Dimbleby Ceramics promo video

The creator of a promo video for Dimbleby Ceramics has allowed the EPISA team to use some of the media in a report we are compiling for JISC. This is particularly fortuitous as we did not have much great media to be working with or use in our work and Mathew Dimbleby attended the EPISA event in Feb 2013. In addition, the creators of the promo are Staffordshire Uni students!!

You can view the video via the following link:




Employer Engagement Activities for EPISA

The following proforma was sent to staff connected to the Business School in an attempt to categorise the types of engagement businesses might have with the University.


If you mark each activity as Employer Commitment ST or LT and Impact on Student Performance as ST or LT on the following proforma, this will then help you categorise the activities within the overall model.

There may be others that you can think of.

The key attributes for an activity relate to commitment from the employer and how the experience may impact on the students’ performance. They can also be either Short Term (ST) or Long Term (LT) in respect to timescales.

Employer Commitment (EC) – so EC ST or EC LT

Impact on Student Performance (ISP) – so ISP ST or ISP LT

Example Activity……………………………        EC ST EC LT ISP ST ISP LT
Guest speaking
Company visit
Work Shadowing
Work Experience (short-term)
Placement (long-term)
Project-based work on company premises
Project-based work in class-room
Entrepreneur Advice and Guidance
Sounding Board for new Courses
Involvement in Curricula Design
Validation Panel Member
Assessment Design
Assessment Assessor
Professional programme Advisor
‘Dragon’s Den’ Panellist
Sponsoring Student Events
Sponsoring Prizes
Hosting/Showcasing student work
Sponsoring students
Staff secondment



EPISA: Update

Meeting with David Baume 21/06/2013

It was good to catch up with David, he was interested in how the write up was developing and shared some excellent advice on what to deliver.

Some themes we discussed that would be interesting angles for the write-up:

  • Authenticity in the curriculum: the partnership with businesses and the desire to ensure degrees are valid and relevant for the current graduate market
  • Employability: referencing the ‘Graduate Attribute’ scheme (see also above)
  • Corporate Social Responsibility: partnerships between business and higher education

What to deliver on the deadline date (31st July 2013)

Do not do a full report!

  1. Write a case study or case studies that tells your story
  2. 4 min Video about the project
  3. An evaluation (although could be subsumed into the case study if appropriate)

Case study or case studies

EPISA has number of these, and as stated in previous blog posts, we will be focusing on how the businesses engaged rather than trying to cover all areas of the engagement model.

Some more ‘tips’ for the case study part:

  • Tell a useful story – e.g. where you have used other JISC resources (be critical) or what other practitioners would need to do / know if they have similar project objectives (such as Employer Engagement)
  •  If project not quite complete – include a plan of ‘what next?’.  Could be useful to include anyway – e.g. after year 1, 2, 3 etc..
  • Put in some quotes, images and graphics

4mins Video

  • Animated PowerPoint
  • Audio voice over and/or talking head
  • Include any video or images


  • How did things improve?
  • What is demonstratively better?
  • What are the future plans, based on the successes?
  • What where the benefits to Students, Businesses and the Institution?


EPISA Engagement Model: Overview

[Click image to enlarge]

Inspiration for the EPISA model comes from the types of engagement models that are used to inform people about volunteering opportunities. Fundamentally, these engagement models see ANY engagement as the goal and the aim of these models is to help in the decision making process – i.e. ‘how do I want to engage with this institution?’.

Example: ‘Campaign for National Parks: MOSAIC Project’

See: http://culturehive.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Volunteer-Engagement-National-Parks-case-study.pdf

In their section entitled ‘What we expect from Champions’ MOSAIC outlines the following engagement opportunities:

  • Green Pathway:  ‘Visiting & Experiencing’ – Helping your community to experience all that National Parks have to offer
  • Blue Pathway: ‘Promoting’ – Raising your community’s awareness of the benefits National Parks have to offer them
  • Red Pathway: ‘Training & Instructing’ – Supporting the involvement of other Community Champions
  • Orange Pathway: ‘Changing’ – Influencing the management of National Parks and their provision of services to the wider community

Some lessons learned from the MOSAIC Project

‘What we have learned from The “Mosaic Project” 2001-2004 delivering the Mosaic model’

