Incentive8 Podcast: When is an eLearning Adviser not an eLearning Adviser?

We propose to publish a series of podcasts on the use of technology in the FE & Skills education sector, technology that is fit for the 21st century.

Correction – Fit for the year 2016 – back in the year 2000, most of the technology that we use in everyday life was unheard of.

You can also follow The Incentive8 Podcast on Spreaker and Soundcloud.
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Learning Lessons from Inspections

Exploring the CIF: The importance of Data Analytics

Guest writer: Judy Bloxham

Recent headline cases of poor and inadequate Ofsted inspection results should act as an alert to all, of the change of focus in the Common Inspection Framework (CIF) introduced last year. The results of the first five colleges inspected under the new CIF saw three of them fall a grade, and in the last two months, two independent providers have seen their grades fall from Good to Inadequate, one of which had its SFA funding withdrawn leaving 1000’s of learners stranded. [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?

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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…]

‘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…]

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…]

Don’t let social media ruin your Christmas

…keep them safe.

By guest writer Anita Holt.

On Christmas morning, in many houses in the UK, excited young people will open their shiny new internet-enabled devices. By late afternoon, many social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, SnapChat, Pinterest (hopefully not Tinder), will have a whole new set of users. Parents everywhere feeling pleased that they have made their children very happy with their choice of present. So where did it all go wrong? Back in the early days of when the Internet started to become available to the home users, the advice was, only have the Internet on a family computer, which is placed in a family room, so you can see what your kids are up to, assured about what they’ve viewing etc. [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.
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7 days can be a long time in FE & Skills

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But it took a lot longer than that for so many learning providers to become ‘less than good’.

Over the past seven (ok ten) days a minority of organisations in the FE & Skills sector and in particular colleges, have through publications and articles come under severe criticism for the decline in performance of leadership and of particular interest to me, that related to the quality of apprenticeship delivery. I must repeat that the criticism is directed at a minority of learning providers, albeit a significant percentage, which when counted in number of learners is nothing short of disgraceful. Thankfully, the majority are the complete opposite, which also begs the question, why is it that organisations with similar infrastructure, funding and demographics are poles apart in delivering similar quality of teaching and learning. [Read more…]