Ben Sweetman, Business Development Director at QA

With the Conservatives using their recent election manifesto to reaffirm their pledge to create three million more apprenticeships for young people by 2020, the role of the education sector in helping to bridge the skills gap remains a talking point.

It's a challenging figure, and in order to reach it, providers must reconsider how they are delivering courses.

For many students, face-to-face contact makes up the vast majority of training  - and of course, time with teachers is a vital component of success.

Their expertise and guidance creates well-rounded and well-informed apprentices who are inspired and enthused.

But face-to-face teaching is limited. Students can end up losing valuable classroom time to the teaching of underpinning concepts, rather than practical elements that can't be done elsewhere. And the all-important application of knowledge, supported by independent and self-directed learning, is often best conducted away from the classroom.

So, the need for a blended learning experience, which provides a seamless learning experience, online and offline, is crucial. But how do we deliver it?

From our experience at QA - two issues are paramount:

1. Choose the right provider

When we began offering degree apprenticeships at QA, we found ourselves in this position - our delivery model had to change. We needed the best of both worlds - continuing the face-to-face training which has served us so well, but combining it with a digital learning experience. We designed a new model to enable self-directed study and actively encourage the application of practical skills in the workplace.

Underpinning concepts and independently driven tasks are now delivered online, freeing up class time for activities that allow deeper exploration of content. We knew that the key to ensuring success in our degree apprenticeships is to facilitate active learning, and in this model, we enjoy a greater focus on students' application of conceptual knowledge rather than factual recall.

But making this change isn’t easy - and it’s crucial that if you’re undertaking a similar process, that you have full confidence in the provider of your digital technology. We needed our tech - in this case a VLE from Canvas - to deliver content on any device, at any time. We needed to ask those tricky questions about uptime, reliability and user experience before we signed on the dotted line.

Ultimately, choosing the right provider is make or break in ensuring you’re meeting the needs of tech-savvy students - who demands a great user experience across platforms and the complete flexibility to access materials whenever and however suits.

2. Measure the right things

Moving to a blended learning environment means that your assessment possibilities expand exponentially. Used in the correct way, the data gathered in online learning can help educators understand students’ learning behaviours, which courses are being consumed - and where students are excelling or struggling.

Harnessing data allows teachers to personalise learning journeys and demonstrate added value. They can take a more indepth look at progress; assessing learning gain - rather than static end of course measurement - and intervene much more quickly.

But, it is also necessary to fundamentally reevaluate the way that we measure progress. Instead of standardised tests, which measure the ability to absorb and regurgitate rote materials, ongoing assessment must appraise research skills, applied knowledge and practical ability - vital in paving the way for employment and beyond.

So really, tech success is reliant on getting the basics right on your journey to delivering better teaching, to more people. But crucially - we’d tell any apprenticeship provider to have confidence in making this change.

Rather than a race to catch up with a mandate, or to address funding levels, this is a positive opportunity - to better fuel the workforce with more skilled employees, bolstering industry and helping boost economic gain.

Ben Sweetman, Business Development Director at QA

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 4 hours 55 minutes ago

Levelling Up Learning through Technology – A Ufi...

Levelling Up Learning through Technology – A Ufi VocTech Trust’s Whitepaper - EdTech Update April 28, 2021How can digital solutions improve outcomes...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 4 hours 55 minutes ago

RT @FENews: Flexi-jobs, ATAS and Apprenticeships: OverviewFollowing recent consultations by the Department for Education, a new flexi-jobs.…
View Original Tweet

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.

Podcasts

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.

Events

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