ePortfolios for apprentices: What are the barriers? Pt 1

What are the barriers and how to ‘get over it’? Part one

In the third of this series I’m dealing with the perceived as well as the genuine issues raised by management and staff and used as reasons for not introducing technology to improve the delivery of competency based qualifications, including apprenticeships.

I have chosen to deal with the ‘barriers’ ahead of talking about the ‘benefits’ of eAssessment Portfolios, because whilst I don’t wish to give the impression that choosing and more importantly ‘implementing’ an appropriate ePortfolio is anything but an enormous challenge to the most committed organisation. I suspect that this guide is more likely to succeed if the reader doesn’t immediately dismiss the possible benefits as ‘not applying to them’ because: “We haven’t the money, the time, the staff won’t like it, can’t get internet” etc. etc. [Read more…]

What is an eAssessment Portfolio?

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

And which are ‘fit for purpose’? The ‘purpose’ in this instance, is of course competency based qualifications and in particular, apprenticeships. And having reduced the choice of ‘ePortfolios‘ by discounting those designed for professional development or reflection. We are still left with a dozen or so brands or types to choose from which even though they purport to be ePortfolios, they are not all as ‘effective’ as one another. So in this second of a series of articles, I will try to simplify the process a little further and refer to the next phase of ePortfolio selection as: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. (cue music). [Read more…]

ePortfolios for apprentices: A guide for providers and employers

(as well as: QCFs, NVQs, BTECs, Key Skills, short courses and all criteria-based qualifications).

Overview

Despite previous articles suggesting the contrary, I don’t consider all statements on the use of technology from the past as being ‘out of date’, far from it. My concern is when agencies which purport to ‘lead the way’ in the use of technology for Post-16 education, choose to ignore what has already been established for years. Such as the findings and recommendations from the Becta report on ePortfolios for apprenticeships 2009, which begins with this statement:

“We think that e-portfolios are going to be important for apprenticeships.”
In Harnessing Technology: Next Generation Learning 2008–14 (2008)

Well I didn’t see that reflected in recent advice and guidance. [Read more…]

Apprenticeships, employers, providers…

…what is the connection with technology and why should we care?

Well according to those enforcing government policy, not much and going by the services being meted out by high level consultations, such as with area reviews, even less. But for the learning providers on the ground it ought to be essential although there appears to be a severe shortage of impartial and up to date advice should they need it and unfortunately, many still do. For whilst there is much talk about FELTAG and online or blended learning there is precious little about ‘managing’ apprenticeships using technology which also addresses  teaching, learning and assessment, for the workplace. [Read more…]

Area Reviews: what colleges apparently don’t need to know

It would appear that they don’t need to know too much about the effect that technology has on key review questions such as reducing costs or raising quality and efficiency. Not to mention the need for colleges to ‘be equipped to respond to the reform and expansion of the apprenticeship programme.’  An important area that warrants serious use of the ‘right’ technology.

I may be wrong as I am only going by the objectives of area reviews and the criteria stated for consultant’s (as in cash for) which still doesn’t include specialist knowledge in technology. But I would have thought by now that even those in high places should be aware that using a few ‘techie’ sounding words here and there will not suffice. Not if it impacts on the bottom line it doesn’t. [Read more…]

Technology in Education, the new Industrial Revolution

From guest writer Judy Bloxham.

We are now at a point two years on from Feltag, so has anything changed?

The Feltag panel discussion at Jisc Digifest, whilst it revealed some examples of good practice, returned to many of the pre-Feltag issues we have long observed. There are three main areas that need to come together to help improve the uptake of technology on learning and teaching in the FE and Skills sector. [Read more…]

Incentive8’s ‘Learning Technology Review’ is fit for purpose – Why?

Well check out the latest video from our creative content team which shows how the Incentive8 review differs from other ‘technology reviews’ which are invariably based on a form of ‘self-assessment tool’.

It’s no secret that the majority of colleges and independent learning providers are not yet realising the benefit of  using appropriate learning technology to ‘manage’ their learners, especially apprentices on work based learning courses.  Despite the evidence that the learning technology available in 2016 has been proven by hundreds of organisations to reduce costs, enhance quality, engage learners and employers and most important of all, put the control back in the hands of management by providing data in ‘real time and not by way of word of mouth, spreadsheets using methods spawned two decades ago and clung to by those avoiding change. Its not a myth, its a fact. 

[Read more…]

Subcontractors – so costly to manage?

incentive-8.info

The subject of subcontracting and the management fees charged by lead providers made the news again this week which was bound to catch my attention especially with the headline of: ‘National Audit Office to examine provider topslicing scandal’.

And as usual there are the claims to justify administration fees of up to 35% as in one example the college is reported to have said “The weighting we give to management fees reflects the increasing costs of administration associated with sub-contracting – the closer involvement and the increased demand on resources – required by all colleges with sub-contracted provision”. [Read more…]

Chalk and cheese

incentive-8.info

Chalk and Cheese – “you usually get what you pay for.”

A statement reported to have been made by an SFA policy manager during a talk at Bett recently said “The Skills Funding Agency isn’t going to implement a cheap rate for online learning. I think we all appreciate that it’s not the cheap option” he added.

FE Week: Online learning ‘not cheap option‘.

Well speaking for myself, I never considered online learning as having much to do with being ‘a cheap option’. Simply the blindingly obvious thing to do and I wouldn’t think that many others in the business of steering FE & Skills into the 21st century do either and the government response to the Feltag recommendations which was what the conversation related to, simply states that they ‘will introduce an online only funding rate.’ Followed by an announcement by the then skills minister, in June 2014,“This will allow us to road-test the funding and audit implications of online delivery“.  Must have been a heck of a long road.  [Read more…]

Is Work Based Learning Fit For The 21st Century?

incentive-8.info

One year on

12 months ago today I posted my very first article on my new company’s website after choosing to leave Jisc. The article began:

I have been very fortunate to have spent more than a decade dishing out advice, supporting and occasionally nagging, learning providers about the fantastic and often simple technology available to them. But here we are beginning the fifteenth year of the 21st century when I feel the need to make the following observations which may touch a nerve with some, bewilder others and perhaps, just perhaps, encourage a few to reconsider their organisations methods of delivering Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Post-16 education. Particularly in the FE & Skills sector.

Is Work Based Learning Fit For The 21st Century?

[Read more…]