This event was organised jointly by the three RSC regions London, Eastern and South East. Held in the impressive building of Goodenough College, the aim was to bring together a group of like-minded work-based learning (WBL) providers and to give them the opportunity to listen to a range of sector related topics. The day attracted 65 delegates from across the regions representing all areas of responsibility and a broad range of vocational programmes.
The event was led by a presentation from Victor Farlie (above), Chair of the London Work Based Learning Alliance (LWBLA). Victor gave an interesting strategic view of the work based learning sector. The session covered long term trends, business expectations and some of the drivers that today’s providers are confronted with. Victor Farlie – presentation
Following the opening presentation, Ron Mitchell and Danny Atwere from LSN gave an insight into what mobile technology was currently available to both learners and assessors. The range includes the many free applications that are available to download from the web, small communication and evidence gathering devices, many of which are already owned by learners, e.g. mobile phones, games consoles and MP3s. Danny also informed the delegates of the advantages of working in partnership with a FE college and applying for a MoLeNET grant.
Mobile Technology presentation
Jane Hart, a social Media and learning consultant, presented her views and experience on how social networking is already being used in e-learning. Jane regularly presents at e-learning conferences and events in the UK, internationally and globally online. She has also written a number of printed and e-books about learning technologies.
The Future of e-Learning is Social Learning
The day’s events continued with an introduction to Moodle by Richard Goddard from Learning Objectivity. Faced with a good mix of delegates that was made up of users, contemplators and non-users, Richard gave a brief layman’s insight to the open-source learning environment, Moodle, and its use and applications. What is Moodle?
The afternoon sessions continued with two presentations on e-portfolios. The first to go was Skillwise user, Tori Pickup from Introtrain. Introtrain is a provider based in Oxfordshire that specialises in delivering training in hairdressing. To encourage providers to use e-portfolios in this vocational area is challenging but Introtrain has embraced the technology and now it is widely used by their learners at all levels. Tori explained how they use their e-portfolio alongside some of the more conventional methods of evidence collecting to assist those learners that have restricted access to computers and technology. Introtrain presentation
The second e-portfolio presentation was from Mel Jones of NVQUK who spoke about an alternative system and how it works with provider MIS systems. The tracking and reporting systems that are available with the product featured highly during the presentation.
Dr Simon Ball from JISC TechDis gave a very informative and enthusiastic presentation on inclusion and accessibility. Dr Ball made an entertaining start to his session by asking all the delegates to tear a piece of paper while trying to follow some ‘normal’ instructions. This simple exercise established that even the most alert and receptive person does not always fully understand what is meant. The presentation went on to give the audience a host of ideas and techniques on how to make a session more inclusive. Dr Simon Ball – presentation
The day closed with a hands-on session on audience response technology, also known as voting systems, by Rob Anderson from Qwizdom. To illustrate some of the uses of the system the audience were issued with small wireless consoles and asked a series of simple questions. The answers and feed back were instantly presented in various formats and the audience were shown how the results could be categorised by individual, gender or any other pre-programmed variable.
The day ended with a clear consensus that a similar event should be run again next year.