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articles suggesting the contrary, I don’t consider all statements on the use of technology from the past as being ‘out of date’, far from it.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…]

Is your information past its sell by date?

All too often I read a report or survey on Learning Technology to find that although it is presented as though new, on closer inspection, I find that the information it relies upon to form a conclusion may be traced back to information from over a decade ago or even further. This particularly applies to technology for the work based and adult learning sector such as e-Assessment Portfolios for apprenticeships which some organisations appear to ignore – which begs a few questions: [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…]

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…]

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…]

Walking in Virtual Worlds

From guest writer Judy Bloxham.

This week I have participated in two conferences. Open Badges in HE at Southampton University, a mere 800 mile round trip in a day. Then Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education, a conference involving people from all over the world from my office desk. At the first I was just an attendee, but the VWBPE involved presenting in the virtual space with a colleague about our observations of the difference Augmented Reality could make to learning.

So what is this Virtual Reality, how does it differ from Augmented Reality? [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…]