From education to employment

Southampton City College rolls out new technology to help students learn and teachers teach

18 August 2008:  Southampton City College is rolling-out a pioneering online ILP and personal assessment tracking solution called eTracker in the new academic year. The College believes that eTracker will revolutionise the way in which both its teachers and 9,000 students monitor individual progress against personal targets.

John Savage, Learning Technologies Manager, declared: “We’re committed to using cutting edge methods to ensure our students reach their potential. We believe that eTracker will not only become a motivating influence for our students, helping improve both their academic and pastoral performance, but that it will also help the college support their individual needs and aspirations.”

Designed and developed by VLE Support, a specialist in building technology solutions for educational institutions, eTracker interacts with the College’s own management information system, bringing together all the data held on each student from their grades through to attendance records and disciplinary issues.  This delivers better quality of information to teachers and provides them a greater holistic view of both individuals and groups of students, allowing them to identify issues and intervene quickly. Equally important to the teaching staff, eTracker is proven to deliver greater efficiencies in time through reducing the mounds of paperwork traditionally associated with monitoring student performance. 

John Savage continued: “eTracker will help us create a central hub for all of our data and then provide controlled access to information relevant to each student. Their individual page will show several percentage bars clearly demonstrating exactly how well they are doing in relation to their personal goals.  It is easy for them and their tutors to identify where they are succeeding and if they are having difficulty with anything, including pastoral achievement.”Access to eTracker is strictly controlled and varies according to each person’s permission level.  For example, students can only see information relevant to their personal work, whereas teachers have access greater depth of information on each student and greater breadth of information across groups of students.

The implementation phase of the development programme took place over the summer term, including training sessions for the teaching staff and feedback to date has been extremely positive. Full roll-out will take place at the start of the new academic year.

VLE Support Managing Director, Mark Trinick, comments: “The use of technology is all about making life easier for both student and teacher alike. We’ve designed eTracker and its add-on modules to provide schools and colleges with a valuable tool that can motivate students to improve their performance while assisting teachers to effectively track progress – intervening and rectifying any issue fast before it can become a real problem.”

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