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2 RSC Impact Report ACADEMIC YEAR 2010-2011 RSC Impact Report ACADEMIC YEAR 2010-2011 3 Vital support JISC Regional Support Centres (RSCs) play a vital role in the contribution of enhancing lifelong learning. Working with small HE Institutions, FE and Skills providers across the UK, we advise on the effective use of technology and e-learning. Through the provision of tailor-made support, we respond to the individual needs of learning providers to help them fulfil their technology objectives. This support can take a variety of forms; from advice and guidance to mutual support and from knowledge sharing with other organisations, to partnering with the specialist services offered by JISC Advance. Our strength lies in the expertise of our staff who come from a wide variety of educational, commercial and technological backgrounds and bring depth and breadth to our contextualised support. We have an excellent reputation for responsive and innovative support with over ten years experience in the sector. Effective engagement Our feedback shows that our learning providers have been consistently • We delivered over 2,500 consultations with UK learning providers to help them meet their technology objectives. satisfied with our work. • We supported around 200 work-based learning network meetings to promote sharing of good practice. What makes us different? • Delivering ‘on the ground’ in-depth knowledge to providers, partners and sectors. • We held nearly 650 events and peer-to-peer forums, attended by approximately 10,000 delegates. • A critical friend providing independent and unbiased support. • A broker for expert advice, information and research outcomes from JISC and partners. • We participated in more than 600 activities with partners to share our • Bringing people and organisations together to achieve the best results. knowledge and expertise. • Facilitating the sharing of best practice and innovation. • Over 350 learning providers benefited from bespoke training to address • A national network uniquely tailoring advice in response to local needs. sector priorities and/or learn specific techniques. • RSC websites collectively received in excess of 150,000 visitors. “It’s a sounding board, a safety net and a collaborative forum. It’s invaluable when it comes “The RSCs HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS to sharing knowledge between provide technical likeminded organisations and expertise relating we certainly benefit from and champion this service.” to educational provision which 87% 2,000 95% 100 is not available Our 2011 Customer More than 2,000 Our 2011 Customer We published over 100 elsewhere.” Satisfaction Survey delegates participated Satisfaction Survey case studies of good showed 87% of in online events. revealed 95% of RSC practice, two thirds of customers were satisfied event attendees came these feature on the with our service. away satisfied. Excellence Gateway.
4 RSC Impact Report ACADEMIC YEAR 2010-2011 RSC Impact Report ACADEMIC YEAR 2010-2011 5 “I would not be able to perform my role anywhere near as well as I do How we have helped if the RSC were not as active in my These case studies show how RSCs have worked with learning providers to address these key concerns. role and development as they have been in the three years that I have Collaborative working saves money been in this position.” Achieving efficiency and cutting costs are vital challenges for the sector. Through a JISCMail list co- ordinated by the RSC, Sector Heads of IT have been able to share ideas within their community and, as a result, achieve savings. Members on the list found wide variance when they shared the prices they pay for technical items, the specification for computers and the service contract details from a major vendor. The result was the renegotiation of costs and specification of computers bought. It has also allowed some providers to bulk-buy between themselves to reduce costs. The full case study is available here. Strategic achievements lead to CPD programmes In keeping with a recent directive by the Department of Employment and Learning for Northern Ireland (DELni) to embed ILT in Further Education, and to assist local colleges the RSC carried out a series of bespoke ILT benchmarking activities mapping results to the Education and Training Inspectorates IQ: RS Framework (Improving Quality:Raising Standards). Colleges could identify how Collaborative partnership working effectively technology was being utilised for both teaching and wider engagement and worked with the RSC in developing their ILT Strategy and subsequent design and implementation of an ILT staff • We brought our regional expertise and knowledge to the CoFHE national development programme. working group to help create a Learning Resources self assessment toolkit. In 2009/10 DELni invited the area based colleges to pilot blended learning, selecting the RSC • We inspired a Welsh Government Skills project to use technology allowing to support the pilot. As a direct result in 2011 DELni commissioned an accredited CPD initiative ‘Technology in Learning Delivery’ which all lecturing staff are required to complete in order to deliver members to connect and collaborate online. blended learning. • We published over 75 case studies of good practice on the Excellence As partners of DELni, we are the main support organisation for this initiative, assisting the FE sector Gateway, an online resource hub for the FE and Skills communities. in the production, packaging and hosting of the online course content. Through our extensive • We harnessed JISC Advance specialist services to: experience and modelling the blended learning approach, we will assist delivery through train the trainer programmes, offering efficiency savings to providers. – devise a common Acceptable Use Policy for Northern Ireland learning providers with JISC Legal – source books in accessible formats with JISC TechDis advice. Mobile learning introduced for apprentices We supported Acorn Training in Derbyshire to introduce an e-learning system that supports teaching and learning for apprentices. The RSC Advisor was able to implement experience of the benefits of e-portfolio systems used in learning providers throughout the region to help guide Acorn on their Meeting the challenges journey to develop their own bespoke version. We are experts in keeping abreast of the educational agenda and the benefits that using technology This online learning platform ensured that apprentices could can bring. RSCs advise on a wide range of topics in response to providers’ needs and challenges directly access their course online anywhere; vital when they are impacting the quality of the learning experience in each provider. In 2010/11 the top concerns identified learning in workplaces across the local area. The system were: incorporates both internal resources and links to “They act as our top • Addressing funding issues appropriate external resources. Learners and level e-learning advisers and • Improving development of staff employers have found this style of learning flexible and interactive. will have both saved us money • Utilising mobile technology and helped us earn money /access • Strategic development Acorn has achieved a qualification success rate for apprentices of 89-93% over the last three sources of funding.” • Meeting accessibility requirements and the Single Equality Duty years, which is above the national average and can • Using online distance learning be, in part, attributed to the support from the RSC.
