Draft course project plan

Here’s my draft, incomplete, project plan for my course H818: TMA01 – part 2 (I’ll upload part 1 once I’ve completed it shortly): Hopefully it captures what I’m aiming to achieve with the project.

  1. Plan for preparation and initial research stage of the project

During October I researched different themes but early on focused on the theme of innovation as I felt this would enhance an evolving industry wide initiative I am facilitating at work. The plan for achievement of the project implementation is as follows:

  • October: Identify project concept and outline details; create online social collaboration tools, i.e. Twitter (@ChrisGray1066) and a blog(www.blog.openturf.co.uk) and web domain for deploying and demonstrating the project artefact (www.openturf.co.uk): achieved.
  • November
    • Weeks 1 & 2: Prepare and submit TMA01; Identify required web 2.0 technology, research on implementation in learning environment and skills involved for deployment.
    • Weeks 3 & 4:Identify research which can impact on the success of the project, focusing on self-determined learning and the use of social media in collaborative learning. Engage with others through social media to raise profile of project.
  • December
    • Weeks 1 & 2:Create the physical online artefact and focus on elements to illustrate working principles; Start creating TMA02.
    • Weeks 3 & 4: Completing TMA02, analysing topic with supporting research evidence.

2. Topic and scope of investigation

The draft topic title is currently ‘OpenTurf: The effective use of Web 2.0 technologies in creating a collaborative platform for self-determined learning‘.

The rationale for the topic and scope of the investigation stems from a new Apprenticeship Standard for the Groundsmanship Trailblazer which was approved in August 2015 (SFA, 2015).

Apprenticeships are often seen as low quality and not providing young people with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace (Ofsted, 2015) and this supports the main reason the Government has been encouraging employers to design new apprenticeships to meet their needs (HMG, 2013), with the inference that they will create a high quality, fit-for-purpose, product.

The project aim is to provide an online platform which engages learners, as well as other stakeholders, in identifying and commenting on what resource materials can be considered useful in meeting the needs of the new standard. Learners may already have their own social media accounts and/or personal learning portfolios, and they can ideally use existing knowledge to share with others. This co-ordinated shared knowledge can help inform learners to help them determine what they may find of most benefit for their own context and to create their own learning journey, or at least one which can complement that which they may have planned with a training provider.

The scope of the project will limit itself to one part of the standard to enable the project concept to be demonstrated.

Getting potential and actual learners involved in determining what they see as essential learning material, and sharing their practical experiences in relation to a specific outcome, could increase the wider interest in our relatively niche industry, which has around 20,000 employees practising groundsmanship. (Gray, 2015)

3. Main sources of information to be drawn on

There is a range of sources I will be drawing on, aiming to make interconnections between collaborative online learning, self-determined learning practice (heutagogy) and the use of web 2.0 tools in facilitating the project process and engaging learners in an ‘immersive’ online environment.

A number of blogs and twitter accounts provide insight into contemporary developments and thoughts, whilst the identified web sites provide access to a range of relevant information relating to the project interconnections.

The two books have been selected as one provides insight on the use of digital technology to disseminate information and engage with others, whilst the other is from the creator of self-determined learning and provides insight into how this might be represented within the project.

Four research papers will also form the basis of developing ideas further as these papers explore all the interconnections of the project and provide an ideal catalyst to develop further.

The following table summarises the main sources of information I am currently drawing on, with full details in the references:

Table of references
4. Rationale for format selection

Online learning is becoming more widely available and can allow learners to undertake learning at a time and place of their choosing. By developing an online platform the process of collaborative online learning within a specific industry context can be readily demonstrated.

The process of developing the project and inclusion of working elements can be incorporated into a multimedia poster for TMA02 and also the conference presentation in February.

It is anticipated that a range of media can be evidenced from investigations and incorporated into the multimedia presentation to illustrate benefits, limitations and challenges of the approach I am taking.


Ofsted (2015)‘Apprenticeships: developing skills for future prosperity’, 22 October 2015, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeships-developing-skills-for-future-prosperity, accessed 7th November 2015

HMG, (2013) ‘The Future of Apprenticeships in England: Implementation Plan’, October 2013, Her Majesty’s Government,

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/253073/bis-13-1175-future-of-apprenticeships-in-england-implementation-plan.pdf, accessed 7th November 2015

Gray, C. (2015) How many people work in Groundsmanship? http://blog.openturf.co.uk/how-many-people-work-in-groundsmanship, accessed 7th November 2015

SFA, (2015) ‘Apprenticeship standard: sports turf operative’,21 August 2015, Skills Funding Agency, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-standard-sports-turf-operative, accessed 7th November 2015

References for the Main sources of information

Learning Theory and Practice

Heutagogy Community of Practice: https://twitter.com/HeutagogyCoP and https://heutagogycop.wordpress.com/ as a central source of the theory and practice of self-determined learning

Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning

http://www.tandfonline.com.libezproxy.open.ac.uk/loi/copl20#.Vj-QETZOfIU, accessed 8th November 2015

Hase, S. & Kenton, C. (Eds) (2015), ‘Self-Determined Learning’, Bloomsbury Academic

Networking Practice

OU Tutor Group Forum, OpenStudio and Twitter

Weller, M. (2011).The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practice. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Retrieved November 8, 2015, from http://dx.doi.org/10.5040/9781849666275

Web technology and its application

Open Educational Resources (OER) Research Hub:  http://oerresearchhub.org/

Research in Learning Technology:

Association for Learning Technology https://www.alt.ac.uk/

Blaschke, L. (2014). Using social media to engage and develop the online learner in self-determined learning. Research In Learning Technology, 22. Retrieved November 8, 2015, from doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v22.21635

Leow, F-T.& Neo, M. (2015), ‘Redesigning for Collaborative Learning Environment: Study on Students’ Perception and Interaction in Web 2.0 Tools’, Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 176, 20 February 2015, Pages 186-193, ISSN 1877-0428, Retrieved November 8, 2015, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.460. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042815004978)

Rahimi, E.; Berg, J v.d., & Veen, W. (2015), ‘Facilitating student-driven constructing of learning environments using Web 2.0 personal learning environments’, Computers & Education, Volume 81, February 2015, Pages 235-246, ISSN 0360-1315, Retrieved November 8, 2015, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.10.012. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360131514002322)

McNutt, K. (2014), ‘Public engagement in the Web 2.0 era: Social collaborative technologies in a public sector context’, Canadian Public Administration, 57: 49–70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/capa.12058, Retrieved November 8, 2015,

Policies and regulatory guidance

UK Government web portal https://www.gov.uk/browse/education, particularly for education and learning

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