributed to the issues. Finally ensuring compliance with sector skills organisations who have not yet written their FD frameworks; industry partners frustration in timely decision making processes through the complicated list of personnel involved in agreeing decisions at different strategic levels of the university structures contribute to periods of frustration. By sharing these experiences the authors hope to prevent future problems that may arise in innovative developments.