Successfully reported this slideshow.
Your SlideShare is downloading. ×

What the learners say: FE learners' expectations and experiences of technology - Jisc Digital Festival 2015


Check these out next

1 of 35 Ad

What the learners say: FE learners' expectations and experiences of technology - Jisc Digital Festival 2015

Download to read offline

Is your college meeting your learners’ needs and expectations in relation to technology? This workshop shares current practice from providers who are engaging learners as active participants in the development of digital practices and strategies and will help equip you to develop best practice in your own college.

Is your college meeting your learners’ needs and expectations in relation to technology? This workshop shares current practice from providers who are engaging learners as active participants in the development of digital practices and strategies and will help equip you to develop best practice in your own college.


More Related Content

Slideshows for you (20)

Viewers also liked (20)


Similar to What the learners say: FE learners' expectations and experiences of technology - Jisc Digital Festival 2015 (20)

More from Jisc (20)


Recently uploaded (20)

What the learners say: FE learners' expectations and experiences of technology - Jisc Digital Festival 2015

  1. 1. Further education learners’ expectations and experiences of technology Sarah Knight - Senior co-design manager, Jisc John Webber - Professional learning and development manager, Sussex Downs College Ellen Lessner - FE Digital Student consultant Chris Fuller, Jordan Holder, Tyler Bond and Nikolas Melo
  2. 2. 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  3. 3. 4 The project aims to support colleagues in FE to: » decide how and how often to monitor changing learner expectations » decide where to direct efforts in managing and meeting learner expectations “I look forward to the findings.Too often we try and guess what our student expectations will be and often get things wrong.” FE Digital Student project 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  4. 4. » Introduction to FE Digital Student project » Activity: key themes from focus groups » Showcasing institutional practice: from student voice to student agency and leadership, Sussex Downs College » Resources to follow up: Jisc Digital Student online guide, video clips, posters and postcards Plan for today 509/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  5. 5. 6 » National projects, surveys and collections ceased after 2008-9 » Little quality research from the sector published » Reports of practice from a teacher’s perspective » Collections not tagged for learner experience Review of research into learners’ experiences and expectations in FE (2006 – 2014) 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  6. 6. 7 We conducted 12 Focus groups at six colleges, comprising 220 learners from: » Child Health and Social Care (Level 3, L1B & Higher) » Creative Media (vocational) » Animal Management (vocational) » IT (Level 3) » Sociology (AS & A2) Focus groups 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  7. 7. Tools 8 » Learner profile » Protocol » Card sort » What we learnt about conducting research in the FE setting Focus group protocol Skills 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  8. 8. » Their learning to be enhanced by the college’s use of technology e.g.VLE, online submission and assessment, mobile learning » To have anywhere, anytime, any device access to course materials » To have access to both formal and informal (e.g. social media) supports on and off campus » To learn at college how technology is used in the workplace » To be asked about their views and for them to make a difference What do learners expect from the digital environment in FE? 909/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  9. 9. Differentiation: how learners experience the digital environment Chris Davies, the learner and their context, Becta 10 Intensive and specialist enthusiast Mainstream pragmatist Unconnected and vulnerable 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  10. 10. 11 » 91% people aged 16 - 24 have access to the web at home, 71% have a smartphone (Adults Media Use &Attitudes Report, Ofcom, 2012) Experiences of the minority… For the unconnected and vulnerable Their experience is access-led 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  11. 11. 12 » Without the guidance of a creative teacher, learners tend to use technologies in passive, unimaginative ways » Teachers lack time to experiment, funding to purchase digital tools and convenient ways to access appropriate professional development or share innovations (Rebbeck et al., 2012; FELTAG, 2013) Experiences of the majority… For the mainstream pragmatists Their experience is tutor-led 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  12. 12. 13 » Some learners mobilise their personal digital literacy practices between the contexts of home, college and work (Bhatt, 2012) Experiences of the majority… For the intensive and specialist enthusiast Their experience is learner-led 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  13. 13. How can we best support all learners? 14 FE learners who are: Experience the digital environment as: Are supported best where: Mainstream pragmatists Tutor-led Pedagogy-led Institution-led Staff have confidence to experiment with activities and tools Intensive and specialist enthusiasts Learner-led Technology-led Social digital literacy practices are valued and new practices made explicit Unconnected and vulnerable Access-led Access solutions targeted at this group 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  14. 14. 15 Learners are challenged when… Suggestions from FE Digital Student Consultation Events Unconnected and vulnerable Mainstream pragmatists Intensive and specialist enthusiasts Learners’ specific access needs are not taken into account. Technologies introduced are unfamiliar. Social stigma associated with not having access to technology. Online submission of assessed work is mandatory. Rural areas with reduced bandwidth. Assumptions are made about learners’ skills. Either assuming skills that are not yet developed or assuming low expectations of vulnerable learners e.g. disabled learners frequently make intensive and specialist use of technology. Induction is limited to Week 1. Learning Resource Centre is closed. English/literacy skills are too weak to read instructions or navigate tools. Lecturers lack time to experiment, funding to purchase kit or confidence to try using unfamiliar technologies. Assessment boards do not support use of technology. Access to college systems is not available from home. Technologies used in college are not the same as those used in life and employment e.g. E stream rather than YouTube. Lack of funding limits innovation. Learners’ attempts to appropriate personal and social uses of technology for learning purposes are dismissed or ignored. Learners are not connected e.g. logged out of wifi after set period. Infrastructure is not reliable and robust. Learners are not permitted to use their preferred hardware and software. Hardware, software and infrastructure provided by the organisation is not up to date e.g. old operating systems, slow wifi. Learner expectations exceed what colleges/providers have the resource to provide. Learners are not aware of relevant apps support their study. Learners are challenged when… 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  15. 