SFA Funding Workshop

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  • Ref Ministerial interetst
  • previous initiatives such as Learning Innovation Grant (LIG) have provided funding for capital investment in new technology


  • 1. Funding e-learning Digital Learning Annual Conference Kirsty Evans, Director Funding Policy Implementation 11 December 2013
  • 2. What We Will Cover • The landscape now • Reality and Perceptions • Drivers for Change • What can the Agency do to promote/support?
  • 3. E-learning What is e-learning? “e-learning can be defined as „learning facilitated and supported through the use of information and communications technology‟. It can cover a spectrum of activities from the use of technology to support learning as part of a „blended approach‟ (a combination of traditional and e-learning approaches), to learning that is delivered entirely online. Whatever the technology, however, learning is the vital element” http://www.jisc.ac.uk/elearning
  • 4. The Snapshot Now • Over 15,000 qualifications currently approved for public funding • By end of 2012/13 just over 28,000 publicly funded enrolments on qualifications delivered through e-learning* • E-learning appears to be focussed on just under 1,000 qualifications (the majority from the QCF) • Just under 150 providers using e-learning to some extent • In theory a significant number of qualifications could be delivered, as well as assessed on-line (and the focus is on delivery) • But generally a low use of e-learning in the publicly funded qualifications market.
  • 5. Funding System and Rules • Funding neutral in terms of e-learning – focus is on learning taking place and achievement gained rather than prescribing an approach to or ‘type’ of learning • Funding Rule around not delivering an Apprenticeship solely through Distance Learning – but this is not the issue • But - perception that funding and/or aspects of audit/evidence requirements inhibit e-learning; e.g. glh, success measured in terms of time served – but is this really the case now?
  • 6. Drivers for Change •Work of Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (FELTAG) •Commission for Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning •Review of Adult Vocational Qualifications: „Ofqual, Ofsted and Skills Funding Agency should ensure that arrangements for regulation, inspection and funding provide appropriate incentives and do not inhibit training providers and awarding organisations from using technology in the delivery and assessment of vocational qualifications‟.
  • 7. The Issues •Capacity and capability – capital and workforce investment •E-assessment is there but it is not matched enough by elearning •In part it may be about the learning – a virtual curriculum or programme of learning supporting a regulated qualification to be delivered ‘anywhere, anytime and at the employer/ individual pace •In part it may be about our perceptions – if it is not ‘bricks and mortar’ then it is not real or meaningful, or rigorous •Demand from learners and employers •Clarity about what provision and which people are suited to e-learning
  • 8. The Future Moocs may offer one future model (massive open online courses) – but for our system maybe a few smaller steps: - if the outcome is achieved and the line of sight to a job or progression is there, does it matter how it is achieved? - if we measure outcomes then that takes the weight off focussing on time served and takes the emphasis away from solely relying on traditional delivery - if we want innovative and employer driven provision then we also need innovative delivery - collaboration is key: open access and pooling knowledge to the benefit of all
  • 9. What do we need to do? What are the barriers we need to address? •Funding rules, evidence requirements and audit? •Definitions and recording? •Workforce policies and practices working patterns teaching online etc What else?
  • 10. www.skillsfundingagency.bis.gov.uk