Learning Technology self-assessment tools are OK…

…but it rather depends on who’s ‘ticking the boxes’.

It’s well known that the majority of colleges and independent learning providers are not yet realising the benefits of technology to deliver courses online, or to ‘manage’ learners such as apprentices. This despite evidence that the learning technology available today has already been proven by hundreds of organisations to reduce costs, enhance quality, engage learners and employers and in the case of apprenticeships, put the control back in the hands of management. [Read more…]

FELTAG, an objective or a bit too difficult for the SFA?

As many will know to their cost, I have often had plenty to say about the FELTAG recommendations right from the publication  in 2014, when it was the main topic of an RSC Northwest (Regional Support Centre) team meeting, when I was a member of a brilliant team of e-learning advisers. Until today in this final rant following an abysmal cop-out of a report by the SFA during a special webinar arranged by ALT, last week.

Special as it was important to learn what the SFA findings were from various studies after an incredibly long delay. But not so special as it most certainly wasn’t worth the wait other than at least I know where we all stand and what comes to mind is the Monty Python ‘Dead parrot sketch.’ Inasmuch as although the spirit of FELTAG, is alive and well, I was pretty sure that this parrot might as well be deceased, were it not that agencies perhaps with a vested interest to state otherwise, keep poking it. [Read more…]

Subcontractors – so costly to manage?

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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

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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…]

Is Work Based Learning Fit For The 21st Century?

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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…]

Never Stop Learning!

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From guest writer: John Dalziel.

I have spent a lot of time…

  • communicating,
  • listening and
  • learning.

Nowhere near as much as much as I did before retirement but, there is no doubt, in my mind, that the best advice that I can give anyone is to…

  • “Never Stop Learning!”
  • “Learn how to listen effectively” and
  • “Communicate in appropriate ways”.

I feel that the energy and passion that exudes from me, as an active learner using New and Emerging Technologies (uNET), is contagious to those that I communicate with and have communicated with throughout my career in Education. [Read more…]

Share what you find…..find what you share!

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From guest writer Paul Warren.

Just recently, a number of things have begun to capture my interest with regard to the way in which technology is utilised to engage students in their learning. One of the things which particularly interests me is the seeming disparity between the wealth of available information about, and the apparent lack of promotion of, digital tools and resources which can aid our learners with their studies. [Read more…]

Embrace eLearning and all its benefits

From guest writer, John Dalziel:

I wrote the notes, on which this post is based, just over a year ago with the view to add to my podcasts. It didn’t happen, for lots of reasons but, having found my notes again, thought I’d share it with you.

With or without the suggestions from FELTAG, does your organisation have a huge bank of courses to be developed and rolled-out to learners?

Are you, like so many other learning providers, unsure of how to approach this daunting task? [Read more…]

Have you got a plan B?

From guest Writer Judy Bloxham.

As I write this article, the county is reeling from yet another round of severe flooding. Roads have been washed out, bridges destroyed and the city of Carlisle cut in half. Just over two weeks on, the main bridge in Carlisle has now been re-opened, during this time it necessitated another 12-15 miles on journeys between the north and the south of the river. For many it meant an extra hour travel to work. Travel around the county is still a challenge and each bout of renewed heavy rain brings more problems as the soaked ground cannot cope, and it brings more fears to the residents.

The media has tended to focus on homes and businesses, but seeing school closures and water in their buildings reminded me of issues that emerged during the major episodes of flooding over the last 10 years in the county. Issues such as :

How to disaster proof your exam/assessment evidence?

How to maintain learners’ learning in times of disruption?

How to protect your learner records and progress data? [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…]