ePortfolios for apprentices: What Next?

For this the last article on the subject of ‘ePortfolios’ I had anticipated that the content would be based on questions raised throughout the series by way of the ‘usual channels’ and whilst there have been a few direct requests for advice, there are as many comments as questions, mostly positive which is encouraging. But such is the nature of the medium, comments are more difficult to respond to than a live or even virtual audience without having more information. For example, one comment was – ‘my learners detest e-Portfolios’ to which my answer might have been, ‘as a former work based learning coordinator, I know for a fact that none of my apprentices liked paper based, barely understood the content beyond the ‘next instruction’, may even have detested them, best tell me more’. But social media is no platform for such a discussion and a snappy response might be construed as me being at best, ‘picky’. [Read more…]

ePortfolios for Apprentices: Making a business case

…to get it past finance

“The use of e-portfolios to support apprenticeship programmes is likely to be a key factor in ensuring the ongoing success of vocational qualifications in the digital age, thereby contributing to the skills campaign and ultimately the acquisition of world-class skills.” (Becta ePortfolios for Apprenticeships 2009)

A message myself and others have expressed in many ways over several years, so clearly not news and might just as easily have been written today as ‘post referendum’ the current skills minister stated that commitment to apprenticeships and investment in future skills development more broadly was ‘absolute’. (Nick Boles speaking at the AELP national conference London. June 2016) [Read more…]

ePortfolios for apprentices: What are the challenges?

and how others have found a way.

Another reminder, that the purpose of this series of articles is to provide information to those in the sector that are yet to embrace appropriate technology to deliver competency based qualifications.

I hope to achieve this by cutting through unnecessary ‘jargon’, putting into perspective the preponderance of so called barriers and filtering out systems that are likely to make a very difficult task more challenging than necessary. As in ‘I wouldn’t start from here’. [Read more…]

Private Social Networks for Education

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 ‘Why do you keep sending me email?’

From guest writer Paul Styles.

I thought you were down with the kids? Why do you keep sending me email!

That was the response I received from a student when asking why he hadn’t responded to me trying to get in touch regarding his assignment work …. 6 years ago!

It was at that moment I realised that I had to start communicating with students the way they communicate with each other and so took my first step away from Lecturing Sports Science and towards working in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning. [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…]

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…]

Chalk and cheese

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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…]

‘Hello’ anyone noticed it’s 2016?

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Learning Technology for the 16 year old 21st Century

Its now 16 years since the turn of the century during which time, Post-16 education has had the opportunity to embrace so called ‘21st century technology’ which to be fair has moved at an astonishing rate from the the introduction of Wikipedia in 2001 to what you can’t do with digital devices today, is nobody’s business and so much in between.

But despite a decade of agencies funded to raise awareness of the technological benefits to education, it doesn’t appear to have made a great deal of impact on a significant number of Learning Providers that seem not to have noticed that the technology we take for granted in everyday life can can be used so effectively in every day teaching, learning and assessment.   [Read more…]

Converting learning from paper to digital

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Converting learning from paper to digital

Not just rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic:

From guest writer: Judy Bloxham.

I have recently created a set of induction modules for a geographically, distributed company. The material to be covered was written up and delivered face to face as an initial trial which worked well, but the geography prohibited meeting every new employee to do an induction like that. So the decision was taken to use the company’s online learning provider platform for delivery.
[Read more…]