Sarah Knight is senior co-design manager at Jisc

Further education (FE) and skills in the UK has come up against a lot of challenges in the last few years. Does FELTAG still have a place in this landscape? Absolutely! In fact, I'd argue more so now than ever.

FELTAG is a driver for providers to re-energise their visions for how technology can enhance their core business: improving the educational experience for all learners. Developing a digital strategy that can harness the potential benefits of technology to offer enhancements and efficiencies around the delivery of teaching, learning and assessment will ensure learners develop the digital skills they need in their future employment.

You'll have read before on the Jisc blog about the group of government, professional and sector bodies that have come together to deliver the FELTAG recommendations – first as the FELTAG coalition, and later as the FE and skills coalition (to incorporate Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales).

Our latest meeting in March saw 40 representatives attend to update on progress and make sure that what we're working on meets the strategic priorities for the digital agenda. I'd like to share these with you, as well as the activities that we're putting into place to support each challenge area.

  • Staff digital capabilities – to deliver online and digital learning all staff within an organisation need to have the relevant skills to carry out their work. For many, this will mean having to acquire a new skillset. One of the most popular resources for doing so is the free online blended learning essentials course by UFI and a consortium of partners, which promotes effective digital practice and pedagogy for vocational education and training. Jisc has a digital capabilities framework that describes the skills needed in a wide range of academic, administrative and professional roles to thrive in a digital environment. It will soon include a suite of discovery, diagnostic and reflective tools, that will help individuals and managers identify and reflect on current digital capability, and plan for how these can be improved. Jisc is also currently piloting an FE and skills CPD Service (informed by the coalition) that will build on this service and support continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities. This will form three sections: online CPD resources; open and reusable best practice resources; and communities of practice.
  • Assessment – there's an outdated myth around awarding bodies not recognising the use of technology to support formative and summative assessment. This simply isn't true, and thankfully we're now starting to see more providers integrate e-assessment in their practices. The recent e-assessment survey for EAAG (e-assessment advisory group) has some important recommendations for colleges and providers on how to take a more innovative approach.
  • New models for blended delivery – this isn't about technology replacing what is already taking place in the classroom but using it with learners to work collaboratively, extend the classroom and encourage their creativity. Staff working in partnership with learners not only encourages more active engagement in their learning but also enables both to develop their digital skills. There is much guidance to support this, such as the ETF's Learning Futures programme about integrating technology into the curriculum, and Jisc's enhancing the student digital experience guide, with case studies and practical resources.
  • Sharing best practice – If we're able to support the sharing of practice, both within an organisation, and also externally, it will encourage collaboration and stop people trying to re-invent the wheel. The Association for Learning Technology ALT is supporting this through its active community of practice, the FELTAG-SIG, and has also recommended that collaboration be encouraged at a senior leadership level to support cohesive digital visions, which ETF are supporting.

On the final point about sharing best practice, it's really important that we take time to celebrate and communicate successes.

Ahead of the coalition meeting, a number of partners came together to collect some of the best examples of technology-enabled learning in the UK and publish them in a handy report. This is done across six key areas: Delivering a relevant digital curriculum; engaging learners in the development of the digital environment; using technology to develop learners' employability; supporting students and staff to work successfully with digital technologies; delivering a robust, flexible digital environment; and a strategic approach to developing the student digital experience.

The report is a useful start in gathering the effective practice that exists in the sector. I say start, as there's much more to be done. Jisc, on behalf of the FE and skills coalition, is currently calling for providers to tell us how they've embraced technology and to what effect. This will form an updated guide, which we see as becoming a handbook for peer organisations to refer to and learn from.

Submit your entry until 18 April or join the conversation at #FELTAG.

Sarah Knight is senior co-design manager at Jisc

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page