The growth of Foundation Degree qualifications in the UK (HEFCE, 2007) has lead to a more active view of employer engagement with Higher Education. Many full time Foundation Degree students are now taking up work placements with employers as part of their study. As a result, a three-way conversation between learners, employers and tutors needs to take place on an ongoing basis throughout placements. An online environment utilising blogs, e-portfolio and online work-based contracts can facilitate this ‘conversation’. Employers can be further supported through provision of online materials to support the process of mentor training. This paper reports on an HE Academy, ICS funded mini-project to create such an environment at Hull College for students on the Foundation Degree course in Software Design and Development. The project is still underway, and is in the middle of its year-long span. The environment has been chosen, developed and tested. The next phase will be to use the system for work-placement study. This paper outlines the use of Elgg as a means of maintaining communication with students, employers and tutors and encouraging reflection during Foundation Degree work placements. We aim to present the experience of using the online environment at the 8 th Annual Conference of the ICS HE Academy in August. More information on the project can be found at
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