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Learning environment

Introduction

The aim of the MBE learning environment is to help you to develop critical autonomy and achievement of deep learning. The MBE MSc programme makes widespread use of e-learning to provide a rich learning environment, respond to all students' needs, stimulate teamwork, and develop a deep understanding of content. The programme is supported by tutorials and seminars to discuss and explore web-based content, and leads students to understand contexts and real-world application of theories, principles and techniques alike. The programme is rich in applied exercises guided by the MBE tutor team, all of whom are acknowledged experts in their fields. A research-based project allows further integration of understanding.

Critical autonomy

You will have achieved critical autonomy when you (Ecclestone, 2000):

  • Are able to formulate your own learning objectives
  • Select and make use of appropriate learning strategies
  • Reflect on progress, make strategic decisions about the next phase

Deep learning

The key characteristics of deep learning are (Entwistle, 1994):

  • Function: knowledge transformation
  • Intention: to understand the material for oneself
  • Develop awareness of the subject in a wider context

Hence, there will be emphasis on constructivist approaches to learning in which you recognise that knowledge is dynamic, and through analysis, critical thinking and reflection you reconstruct knowledge (Haywood, 1997) in a form that will be useful in your context. Your tutors will support your programme of learning in the role of advisors - advising you on study methods rather than content.


Elements of the learning environment

The learning environment available to you comprises the following:

  • MBE web sites containing high quality, interactive content
  • Links to further reading and examples of best practice
  • Objectives and contextual problems: solution demonstrates understanding
  • Discussion forums: develop teamwork and peer-enhanced learning
  • Lectures
  • Library including on-line resources and the Learning Grid
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Group study
  • Self study
  • Warwick web logs (Blogs)

The tutorial and seminar environment encourages:

  • Critical examination of existing knowledge which opens up opportunities for further learning
  • Development of participants' learning styles
  • Exploration of further avenues of learning

The programme is further supported by presentations from expert practitioners, with opportunity for students to explore contextual issues. The research-based project, fulfilling 50% of the degree credit, enables students to maximise the learning opportunities provided in a field of their choice within the scope of the degree.

It is recommended that you explore your learning environment, exploiting the strengths of its different elements to optimise your learning opportunities.