The OU centre for STEM pedagogy
M815 Project Management is part of the postgraduate computing programme and can also be studied by MSc students in Technology Management, Environmental Management, Engineering, Systems Thinking in Practice or Space Science and Open MSc/MA. This proposed scholarship project is motivated by tutors’ anecdotal observations that the module is having a positive impact on professional development of some students which enables those students to make positive contributions to projects and/or project management within their organisation.
Employability has always been a focus for this module, with explanations of how assessment relates to employability included in the TMAs and EMA since 18E and the module guide since 19E. The module uses the (Association for Project Management) APM Five dimensions of professionalism (FIVE Dimensions Of Professionalism In Project Management | APM) to guide students in reflecting on CPD during the module. The employability skills within the EMA are explained within the module assessment.
The project starts from the OU employability framework and the APM competence framework and widens this to look at other employability frameworks, which are applicable in other technology sectors. It makes use of existing data within the whole cohort and EMA ideas forums together with TMA03 professional development reflection and the EMAs for 22E. Analysis of this data would be used to inform a questionnaire to get student responses, after they have completed the module, about the employability/professional development achieved and whether they have been able to use this.
Students who study M815 may be aspiring project managers, or may wish to improve their knowledge of project management principles because they work on projects. Tutors, and the forum moderator, are also aware that some students do the module because it is seen as the least worst option within the option modules available within student’s qualification. This means that M815 can support students employability, even if they are not project managers.
The output from the project will be used to support employability in future presentations of M815 and other postgraduate modules. Through the Postgraduate Computing Qualification Lead (Mark Slaymaker) and the C&C Employability Lead (Jill Shaw) (see project team) the project will inform other modules and qualifications of our findings which could be used to enhance employability skills, and student awareness of these skills.