6 RSC Impact Report ACADEMIC YEAR 2010-2011 RSC Impact Report ACADEMIC YEAR 2010-2011 7 “It’s definitely working with partnerships, such as [with] the Implementing a successful strategy redevelopment JISC RSC South West, that really works very well – because they are a part of what we A key aspect of our service is to create lasting impact across organisations and share knowledge from do. I think that these networks act as a expertise within learning providers. RSCs carry out E-Progress Reviews to help organisations assess their strengths and weaknesses in e-learning provision. conduit for sharing. We certainly would not have known about so many things An E-progress Review at Lakes College, Cumbria, led to the redevelopment of its ILT strategy. We brought available without these kinds together key personnel to ask pertinent questions, involving face-to-face interviews with staff, managers and groups of learners. The findings of the review informed senior management discussions, which led of partnerships.” the college to better reflect its current organisational aims and inform a clear development plan. As a result of our work the college has a clearer picture of the use and effectiveness of technology in teaching, learning and support. As part of its follow-up support, a review of actions taken by Lakes College against the RSC recommendations was also undertaken. Accessibility app achieves greater success for learners AccessApps, developed by the RSCs and JISC TechDis, is a collection of portable and free software applications, which can be used securely from a USB stick on any Windows computer. The applications are arranged into collections which provide solutions to support writing, reading and planning as well as sensory, cognitive and physical difficulties and MyStudyBar, which provides a suite of apps to support literacy. Coleg Gwent in Newport requested advice to help learners that need additional support achieve greater VLE reaps rewards and awards success as well as to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act and inspection criteria. We provided support, information and guidance that enabled Coleg Gwent to distribute the software to 8,500 full Through direct support and advice provided by the RSC, S&B Automotive Academy in Bristol secured time and work-based learners. MyStudyBar was subsequently installed on every networked PC and funding for an online learning project which has led to their winning a bronze award at the IMS AccessApps now forms part of the college’s induction. Staff received training to use AccessApps in their Global Learning Impact Awards in 2011. own work and to help support students. The ‘Jericho’ project involved the purchase of network cameras installed at apprentices’ places of work The impact is that all learners and staff have benefited. One learner used DSpeech (converting text to to create a more efficient system of assessment. Now, assessment can take place at any time required; speech) to record a ‘rap’ that has been incorporated into their musical composition. the assessor logs in to the VLE and accesses the online camera for that apprentice’s workplace. The project also allows the learning provider to host virtual workplace visits at schools allowing potential candidates to exchange information about the benefits of the scheme with existing apprentices, helping to increase retention. “Feedback from the majority We helped to write the funding bid, exploring whether similar projects were already in existence, provided guidance on the length of interactive online sessions and found quantitative evidence from of staff and learners has the National Learner Satisfaction Survey to tailor the bid by incorporating former student feedback. been excellent. AccessApps has been beneficial to Without the successful bid S&B would still have ten assessors having to cover 300,000 miles to assess 450 candidates all across the UK, taking over 10,000 hours travelling to assessments. learners with literacy “My tutor used DSpeech to convert written difficulties, dyslexia, and text from the internet into mp3 format, ESOL learners; in particular transferring the file to the class using tools and software such as Bluetooth. I was able to listen to this on my HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS VuBar, DSpeech and the phone in class. I could listen to this at home screen Magnifier…” if needed to. Written work is not my strong We have helped colleges We have boosted We have partnered We have led provider point so recording an answer would be to reduce their overall IT collaborative Government agencies in strategic development quicker and easier for me.” costs. working across senior the roll out of blended reviews. management teams. learning initiatives.