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Going off-campus: help create a new framework for student project work

11 April 2014

Dr Jamie Harle, Medical Physics and Bioengineering, told the UCL Teaching and Learning Conference 2014 about a new framework for student and external supervisor engagement in off-campus work. Mark Copestake reports

off-campus project work teaching learning conference

At the Engaging Diverse Groups session, Dr Jamie Harle explained how the UCL Teaching and Learning Strategy is encouraging greater partnership with employers, resulting in more practical projects being completed off-campus.

Examples include project module work hosted in industrial R&D facilities, the NHS, UCL satellite campuses and overseas workplaces where training is delivered through a distance learning programme.

The problem

While this diversity fosters unique skills development and job opportunities, it can lead to variation in student experience. The availability of local support, the access to learning resources, the extent and timing of formative feedback and the quality of external supervision can all differ.

The solution

Dr Harle explained how UCL Medical Physics and Bioengineering (MP&B) is in the process of drawing up a new framework to facilitate this type of off-campus project work and distance learning.

Last year MP&B had two students who completed off-campus projects; one a computational project with a UCL research group, the other was more practical where the student was supervised in an overseas hospital by an external supervisor.

This type of off-campus learning not only facilitates more industrial and overseas partnerships but also helps alleviate the issue of lack of space, which is faced at UCL.

The future

Dr Harle sees a need to develop formative feedback processes and guidance (in the form of a study guide) for both the student and external supervisor in off-campus project work.

He aims to disseminate a bespoke framework as a packaged pdf resource as a model for institutional roll-out. This document is in the draft stages and Dr Harle is keen to receive input from colleagues at UCL.

To get in touch with Dr Harle, email

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