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‘Unpacking’ the FELTAG report: Research, Development & Practice Lynne Taylerson.

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Presentation on theme: "‘Unpacking’ the FELTAG report: Research, Development & Practice Lynne Taylerson."— Presentation transcript:

1 ‘Unpacking’ the FELTAG report: Research, Development & Practice Lynne Taylerson

2 Strategies to improve the quality of Initial Teacher Education: How can we equip practitioners to actively embed technology in an evolving culture of blended learning? First, came the research…

3 The research Conducted from January to July 2014 involving 575 practitioners and learning technology managers in the FE and Skills sector. A collaboration with partners at Kirklees College and Worcestershire County Council.

4 The sample and methodology 575 trainee and recently qualified practitioners from: 12 FE Colleges 3 Sixth Form colleges 3 County Councils 3 independent schools or colleges As well as practitioners working in public and uniformed services, secure estates, higher education and in Adult and Community Learning were invited to take part an online survey and focus groups. 200 Learning Technology managers working in FE and Sixth Form colleges and Adult and Community Learning were invited to take part in an online survey and 1-1 interviews.

5 The prompting question If the FELTAG recommendations of 50% online delivery for funded courses by are to become a reality, what does this mean for the sector in terms of leadership and staff development now?

6 The good news Practitioners told us – and managers concur – that they are ‘tech-curious’; only 25% did not see technological fluency as being a vital part of their expertise as a practitioner Lecturers, trainers and tutors already use a wide range of technologies away from work and are keen to extend this use in learning delivery They see digital literacy and the ability to leverage technology as vital skills in today’s workplace and are keen to help their learners develop in these areas.

7 What stops practitioners from using technology more widely? Concerns that some of their learners will be excluded by blended delivery Worries that they will not be able to motivate, challenge and support learners Insufficient access to experiment with technology in order to become fluent Lack of time to produce tailored online materials and resources Teacher education takes an unwelcome ‘tools-focussed’ approach; trainees want input on developing and adapting their pedagogy – what will their sessions ‘look’ like when translated to a blended model?

8 Conclusions and recommendations Initial Teacher Education faces significant technology skills development challenges due to the diversity of digital literacy of its students on entry There are widely diverse levels of risk aversion, self-confidence, subject- specialist knowledge and conventional teaching experience within each group Assumptions are made that new entrants to the sector from industry will have higher levels of digital literacy than many of them actually possess. A robust system to diagnose digital literacy and learning technology skills levels on entry to ITE is urgently required to provide differentiated support and allow skills development planning.

9 Conclusions and recommendations The current ITE curriculum is no longer fit for purpose with respect to learning technology; We must shift the focus from technology to learning to take a holistic approach prizing pedagogical development with frequent examples of contextualised implementation. Students wish to experience embedded, blended learning from a learner’s perspective before being asked to implement this in their own practice. A learning technology module, delivered using a blended approach should be introduced to ITE, allowing delivery teams to model tools and strategies while delivering an underpinning knowledge of pedagogy. This should be backed by each ITE student being allocated a ‘technology mentor’ for the duration of their course.

10 Conclusions and recommendations Practitioners need to have digitally literate role models and see technology use as an embedded, everyday part of their practice They need to be actively encouraged to experiment to develop their skills by ‘playing’ and taking risks, knowing they will be supported in doing so Senior leaders are important role models and need to advocate and model fluent technology use to their staff At present, fluent learning technology use at governor, principal and senior leadership level can be the exception rather than the rule in some organisations. Senior managers and inspectors need to be informed users of learning technology so they will be aware of the challenges facing practitioners and learners in the sector. They should model and advocate technology use.

11 Conclusions and recommendations Organisations need to encourage more planned and extensive collaboration between learning technology support staff and senior management, practitioners and teacher educators. The significant experience in ILT support teams is not always put to best use. There should be more coherent collaboration between these teams, senior managers and faculty in planned programmes to develop skills at all levels of each organisation An ‘ILT governor’ presence in each organisation may facilitate this.

12 Read the research etfresearch.pbworks.com

13 Does blended learning call for a fundamental change to the role and identity of the practitioner? Talking point: What challenges will this pose for: - Lecturers/tutors/student support staff - Mangers and leaders

14 Development: What does rising to the FELTAG challenge look like in practice? Implementing the Scheduled Online Learning and Assessment programme (SOLA) at Heart of Worcestershire College

15 In September 2013, SOLA began: 1 hour per week of all full-time FE courses and 2 hours per week for full-time Level 3 courses went online across the whole curriculum offer Sessions are scheduled ‘on timetable’ in learning centres Practitioner ‘co-ordinators’ were appointed as online learning leads and given abatement to implement SOLA 4 Blended Learning Advisors were appointed to advise, support and help plan and create the Moodle courses that SOLA is delivered through Each SSA has a dedicated liaison from the ILT team – I am one of them Now in its second year SOLA may extend to 3 hours per week on some courses in the future. Implementing SOLA

16 Supporting SOLA SSA management teams and Blended Learning Advisors: Hold regular meetings with co-ordinators and then assist as required – may be a ‘light touch’ or full Moodle design service Observe learners in SOLA sessions and report back on them Run participation reports to ensure students are attending, accessing SOLA and completing work and liaise with personal tutors on results Meet and get feedback from students at regular ‘learner voice’ events Have strong presence during induction and early sessions to make SOLA a routine part of learning Conduct action research into effective blended learning and plan regular CPD weeks for learning technology development.

17 Evaluating SOLA We are just about to launch a SOLA Quality Framework Written in conjunction with the College’s Quality Standards Unit The framework uses a Bronze / Silver / Gold standards system Every course will be audited by the SOLA team next month A grade report highlighting best practice and recommending further development will be given to the SOLA co-ordinator This will allow us to identify and disseminate excellent practice and plan future CPD events.

18 Positive advocacy for blended learning 11% improvement in success rates last year £250k savings in year 1 for HWC

19 Reflection and discussion How does the SOLA programme compare to the FELTAG response in your organisation?

20 Finally, practice…. A look at some of the blended learning curriculum designs developed and implemented by the SOLA co-ordinators and the Blended Learning Advisors

21 Examples of SOLA courses The design of each course is entirely determined by the practitioner who is the co-ordinator. This person will be a specialist in that subject area. A range of delivery models have been developed for SOLA: - Whole unit model: entirely delivering 1 course module - Curriculum-aligned model: supporting delivery alongside a face-to-face component - Project-based model: end-of-year show in Art and Design - Revision model: towards an external exam e.g. Hair and Beauty - Delivering 1 aspect of a course: reflective portfolio or placement logging in Care/Early Years - Launching another activity: to set up a visit or externally assessed module e.g. LJ create.

22 Whole unit model Curriculum-aligned, using the flipped classroom model

23 Delivering and assessing one aspect of the curriculum – reflective journal

24 Closing questions / comments? For further information on the SOLA programme or blended learning contact Peter Kilcoyne


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