In reflecting on his progress in using digital technology on the project Mick says that he has really enjoyed the opportunity to learn how to combine a range of digital tools to provide a truly collaborative online learning experience for his learners –
‘I began by just using Skype to work with learners and then slowly learned how to use other tools such as Scribblar – it made a lot of difference to my online maths teaching when I began to use the graphics tablet as I could write up things like fractions and cancel them down much more easily…’
Mick was asked to share his experience of offering online support in one of our workshop sessions and he encouraged tutors to build their skills slowly, becoming confident in using one tool before moving on to others. In the clip below he talks with his project mentor, Bob Read about how he developed his skills in a gradual, systematic way (click here for a transcript) –
Mick feels that online support offers all sorts of benefits for learners. Firstly, he finds that if learners opt to have their Skype tutorials from home, they can often be much more relaxed than they are during workplace visits when they can feel the pressures of their work commmitments. Secondly, for a learner like Shane it also meant that he had much more frequent support sessions and was able to enjoy not only regular feedback and support with his maths skills but also with his apprenticeship in general. For example, Mick would often use the Skype sessions as an opportunity for a professional discussion that he would record and then use as evidence in his portfolio. Thirdly, through using more digital technology in his teaching whether in the classroom or in offering remote support, Mick is aware that he is modelling to learners a range of important communication technologies that will serve to prepare them for job roles in an increasingly digital workplace.
Shane went on to pass his Level 2 Functional Maths exam in August 2015 and says that one of the reasons for his success was the regularity of his online sessions and the personal contact he had with Mick. In the clip below Shane was interviewed by Rion, an assessor who works for KEITS and who joined Mick and Shane on some of their online sessions. Shane lives in a remote rural location and reflects on the benefits of online support in terms of the travel time he saves and the easy access he had to Mick’s personal support (Click here for a transcript.) –
Impact on the organisation
Laurence Wells who managed Mick and Anita during their participation in the Learning Futures project fully endorsed all the key benefits for learners that they have noted in earlier sections of this case study. For example, in reflecting on the impact of the project he commented –
”By reducing travel to visit learners in the workplace there has been a greater emphasis on the development of each learner’s digital fluency alongside their occupational qualification. The dynamic of assessors also engaging with learners digitally away from their workplace has enabled a more personalised approach to the development of all skills. The time that assessors spend face-to-face is more focussed and valued by both assessor and learner.”
”By having assessors modelling the use of digital devices in learning contexts learners develop their understanding of the potential of these media beyond the personal and social media contexts. Learners experience of their qualification is now of a blend between occupational excellence and digital enrichment.”
Anita and Mick have taken every opportunity to share their growing skills and expertise in using digital technology with their fellow assessors at regular team meetings and Mick has been asked to run a workshop in the autumn term for other assessors who are keen to learn about the use of video conferencing for online support. In the clip below Anita reviews the kind of skills she was keen to share with her colleagues in team meetings (Click here for a transcript.) –
And finally Laurence emphasises that the college is keen to validate and share the insights that Mick and Anita have gained so that they shape the college’s wider policies and activities in promoting the use of digital technology not just in workplace delivery but throughout the curriculum. He is aware that the full impact will not be recognised until the end of the next academic year –
”Our two researchers have engaged with their workplace learning colleagues and a range of college-wide Excellence Coaches to share their experience and to develop new approaches to learning and delivery methodologies. The work of this project has run alongside the whole college approach to the development of eLearning, and the potential for a roll-out with clearly targeted impacts will not be realised until 2015/16 after collation and reflection of the full range of activities undertaken in 2014/15.”
Click here to go the final section of the case study in which Mick and Anita look ahead to their plans to continue using learning technology in their apprenticeship delivery.