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Seeing students from the other side

Our Associates, Neil, Harry and Les share their thoughts on their experiences of being on the receiving, rather than the delivery end of the qualifications.

By Fleur Blanford

Fleur is Oakwood's Head of International Studies and works in our UK Office
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Oakwood International has at any one time, literally hundreds of student’s assignments to mark. Students will know that we always work to our 30 working day turnaround. During busy times and to ensure that we maintain this service level agreement, the marking team based in the UK Head Office need a little support – this is where our associate trainers come in!

Although our trainers are often overseas delivering CIPD Human Resources and Learning and Development qualifications, there are times when they are back in the UK undertaking other activities for Oakwood – this includes supporting the marking team when needed.

Les Jones has been marking for us for some time and recently we have also drafted in the excellent services of Harry Puckering and Neil House. As long as the associates are not marking the work for the students they have delivered to, they are fully qualified to mark all assignments. This is a fantastic opportunity for the associates to see the other side of the student experience and gain a real understanding of the results of their workshop input. 

Harry says; "This change in role has been really interesting, as I finally get to see how students work outside the training room, after the modules finish.  There is a clear relationship between the focus and engagement they bring to the modules, and the ease with which they work through the assignments.  Other influences are the inherent logic and structure of the module slides, workbooks and assignments; and of course the quality and consistency of the trainers in the room.  

Despite our consistent message about being careful not to overuse secondary resources, (or worse still directly copy) some students still do! It’s easy to pick up in assignments where this has happened. We have set processes in place to check this and the marking team are very strict in line with the Quality Assurance requirements we must follow.  Although we see a few of these incidents, what has really impressed me though is the way students who are studying in a second language grasp the sometimes complex topics we cover and produce highly effective and accurate accounts of their understanding".

Neil writes; "Since January this year I have been helping to mark both HRP and LDF qualifications. This has given me a real insight as to the type of work our students submit. Although I have only been doing this for 3-4 months it has become apparent that some issues faced by students are fairly common and it has made me think and consider my delivery methods in certain areas in an attempt to alleviate some of these".

Les observes; "The first advice I would offer is that students should take the time to read the clear guidance they are given on how to tackle their assignments, and how to avoid some of the common pitfalls. The Oakwood website provides useful articles on "How to write an assignment at Intermediate level"– for example.  

There are also features covering the key themes for each of the modules for Intermediate Level 5 CIPD qualifications – students find these articles useful in terms of what they should be including in their written assignments. It is evident from the marking I do that students are using the support material but they are sometimes not fully utilising the workbooks. There are lots of links to wider reading and resources and we really encourage students to refer to these when I deliver in the classroom.  When marking and giving feedback, I often remind the students about them and how useful they are". 

It is so valuable to have our associate trainers support the UK marking team and share their observations. Their comments are really valuable and enable us all to see a different perspective on the experiences of the students. 

Contact Oakwood to discuss how our CIPD qualification programmes can help your organisation.  We are also very happy to discuss consultancy or bespoke programmes to help your HR, L&D and senior management teams.

Email us at: info@oakwooddubai.ae or call us on +971 4 359 9020.