About the module

Public Managament Practice 3 (PMP301P) is a compulsory module in the third year for the National Diploma in Public Management. It is more popularly known as Work Integrated Learning or Experiential Learning. For the purpose of this subject, we will make use of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) when we refer to aspects relating to Public Management Practice. Often, students do not know what is expected of them and their supervisors in the workplace. This blog will share some ideas, thoughts and will almost be like a "911" if you have any questions or concerns.

I am looking forward to take this journey with you!

My contact details are:
Prof Natasja Holtzhausen
E-mail: holtzn@unisa.ac.za
Tel:+27 12 429 6228
Fax:+27 12 429 6075

Monday, 24 November 2008

The end is near

Dear students

We have marked your portfolios and the results should be available soon. I will post some thoughts on the portfolios during this week, so "watch this space"!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Submission day





Dear students

Remember that you have to submit your Portfolios, logbooks and reports today! In case you cannot remember the address, it is:
UNISA
Private Bag X6
PRETORIA
0001
You can also submit your documentation to the regional centres.
Good luck with the rest of your studies!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Dr Groenewald on Work Integrated Learning (WIL)

Good morning!

Listen to what Dr Thomas Groenewald has to say on WIL. He is the Process Manager of WIL at UNISA.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Some additional thoughts on Reflection

As you will be required to reflect on your learning and there are various models available. For this module, the ORID model will be followed (Bender, Daniels, Lazarus, Naude and Sattar (2006:70). The following will be required:

Objective: Activities will relate to the concrete experience.
Questions to be reflected on would be:
Ø “What did you as a student observe, hear, read and do while you were at the place of work?”
Ø “What transpired as a result of you being at the place of work?”
Ø “Did you gather evidence of your time spent at the place of work?”

Reflective: Activities will relate to the affective experience.
Questions to be reflected on would be:
Ø ‘How did you experience work integrated learning?”
Ø “Are you feeling more confident now?”
Ø “Are you feeling more successful and knowledgeable?”

Interpretive: Activities will relate to the cognitive experience.
Questions to be reflected on would be:
Ø “What did the experience make you think of?”
Ø “How did the experience influence your thinking on the public/private/non-profit sector?”
Ø “What did you learn from your experience?”

Decisional: Activities will relate to students incorporating their experiences into a new paradigm. It is hoped that students will have a better understanding of the world of work and how they perceive things.
Questions to be reflected on would be:
Ø “How did the experience influence your thinking on your future or current career prospects?”
Ø “What will you do differently if you had another opportunity?”
Ø “What are your current opinions on the place of work?”
Ø “How would you utilise what you have learned in your current/future career?”
Ø “Have any of your past experiences influenced the ways in which you made decisions?”

You can utilise the above questions to guide you when you are preparing the portfolio. You are also most welcome to use these questions for our myUNISA discussions.

Remember that your Portfolios are due 17 October 2008! Enjoy compiling them and listen to what Dr Groenewald has to say on Work Integrated Learning (WIL)!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Greetings from Sydney

Hallo all

Just to let you know that I am currently attending the ACEN-WACE conference in Sydney, Australia on Work Integrated Learning. It is an amazing experience and people from all over the world share their thoughts on WIL. A current theme is the one on the importance of relevant exposure and reflection. So, ensure that you reflect on your experiences! At a later stage I will post a message from one of the Australian students sharing her thought on the biggest "draw card"/advantage of WIL.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Why reflection?

Just a quick note on why you should reflect. By reflecting on your experiences in the workplace, you will acquire a better understanding of the link between theory and practice. You will also be able to come to better conclusions and recommendations. Reflection helps you to also create new ideas and paradigms.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

So what should be in a portfolio?

A process chronological thematic portfolio is a complete, illustrated report an all activities and the entire learning experience during the Public Management Practice period. It is chronological record on a specific theme which in this case is your Work Integrated Learning experience. The emphasis is on keeping evidence of the work done. The importance of the Portfolio lies in the fact that all learning should be assessed and the Portfolio is the most important document for assessment purposes. It must be a complete and formal report on the entire learning experience. No specific length or format is prescribed, but in view of the fact that you report on 3 months’ of Public Management Practice, it should at least consist of 20 pages.

