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Digital Learning Annual Conference
Kirsty Evans, Director Funding Policy
11 December 2013
What We Will
• The landscape now
• Reality and Perceptions
• Drivers for Change
• What can the Agency do to promote/support?
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
The Snapshot Now
• Over 15,000 qualifications currently approved for public
• 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
• But generally a low use of e-learning in the publicly funded
• 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?
Drivers for Change
•Work of Further Education Learning Technology Action Group
•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‟.
•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/
•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
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
What do we need
What are the barriers we need to address?
•Funding rules, evidence requirements and audit?
•Definitions and recording?
•Workforce policies and practices working patterns teaching