Tail Wags Dog?

Having been away from ‘the front line’ of the sector until recently, I was pleased to attend an event put on by a learning provider to share with other providers, their experience in developing a range of dynamic learning materials in a major project. During the course of the day the guest providers were also invited to share their own progress for introducing technology into the mainstream of teaching and learning. I was a little surprised with the answers.

[Read more…]

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…]

ePortfolios for apprentices: What are the benefits?

…and who wouldn’t want them anyway?

But before I go into a long list of what an ‘advanced’ Assessment ePortfolio can do for a learning provider delivering Apprenticeships, I feel the need to recap a little. Especially as many people are reading these articles as ‘one-offs’ and may be commenting on points already covered, such as in using the generic term ePortfolio as though they are all the same which they most definitely are not. Cutting across such confusing information is the basis for producing this short series. [Read more…]

ePortfolios for apprentices: What are the barriers? Pt 2

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

March 2009 (Becta ePortfolio for apprentices)

‘Evidence shows that when providers use technology effectively, the benefits are inspiring: improved results and retention rates, greater participation by learners and increased effectiveness of trainers. E-portfolios can provide a vehicle to facilitate these benefits because they use technology to allow learners to collect and organise artefacts in many media types, enabling them to track progress, carry evidence of their work across transition points, reflect on their learning and build a skills profile across a lifetime (Barrett, 2006; Becta, 2006).

June 2016

Several years and a wealth of technological advancement later, a significant number of learning providers in the UK appear not to have an IT Strategy that fits in with such a vision or have a long term plan to encourage innovation in teaching, learning and assessment. [Read more…]

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…]

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…]

Roll up, roll up – become an Apprentice

incentive-8.info

Roll up, roll up – become an Apprentice, you know it makes sense because everyone says so.

Well that rather depends!

In my opinion it depends primarily on the quality controls of the Learning Providers, the relationship they have with employers and the skills and dedication of the personnel meeting the needs of all concerned. But from the would-be Apprentice point of view, the offers will all look the same on a whizzy website. So how will they choose? [Read more…]