Some guidelines:

Cover page


Full name and student number
ND: Public Management
PUQ301T/R
Portfolio of Evidence on Public Management Practice done at……(name of organization)
May 2009


-Index page –topics and page numbers (section dividers might be useful)
-Introduction-short paragraph on your career choice, expectations from Public Management Practice, the experience itself.
-A declaration that it is your own work.
-Introducing yourself-CV-goals in life and career objectives instead of references
-A detailed description of the company/firm/department/organization”
-The history, vision, mission, core business, objectives, strategies, organigram (where you fitted in)
-A detailed report on all your key performance area/responsibilities/activities-clearly indicating the knowledge, skills and competencies you have acquired. This can be based on the nature of the work or per department chronologically or per learning area. You should almost do it as if you are telling someone in great detail what you have been doing, but in a more structured and formal way than a casual chat.
-Evidence/examples of work you have done as attachments. Also show proof of linkages that you have made to resources that are not part of your studies.
-All items that you include in your portfolio must demonstrate how it contributed to your learning and how it demonstrates your intellectual growth and development.
-Conclusion. This may include constructive criticism of the organization/management, but highlighting learning experiences. Conclude on a positive note!
-It must be properly bound
-It must be neatly typed:
¨ 1,5 spacing
¨ No underlining
¨ Captions bold
¨ Formal language
¨ Proper sentences, grammar and correct spelling
¨ No forum for personal grievances

-It should be well demonstrated
-It must be complete
-The focus is on learning areas/outcomes of the course
-It is a personal document for creativity

You will be required to reflect on your learning and there are various models available. For this module, the ORID model will be followed (Bender, Daniels, Lazarus, Naude and Sattar (2006:70). The following will be required:

-Objective: Activities will relate to the concrete experience.
Questions to be reflected on would be:
Ø “What did you as a student observe, hear, read and do while you were at the place of work?”
Ø “What transpired as a result of you being at the place of work?”
Ø “Did you gather evidence of your time spent at the place of work?”

-Reflective: Activities will relate to the affective experience.
Questions to be reflected on would be:
Ø ‘How did you experience work integrated learning?”
Ø “Are you feeling more confident now?”
Ø “Are you feeling more successful and knowledgeable?”

-Interpretive: Activities will relate to the cognitive experience.
Questions to be reflected on would be:
Ø “What did the experience make you think of?”
Ø “How did the experience influence your thinking on the public/private/non-profit sector?”
Ø “What did you learn from your experience?”

-Decisional: Activities will relate to students incorporating their experiences into a new paradigm. It is hoped that students will have a better understanding of the world of work and how they perceive things.
Questions to be reflected on would be:
Ø “How did the experience influence your thinking on your future or current career prospects?”
Ø “What will you do differently if you had another opportunity?”
Ø “What are your current opinions on the place of work?”
Ø “How would you utilise what you have learned in your current/future career?”
Ø “Have any of your past experiences influenced the ways in which you made decisions?”

You can utilise the above questions to guide you when you are preparing the portfolio. You are also most welcome to use these questions for our myUNISA discussions.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Department's Responsibilities

· Curriculum design and development take place in consultation with the relevant industry role-players. The experiential learning curriculum, is a component of the overall curriculum.
· Direct responsibility is retained while decentralising certain aspects, at discretion of the academic staff concerned. This includes placements, accreditation of experiential learning sites, on-site monitoring and evaluation.
· Developing, in conjunction with the staff of regional centres, operational procedures for students, and providing guidelines and training for workplace mentors.
· Developing placement guidelines for experiential learning and making them available to regional centres in order to be able to identify suitable work placements or community service placements.
· Providing for the orientation of learners in respect of experiential learning.
· Conducting on-site monitor visits with regard to experiential learning progress and quality when possible. The final responsibility, however, remains with the academic staff.
· Maintaining experiential learning administration and database in collaboration with the central unit and regional offices.
· Dealing with the grievances of learners regarding experiential learning aspects according to the University policies and procedures. Learners will have recourse to the central unit to intervene on their behalf.


It is important for all of us to discuss these matters so that we can create the best possible system!

