From education to employment


More than half (54%) of educators in further education (FE) colleges list having to work out of office hours among their biggest challenges in their current role according to a new report.

Resource issues such as heavy workloads also featured among the most concerning aspects of their current role for 62% of FE professionals, according to findings published in the Unlocking the Potential of Digital Learning report by YMCA Awards.

However, educators are clearly enthusiastic about the potential of digital tools, with 70% welcoming benefits that they bring to help them meet these types of problems.

Two thirds (66%) are keen to see software used to increase efficiency and ease the burden of marking, while more than half (58%) would like greater support in course delivery, helping transform FE classrooms.

Half (50%) of FE teachers would also like to see digital learning tools such as online educational quizzes used to help enhance the learning experience for students.

Commenting on the findings, Adam Williams, YMCA Awards’ Head of Products and Services, said: “Easing challenges for FE professionals and reducing time spent on admin allows great support and face-to-face time with learners. Implementing digital tools doesn’t mean dumbing down education or its delivery. Digital tools allow education providers to keep standards high while freeing up large amounts of time that can be spent supporting and engaging directly with learners”.

44% of institutions admitted having access to digital tools, but using them infrequently. While 12% reported not using digital tools at all.

Williams continued: “Tools must be well designed and intuitive, so teachers and tutors can get to grips with them quickly and efficiently. YMCA Awards has launched a package of teaching tools designed to meet the needs expressed by FE college staff to support their daily routines. Y-Mark is our online auto-marking digital workbook software, which makes assessment more efficient, and therefore frees up valuable staff time to better support learners.”

YMCA Awards SQ CMYKThe Unlocking the Potential of Digital Learning Report from international awarding organisation YMCA Awards is based on a survey carried out with staff in 26 FE colleges in May 2017 and accompanies the launch of a range of digital learning tools designed to address the needs expressed by FE colleges.

Other free tools included in the YMCA Awards package include an online assessment platform for online booking and sitting external examinations, as well as mock assessments to help prepare learners for their exams.

More details on transforming teaching delivery in FE colleges can be obtained by visiting the website.

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