Archive for the ‘workinglearning’ Category

In eigener Sache – On the road but coming back

September 17th, 2013 by Pekka Kamarainen

This is just a short note “in eigener Sache” (in my own interest).

Some time has passed since my latest blogs and much has happened in the meantime. However, I have missed part of it due to a short holiday break. Then, I have been travelling a couple of weeks on missions. Unfortunately writing blogs during my travels is not one of my strengths. So, I need to get my feet on the ground to catch up or to wrap up.

Here is a short ToDo list for blogs to be written and themes to be covered:

1) The fieldwork in the Learning Layers project in the construction sector has taken several steps further. This needs to be reported.

2) The sessions that focused on the Learning Layers project at the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER’13 in Istanbul) were successful. Also, there were other interesting sessions that triggered follow-up measures in terms of knowledge sharing (and practice sharing).

3) The consortium meeting of the Learning Layers (still going on in Paphos, Cyprus) has pushed us some steps forward and gives us insights into the results and achievements of the first years. This needs to be discussed.

So, although I am on the road, I know that I need to get back to writing pretty soon …

Acknowledgements. This work is supported by the European Commission under the FP7 project LAYERS (no. 318209), http://www.learning-layers.eu.

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    Zero Hours Contracts

    Figures from the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency show that in total almost 11,500 people – both academics and support staff – working in universities on a standard basis were on a zero-hours contract in 2017-18, out of a total staff head count of about 430,000, reports the Times Higher Education.  Zero-hours contract means the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours

    Separate figures that only look at the number of people who are employed on “atypical” academic contracts (such as people working on projects) show that 23 per cent of them, or just over 16,000, had a zero-hours contract.


    Resistance decreases over time

    Interesting research on student centered learning and student buy in, as picked up by an article in Inside Higher Ed. A new study published in PLOS ONE, called “Knowing Is Half the Battle: Assessments of Both Student Perception and Performance Are Necessary to Successfully Evaluate Curricular Transformation finds that student resistance to curriculum innovation decreases over time as it becomes the institutional norm, and that students increasingly link active learning to their learning gains over time


    Postgrad pressure

    Research published this year by Vitae and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and reported by the Guardian highlights the pressure on post graduate students.

    “They might suffer anxiety about whether they deserve their place at university,” says Sally Wilson, who led IES’s contribution to the research. “Postgraduates can feel as though they are in a vacuum. They don’t know how to structure their time. Many felt they didn’t get support from their supervisor.”

    Taught students tend to fare better than researchers – they enjoy more structure and contact, says Sian Duffin, student support manager at Arden University. But she believes anxiety is on the rise. “The pressure to gain distinction grades is immense,” she says. “Fear of failure can lead to perfectionism, anxiety and depression.”


    Teenagers online in the USA

    According to Pew Internet 95% of teenagers in the USA now report they have a smartphone or access to one. These mobile connections are in turn fueling more-persistent online activities: 45% of teens now say they are online on a near-constant basis.

    Roughly half (51%) of 13 to 17 year olds say they use Facebook, notably lower than the shares who use YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat.

    The survey also finds there is no clear consensus among teens about the effect that social media has on the lives of young people today. Minorities of teens describe that effect as mostly positive (31%) or mostly negative (24%), but the largest share (45%) says that effect has been neither positive nor negative.


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