Monday, 8 September 2008

Learner's responsiblities

As a learner, you, your lecturer(s) and the University have responsibilities in the WIL process. During this week, I will share some of these with you. So, let's look at some of your responsibilities:
· You must register for the module Public Management Practice III which is a third year module. When you receive your tutorial letter, you will know that you are registered!
· You must identify a suitable employer and ensure that the employer’s policy for experiential learning is acceptable to the University. Approach your regional office for assistance in this regard.
· Inform your regional office of the exact dates of your experiential learning period.
· You must show respect for and understanding of the goals, rules and code of conduct of the employer and the University.
· You must notify the University of any change of address where experiential learning is undertaken.
· You must meet the requirements of both the experiential learning and the academic education before your application for a diploma will be considered.
· You must ensure that you keep your logbook up to date and that it is signed by the employer at the place where you will be doing your experiential learning.
· You must also ensure that the experiential learning received is up to standard and complies with University guidelines. Inform your Regional Office if you feel that there is insufficient learning taking place.
REMEMBER that you need to PLAN!

Monday, 1 September 2008

It is Spring!


Dear all


Just to wish all of you a wonderful spring day. I know that it is still cold, but this is now the ideal time for renewal and reflection. In terms of our module, now is the time to reflect on what you are learning-can you link the theory to the practice? Are you able to understand the importance of what you are doing? And, are you excited about your future career in government?

So where do you start?

Learners will be required to serve a three month period in government at any of the three spheres of government, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) or at a Community Based Organisation (CBO).

Learners who are currently employed in government will have the following options:

a) Serve the 3 months period in his/her current section or move to another section with the permission of the employer. These learners must, however, still submit the compulsory assignment, a logbook as well as a portfolio.

OR

b) Apply for Recognition of Previous Work Experience (RPWE). This means that these learners that have worked in government for 3 years and more and feel that they are competent in functioning effectively in government may be excluded from serving the required three months period. However, such learners must provide a portfolio of evidence proving their competence.

If you are of the opinion that you fall in the above category, you must fax, post or e-mail me a letter applying for “Recognition of Previous Work Experience”.

In the letter please ensure that you have the following details:

· Your postal address and telephone number/s
· Your correct name i.e. Mr/Miss/Mrs/Ms GN Ntutela and your learner number
· Date of application
· Registration period that you fall under e.g. First registration - 2009
· Date that you commenced employment in the public service
· The different sections/departments that you have worked in
· Your current department/section
· The duties that you performed previously and presently.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Background to the UNISA_WIL policy

The UNISA Work Integrated Learning policy (2005b) defines work integrated learning programmes as:
“ 2.1 focuses on the application of theory in authentic, work-based contexts;

2.2 addresses specific competencies identified for the acquisition of a qualification;

2.3 enables the developmental skills that will make the student employable and provides a real context in which the theoretical, practical, interpersonal and reflexive competencies of UNISA’s students are developed in an integrated way;

2.4 is an umbrella term, used at UNISA, to include experiential education/teaching strategies such as clinical training/practice, internship, professional practice, experiential training/leaning, supervised learning/practice and work-based learning.”

The focus of the policy is to create a framework for effective work integrated learning practices within UNISA, such as work preparedness and life skills where work integrated learning forms part of the curriculum as is the case in the National Diploma in Public Management. The Work Integrated Learning policy also makes provision for implementation procedures such as placement opportunities, liability insurance, mentoring and learning contracting, monitoring and assessment of work integrated learning as well as record keeping. A section in the policy focus on the rationale and costing implications. On average, in my department 280 students need to undergo the Public Management Practice module each semester. Three out of ten students are unemployed and the department assists them in finding suitable placements.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Dr Thomas Groenewald posted "Learning swings like a subjective-door in its work-frame" on his blog (Learning in vivo) reflecting on the work of Billet. When I reflect on learning and what I think learning entials, I think of learning as the "Road to El dorado". A place where we all would like to be (and want to reach) and the road towards El dorado personifies that you would like to go for the gold, but stay on the road for the adventure. That is why there will be turbulations on the road! Learning is thus an adventure.
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The contents, including all opinions and views, expressed in my profile and blog are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the opinions or views of anyone else, including other employees in my department or at the University of South Africa. My department and the University of South Africa have not approved and are not responsible for the material contained in this profile and blog.