15. Learners are challenged when… 16 Meeting the needs of all learners Learners are supported when… Suggestions from FE Digital Student Consultation Events Unconnected and vulnerable Mainstream pragmatists Intensive and specialist enthusiasts Solutions are developed for learners’ specific needs e.g. portable classrooms, use of mobiles and tablets, gaming, kindles. Loan equipment and bursary schemes are in place for e.g. USB dongle, tablets, mobiles, netbooks, laptops. (Targeted schemes seem to be more successful than comprehensive roll outs). Include overnight and weekends. Library and ICT support open all hours. (Could be combined with teaching half days). Learners have access to support sessions and ‘how to’ guides and videos. Induction and ongoing support is tailored to the curriculum and employment. Good quality online content can be accessed on a range of devices. One to one coaching and support is offered. Support builds confidence as well as skills. Peer learning is offered. There are opportunities to discuss why technology is beneficial. Tutors inspire use of technology. Guidance is given on purposeful use of technology. Colleges/provider assess learners’ skills in, and access to, digital technology. Lecturers encourage use of technology to develop relevant skills e.g. criticality, self-management and skills for employment. There are clear expectations about technology use, shared by learners and staff. There is management and strategic support for digital engagement. Lecturers are well supported by e-learning specialist teams and tutor technology champions e.g. ideas for apps to use the classroom. CPD for ICT offered in INSET days. Learners are supported in applying their technical skills for learning. Learning activities are scaffolded with good quality content. Technology use is embedded into lessons. Teachers are enthusiastic about technology use. Technology use is under learners’ control, without restrictions. Learners’ choices are valued and supported. Learners are set challenging goals. Opportunities are there for leaners to explore and use technology independently. Access to social media sites is permitted. The college culture and infrastructure is orientated towards mobile, personally owned and/or loaned devices e.g. can print from wifi, mobile ready websites, cloud file storage, software licenses available for home use, remote desktop services, charging facilities and secure storage are provided. Lecturers are not afraid to learn how to use technology with learners. Digital literacy support includes e-safety. Don’t let learners’ ‘saviness’ fool you. More creative and flexible assessment strategies e.g. choice of how to present work. There are good peer support networks. Learners are given the opportunity to mentor other learners and tools to perform peer assessment. Learners are involved in decisions about IT purchase and implementation. Decisions are negotiated. 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  16. 16. 7 key themes 17 Don’t assume we are digitally literateWe need ongoing development We expect the same (or better) services as in school… We expect college to provide what we need… We expect modern learning resources that are easy to find and use We want to work with lecturers… Ask us what we need… 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  17. 17. Instructions Possible questions for discussion 18 » Each table has been allocated a card » Each card represents a key theme from the focus groups » Share ideas on the padlet: » What does your college already do in response? » What more could you be doing? (see support and challenge handouts) » What suggestions will you take back? Activity: key themes from the focus groups 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  18. 18. Steps towards students as digital leaders From student voice to student agency and leadership John Webber – Professional learning and development manager at Sussex Downs College Chris Fuller, Jordan Holder , Tyler Bond and Nikolas Melo
  19. 19. From student voice to student agency and leadership 20 Student voice as part of Quality Assurance 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student » Student surveys and focus groups to inform quality judgments: » Usually closed questions against pre-determined standards » Limited opportunity to unpack students’ views » Generally do not invite suggestions from students
  20. 20. 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student 21 » Introduced as requirement for funded action research projects » Helped inform judgments of the effectiveness of the innovation » But still treated students as passive recipients Student feedback to inform summative evaluation of piloted innovation From student voice to student agency and leadership
  21. 21. 22 From student voice to student agency and leadership 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  22. 22. 23 » Proposed innovation discussed with students in advance › Establish shared understanding of the goals › Agree key principles » Students seen as partners in the process › Encouraged to provide feedback throughout via polls and focus groups » In-depth focus groups and interviews › actively inform adaptation and refinement of process Students as active participants in innovative practice From student voice to student agency and leadership 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  23. 23. Case study of students as partners in innovation: Flipped Learning
  24. 24. Initial response 25 Case study: Flipped learning 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  25. 25. “Set and maintain clear expectations” “The iPad of shame” 26 Flipped learning – what the students told us 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  26. 26. 27 What the students told us “We like:” 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  27. 27. 28 What the students told us We like: 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  28. 28. Students as leaders of innovation Student digital advisory team
  29. 29. Students leading digital innovation 3009/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  30. 30. Find out more… Contact… Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND JohnWebber Learning technology innovation @jwwweb
  31. 31. 32 » 50 institutional exemplars (based round seven challenge areas) » ‘Digital students are different’ posters » ‘Enhancing the digital experience for students’ cards » FE Learner voices videos » ‘Enhancing the student digital experience: a strategic approach’ guide – The Digital Student – resources you can use 09/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  32. 32. Digital students are different posters 3309/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  33. 33. Enhancing the digital student experience postcards 3409/03/2015 Jisc Digital Student
  34. 34. Find out more… Contact… Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND Sarah Knight Senior co-design manager, Jisc

