Welcome back! Thanks for doing the icebreaker! Now for some background and context….. So how has this come about? We know there is a huge push to use the internet to extend service delivery in all sectors, and no more so than services to young people, the section of society who are the most steeped in the digital world. Traditional methods of delivering guidance alone are not meeting young people’s needs and expectations and the guidance world needs to respond. Web 2 technologies, particularly social media, have introduced more interactivity into the net, which enhance the possibilities for delivering guidance. Hence this joint initiative by CfBT and Warwick’s Institute of Employment research which aims to move this agenda forward and investigate the skills and knowledge PAs need to put e-guidance into practice.
We have 4 one hour sessions to explore this. Each session has its own page on the wiki – see menu on left, and as well as activities, has links to relevant documents you may want to read and other e- related things to try (although this is likely to be outside the session). We’re going to start today by looking at what we mean by e-guidance and how e-guidance looks in practice at the moment. Our next 2 sessions are self directed, which means that you choose when to work through them ( although in both sessions you will need to hook up with a colleague for some of the activities ) We’re going to build on session 1 by thinking about how our guidance skills might change (or not) in an e-environment and by having some hands on experience of guidance by email in session 2. In session 3 we’ll focus on social media – the medium where we may make an initial contact with a young person which develops into guidance , either electronically or face to face, or where we might continue an interaction that has already begun. Our last session will focus on web2 tools that can enhance our professional practice and be incorporated into guidance practice. We know, from the results of the training needs analysis you kindly completed for us, that there is already a lot of expertise in this group. I hope that you’ll use the opportunities we have built in for discussion and expressing your thoughts and ideas to help put e-guidance into practice.
Learning outcome: Participants will consider what is meant by e-guidance and looked at relevant examples. We’re going to start with an introduction, looking at the context for this work, then we’ll have a discussion, using the chat room on the wiki, about definitions of e-guidance. Finding the chat room is easy - you click on the link on the right. If you are new to chat rooms, all you need to do is type your contribution into the box and press enter. With 24 of us using the chat room at the same time, don’t be surprised if the conversation is quite rapid! After this I’ve provided some links on the wiki where you can explore some live examples of e-guidance and feedback, again using the chat room. Our session lasts an hour, so timing is quite important, when we are ready to move from one activity to the next, I’ll send an email alert to remind you, and before we start an activity I’ll let you know what time we will be moving on. Also, on this and every session you’ll see a number of links to related reports and publications, some of which we refer to in the training, that you might find interesting. We also suggest a few more activities that you’re welcome to try out in your spare time.
Let’s begin by establishing our terminology. These definitions are from the Young Peoples’ Quality Standards for IAG – DCSF 2007. There is a link to this in the further reading section of this session on the wiki. Let’s be clear that at the moment the internet is mostly used professionally in guidance information retrieval and this has revolutionised the way we deliver Connexions information. When asked, most young people will tell you that if they want to know something, for example, about a career choice, the internet will be their first port of call, although often they will start with Google rather than the major sites such as connexions direct that we are likely to recommend. The new area wide prospectus is viewed as the central source of impartial information for young people making choices about learning. Advice is the process whereby young people relate the information they have found to their own situation. For example, I’ve looked on the area wide prospectus but I can’t decide between doing A level biology or chemistry with my maths and physics...
Guidance is for more complex issues - For example, I’ve looked on the area wide prospectus but I still don’t know what to do – my family think I should stay at school, but all my mates are going to college….... It is easy to see how information is delivered through the web, but advice and guidance require communication and that is more complex, so why are we going there?
As we have already noted, our primary user group are steeped in digital technology – and not just for information gathering. Young people communicate comfortably through social networking -‘Feedback’ is important to this group, online conversation or forums allow them to experiment and receive feedback in non challenging situations. Lots will find this a lot less intimidating than a one to one interview with a Personal Advisor. Connexions, as a service with young people at its heart, naturally needs to respond. Youthnet have completed a large study about young people’s attitudes to internet based advice and guidance. The quote on the slide is from their report, which you can read using the link in the further reading section of this session’s page in the wiki. Youth Net :Life Support - Young People's Needs in a Digital Age’
The recent national IAG strategy is very clear about the importance of developing on line IAG. The Strategy outlines 3 main areas for development: Connexions Direct, 14-19 prospectus and CAP and the National Apprenticeship Service. The emphasis, which is even mentioned in the introduction, is also very much on developing advice and guidance on line, not just information. There’s a link to the strategy in the ‘further reading’ section of this session on the wiki. So, what do we mean by e-guidance?
The first thing to say is that there is no universally agreed definition of e guidance. This is actually quite a new field of development and little research has been done, or consensus reached! We are pioneers! It’s also interesting to note that guidance using the telephone was always regarded as separate from internet guidance, but more recently, a telephones and computers have begun to share the some functions, this distinction is becoming less clear and there is more merging between the two. These 2 quotes are from work done by Marcus Offer and Lucy Madahar. Both were very closely involved in developing e-guidance in the HE careers guidance sector, which began in the early noughties. The first quote clearly shows how developing e-guidance can not only expand the service ( and this was very important back then, as now, with the huge expansion in HE ), but offer it to people who have less accessibility. The second quote illustrates how important they think it is to integrate e-guidance into other methods of delivery, which in turn will make the whole service stronger.
This quote is from an HE advisor in 2009, and has, I think more to do with the flexibility of the definition of guidance. He goes on to say that some people would regard e-guidance as emailing a reply to a careers question, other wouldn’t classify this as guidance at all. The “is it guidance?” question was tackled in a HECSU (Higher Education Careers Service Unit) Research note published in 2004 written by Marcus Offer. He analyses the results of a number of projects including a pilot study where email queries were studied in relation to the FIRST model of guidance outcomes put forward by Bedford in 1982. This showed that 15% of interventions were about achieving Focus, 44% included Information giving, 5% about Realism and 29% about Scope and 53% about Tactics. A link to the full report is in the further reading section of session 2 – “What is e-guidance? Using ICT Effectively in Guidance Services” 2004. What do you think? How would you define e-guidance? Now you need to close this slide cast and go back to the wiki and make a start on activity 1
CfBT commissioned research on PA skills for e-guidance, undertaken by Warwick University’s Institute for Employment Research (IER) and managed by Jenny Bimrose.
These sessions are planned and delivered by Warwick University IER
“ An opportunity to give more guidance to more people, more often, at a distance”
“ ..not just about email or chat….these tools need to be part of a system delivering guidance at different levels to meet different needs, a whole which is much more powerful than the sum of its parts”