Applied Learning Weeks take place throughout each term, and they are a key part of the study experience for students on a Kaplan pathway course in the UK. It provides a change from the typical study schedule to give students the opportunity to develop interpersonal skills, and boost employability and career prospects through practical learning.
Read on to find out what Applied Learning Weeks are all about and how Kaplan students benefit from the experience.
What is Applied Learning Week?
Just like in the classroom, Applied Learning Weeks give you the chance to enjoy an interactive learning experience. You’ll have lots of opportunities to apply your knowledge and skills to something practical, fun and rewarding.
Applied Learning Weeks happen every few weeks during your pathway course, and allow you to carry out themed projects and challenges. You will typically work collaboratively on tasks, and present the outcome in a range of formats at the end of the week.
The whole week is designed to build your confidence and enhance the skills that appeal to employers, in turn broadening your career opportunities.
How does it work?
Every Applied Learning Week focuses on a project with a unique theme, often centred around social issues, different career paths or ways to give back to the community.
Previous themes have included ‘Environment and Sustainability’ and ‘Entrepreneurship’, both thought-provoking and topical subjects. A recent theme that students found particularly engaging was ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’. We had the chance to speak to some students about what this theme meant to them and what was expected of them by the end of the week.
This February, the theme of Applied Learning Week was ‘Our Community, Our World’. This topic focused on ways that people can make a difference, whether that’s within their local community or globally.
Students found out more about the not-for-profit sector in the UK, and attended a webinar on Kaplan’s adopted charity: Plan International. Their mission is to improve the lives of girls and women in developing countries by making educational and healthcare resources more accessible.
Students researched different charities before agreeing which one their group felt passionate about supporting. They then came up with creative ways to encourage others to help them raise awareness and funds for their chosen cause.
At the end of the week, groups presented a pitch for their charity and students and staff voted for the cause they most wanted to support. The winning team at each college received £50 to kick-start the fundraising for their charity.
Highlights from the week
Over the week each college saw its students create impactful presentations about their chosen charity. For example, the winning group at Bournemouth University International College decided to promote Age UK. They made their presentation especially memorable by including stories about their grandparents to add a personal touch.
Another highlight included the University of Brighton International College conducting a bike and squat challenge, where students completed a virtual reality cycle ride from Brighton to London. This led to the College raising £353 for Plan International, as well as bringing students together for a a fun day out.
UWE Bristol’s International College took a slightly different approach to the week, by asking students to produce videos showcasing their cause. his gave students the opportunity to develop their creative media skills and engage with the theme in a different way.
How does Applied Learning Week boost employability?
There are many ways that Applied Learning Week prepares you for the working world after university.
Firstly, the collaborative aspect of the project teaches you how to work in a team. Being able to work with others is a valuable strength for many reasons, as it incorporates listening, leadership and communication skills.
Group tasks also teach you how to share ideas and think creatively, and help you gain confidence in putting your ideas forward. Additionally, because group work can lead to many different ideas being proposed at once, it’s good practice for decision-making and discussing which idea is best.
Working within a deadline also allows you to improve your time-management skills, and shows you the importance of keeping organised and staying focused in order to complete the work on time.
Research is also a big part of the Applied Learning Week project. Being able to research effectively means you can use your time efficiently and it will also enhance the quality and credibility of your work.
The presentation at the end of the week, whether it takes the form of a video, website or business idea, is another way for you to learn skills that can be applied to the workplace. These include being persuasive and having a convincing argument to back up your ideas, and being able to present points clearly, concisely and with confidence.
Shape your future with Kaplan International Pathways
If you’d like to know more about how Kaplan can help kick-start your career and set you on the path to your dream job, just contact our friendly advisers for more information about your study options.