  • It’s imperative to get out into communities and meet people face-to-face
  • Building personal relationships is the most important factor of success
  • It takes a lot of time and effort to build trust and profile in community; adequate time and resources are required
  • There is a snowball effect that only takes hold after 1-2 years
  • There is a huge interest from individuals to be Champions; a willingness to give
  • A key challenge is to activate Champions to do things independently; a “Let’s Do It!” Fund can help with this
  • There are vast geographic and social differences across the country that require local variations and flexibility
  • Be clear on what kind of leaders you want to target
  • The fundamental principle is to empower people

Partnership Engagement & Opportunities

The opportunities in the EPISA model are clustered in relation to where they are positioned in the grid, which has the following 2 dimensions:

  1. Student Impact (shorter to longer term)
  2. Commitment Level (shorter to longer term)

The opportunities available should reflect the anticipated ‘Student Impact’ and ‘Level of Commitment’ both in respect to time. However, it could be argued that it is difficult to anticipate how a student will be affected by an experience.

Currently the ‘Opportunities’ are labelled A to D, as these are not hierarchical it may be possible to name these more appropriately, for example in relation to the nature of the ‘Partnership’ relationship.

Possible partnership relationships (ref: N. Simon ‘The Participatory Museum’):

  1. Contribution
  2. Collaborative
  3. Co-Creation
  4. Hosted

See: http://www.participatorymuseum.org / http://www.museumtwo.blogspot.co.uk/


EPISA: Update

FYI: Quick re-brand for the logo as the event was completed in February.

Monday 13/05/2013

The EPISA and APPLE (Assessment Perception & Practice in Legal Education) projects met with David Baume (our critical friend from JISC).

We discussed how to write up the case studies into a format that would be valuable output. For example, we covered JISC’s ‘Evaluation grid of benefits’ as it outlines some very useful questions and areas to cover.

In respect to the EPISA project, we covered the following possible outcomes of the project:

  • Getting businesses involved and engaged in curriculum development and delivery
  • A model of engagement (an implementation framework?)

In terms of case-studies that would be valuable, the project will have a number of employers and students that we could refer to.

Write-up report deadline = 31st July 2013

Monday 17/06/2013

EPISA project had a short meeting to discuss the case-studies to be written up.

It was decided to focus on some select employers and see how they chose to engage with the curriculum (with reference to the model of engagement). EPISA has a list of possible engagement activities, but it would be of more value to see how a business could engage.

It was noted that it is important to express that the model is not hierarchical or goal orientated. Therefore, just having businesses engaging with the University was more important than ‘moving’ towards a specific goal.


Anni Hollings, Paul Dobson and Ben Scoble met to discuss moving the EPISA project forward.

EPISA networking event: ‘Impacting on future talent’

It was decided to develop and deliver a networking event at the end of February 2013. The focus of this event is very much the idea of getting businesses involved in student learning activities and assessment.

 [click the logo to enlarge]

Opportunities for engagement model

A framework model has been discussed and developed that outlines 4 scenarios (opportunities)  in which businesses could engage with the Business School curriculum.  The important dimensions of  ‘Commitment’ and ‘Impact’ are identified, as these are the 2 key areas that would influence business involvement. Through defining 4 opportunities we have an opportunity to provide examples and raise interest; showing was is possible.


 [click the matrix to enlarge]

Moving forward

A draft outline of the event has now been produced and the EPISA team are now gearing up to resourcing and finalizing the event:

  • Inviting participants: including key note speaker and presenter
  • Visiting the event location
  • Resourcing the event
  • Producing literature for the event
  • Finalizing the process for developing a partnership with interested parties

What’s it all about?

In 2011/2012 Staffordshire University had an internally funded project to create and design innovative assessment. Within the Business school was run a project: “Real-Time assessment for simulating Business Reality”. Students were asked to produce a business report on a randomly allocated topic outlined in a short scenario within a tight time scale (48hr period). This runs in a “Contemporary Issues” module. At the moment the short scenarios or subjects are written by the tutors based upon current topics. The Episa project intends to build on this work, for the first time, to involve local employers in the creation and design of these assessments. We envision this project will help foster the university reputation for producing students with relevant experience and skills to increase their employability and so enhance the Universities reputation that our students are prepared for the world of work.