Editor's Notes

  • Comments on the blog
    Robert Cooper, Gateshead ‘I look forward to the findings. Too often we try and guess what our student expectations will be and often get things wrong.
  • We searched.

    Abstracts and proceedings of conferences
    Journals (8 included)
    Websites of organisations (23 sector reports included)
    Collections of case studies (25 included)
    Ofsted reports
    Institutional documents (7 included)

    While we noted a great deal of interest from sector bodies in the use of technology to support learning, and on engaging learners in the decisions that are made about this, their reports are not research based. While some colleges have started to conduct their own research, there is little synthesis and dissemination of their findings nationally. Given that learners and their teachers are living in a technology rich environment which is rapidly changing, it is essential that research continues at both the local and the national level to keep pace with changing learner expectations.

  • We also met over 200 learners in focus groups.

    Colleges in England, Scotland and Wales. Most learners were co-operative, articulate and willing to engage (some exceptions, classroom mngmt skills needed)

    We saw learners in cohort groups because...

    We tried to look at incoming and outgoing expectations but didn’t find much differences between Y1 and Y2 learners.

    We looked at a range of qualifications. Didn’t find much difference there, but did find differences between subjects, which is worthy of further investigation

    22/12/14 – emailed Marilyn to ask for details of the qualifications the learners were studying.
  • Explain the card sort
    The instructions and cards are available from the website
  • We found these out pretty much from the lit review. No real surprises there other than possibly (1), with its emphasis on LEARNING. Learners expect technology to make a difference to their learning and for college to know how to do that and explain it to them.
  • BUT learners experience the digital environment differently.

    Given the diversity in the learner demographics, backgrounds, qualifications and modes of study, it is unsurprising that learners in further education experience digital environments in a myriad of different ways. There is tendency in sector reports to present learners as confident, positive and motivated about the use of technology.

    Davies et al (2010) large scale research for Becta with interviews with 132 young people and home visits with family members for 35 of them. Found 16-19 year old learners on a spectrum from intensive and specialist enthusiasts, to mainstream pragmatists (majority), and unconnected and vulnerable learners. The great majority regularly use digital technology in the home for a range of purposes.

    ‘Pragmatist’ is an interesting choice of description for the mainstream. By 2010, the 3rd year of data collection, learners were less enthusiastic and more saw technology as mundane and necessary. Interviewees spoke of only being on Facebook because they had to, because everyone else was, rather than because of any enthusiasm for it.

  • Let’s deal with the minority at this end of the scale first…

    For these learners, family and/or personal circumstances prevent them from having access and ownership to technology. They lack opportunities and resources for study, for participation in the online world of their peers and for developing technology skills.

    Clearly, we have a responsibility to provide access to such learners, although solutions are not always obvious. In the Becta survey, there was a correlation between learners having personal access to the Internet and the extent to which they use the Internet for their school or college work. That is, learners who do not have access at home, were not necessarily taking advantage of the facilities provided by college (Becta, 2008).

    Learner experience research offers some suggestions on working with learners at this point on the spectrum. One of the key findings from the MoLeNET projects was that one of the impacts of mobile technologies is to ‘help to overcome the digital divide between those learners who have broadband access at home and those who do not’ (Attewell et al 2009). It seems that these learners are best supported where provision is targeted at their access needs.

    We founds lots of case studies that illustrate targeted solutions for such unconnected and vulnerable learners. It is noted that most of these were concerned with access related to specific learning needs (the ‘vulnerable’), rather than access to technology per se (the ‘unconnected’). And actually our experience of meeting learners with access needs (eg. RNIB is that they quickly become very sophisticated users of technology.

  • The majority regularly use technology in their home for a range of purposes. They share and accumulate a range of technology practices. Regard technologies as instrumental in in achieving goals. Some may have had negative experiences and be ambivalent, even resistant.

    For mainstream pragmatists, their experiences are dominated by issues of pedagogy. This group encompasses the majority of learners whose experience of using technology is influenced to a large extent by the activities designed by their tutors and the environments provided by their institutions .

    This is reflected in the FE Ofsted report (Judges, 2013) which showed that in subjects/courses rated as ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ teachers did not used the available technology ‘creatively’, ‘imaginatively’ or ‘innovatively’; they seemed to have good access to equipment and new technologies to support learning but too often this expensive technology was used only for PowerPoint presentations: ‘the interactive features of new technologies are not used sufficiently’ (p. 102); ‘teachers fail to realize its full potential’ (p. 23); ‘much use is unimaginative, with insufficient involvement of learners in interactive programmes or teachers spending too long talking through computer presentations (p. 106). Also, again in courses rated poorly, it was found that ‘too many teachers lack confidence in their own skills or are unaware of the range of learning materials available to them’ (p. 106). On the contrary, when teachers used the available resources successfully they made learning informative and fun and motivated their students (Judges, 2013).

    Learner experience shows that left without the guidance of a creative teacher, learners tend to use technologies in passive, unimaginative ways.

    Our review supports FELTAG’s recommendation that’ The entire workforce has to be brought up to speed to fully understand the potential of learning technology.

  • These learners present themselves as highly engaged, adaptable and collaborative learners of technological processes and behaviours. They develop trajectories of personal technology interest that have implications for areas of study and employment.

    For intensive and specialist enthusiasts, their experiences are dominated by the extent to which they are able to appropriate social and personal uses of technology for learning purposes. FELTAG characterises such learners as ‘digital leaders’ and recommends engaging and empowering this group so that they can ‘fully exploit their own understanding of and familiarity with digital technology for their own learning’ (BIS, 2013, p.5).

    It is important to remember that this group is a minority of our population. Although young people in general are enthusiastic and confident technology-users, only a minority of sophisticated users have developed self-directed approaches to their formal learning.

    Digital literacy practices developed in personal context have a high degree of purposefulness and ownership which are not apparent in the tasks learners are asked to complete in college (Mannion et al, 2009)

    Young people in general are enthusiastic and confident technology users but only a minority of students had developed self-directed approaches to their formal learning. (Davies 2010)

    Learner experience research shows that recognition and respect for learners’ everyday literacy practices will help teachers understand their students and, crucially, will help to negotiate the borderland between home/leisure and educational/curriculum practices (Miller & Satchwell, 2006).

  • In the consultation events, staff and students have come up with lots of ideas about how different learners find different aspects of the digital environment challenging.
  • They also generated lots of ideas for supporting learners. These handouts are on the website (for Edinburgh event)

    The important point is that colleges need to do something from each column in order to meet the needs of ALL learners.
  • See handout with illustrative quotes

    Some themes around technology
    Some around the skills learners need
    Willingness to engage and work with staff

  • Voice -> Agency -> Leadership

  • Student input to ePedagogy often limited to end of year surveys

    Used as a quality statistic or to satisfy Ofsted

  • Integrating student evaluation into action research projects

  • listening to students talking about their experiences of learning technology challenged us to rethink

  • The next phase of student engagement has been particularly valuable, when introducing innovation where there was significant uncertainty

  • “At first I thought ‘Oh oh, homework!’ Then I realised it was actually useful”

  • If some students don’t do the work, don’t repeat the flipped learning for them
    One of the solutions we used was setting the students of going to the back of the class to watch the video on an iPad. The students soon nicknamed it the “iPad of shame”.
    Other teachers send students to the learning centre to watch the videos and make notes before they are allowed back into class
    Students respond quickly and positively to this

  • Being able to pause and rewind the teacher
    Being able to make better notes
    Having more interesting lessons
    Coming to class confident to contribute

  • Choosing when and where to learn
    Being able to catch up when we are away
    Everyone starting on a level playing field
    Students being able to lead their own and each others’ learning

  • We are now in the process of recruiting students to an advisory team

  • These guys didn’t wait to be invited!