FE study

The FE and Skills Study will conduct desk research and consultation with students and other stakeholders, in order to extend the previous HE investigations to further education. The project will build on the findings and methods of the HE study in order to assess the extent to which those findings are relevant and applicable to the FE and skills sector.
The two main investigation questions are:

What do learners WANT (expectations)?
What do learners NEED to succeed (experiences)?

The project will run from 1 June 2014 to 31 March 2015. We anticipate that the project findings will support colleagues in further education to decide how and how often to monitor changing student expectations, what questions to ask about their experiences; and to decide where to direct efforts in managing and meeting incoming students’ expectations of the digital learning environment.

You can view a Youtube recording of Rhona Sharpe explaining the project to the Jisc Learning and Teaching Experts meeting on 24 June 2014 (note that while Rhona’s presentation mentions visits to Adult and Community Education sites this is no longer intended).

The project team comprises:
Professor Rhona Sharpe, Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development, Oxford Brookes University
Dr. Greg Benfield, Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development, Oxford Brookes University
Dr. Elizabeth Browne, School of Education, Oxford Brookes University
Dr. Metaxia Pavlakou Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development, Oxford Brookes University
Marilyn Hockley, independent consultant

If you have any queries about the project, please contact Prof Rhona Sharpe

16 replies on “FE study”

This looks like it should be very useful to our College. Will preliminary findings from the FE and Skills study be published here as it goes along, or will it all be published at the end of the project?

Hi Tavis, the project team will be blogging here regularly, and there will also be opportunities to hear interim findings at a series of consultation events. Final results will be published here on or before January 2015.

I look forward to following the progress of this project – it is very welcome and will be useful for staff development in FE. Will the study involve any learners in Scotland?

Hello Sarah
Thanks for your interest in this study. We had a project meeting today where we discussed the locations of the student focus groups. Yes, we would like to speak to learners in Scotland. If you know of colleges that might be able to give us access to learners, please could you encourage them to fill out our Expression of Interest form at http://bit.ly/1xYmP76.
We are collecting expressions of interest until the end of July.

Interesting that no sixth form colleges are on the list. I’m sure there must be interest in getting involved.

May I suggest that you employ the digital tool VocalEyes Digital Democracy as part of the mix at these face to face events please?
I’d also be happy to discuss running your topic for discussion inside VocalEyes groups in the FE colleges that has the system. Takes the guesswork out.
You would have qualitative and quantitative data from this exercise. Let me know if you want more information on this.
And best wishes to you all

Sarah (Pembrokeshire College)

Hi Sarah. Thank you for your suggestion. We weren’t aware of this so it looks like a really good lead. We’re pretty far into planning these events already but we’ll definitely follow up.
Best wishes
Greg (on behalf of the FE Digital Student project team)

Hi Greg

That’s great to read. If you’d like to pose your questions to thousands of FE students via the system let me know – you can have a sponsored topic and we will do the work for you – you will just receive the report.
If you’d like to make a great leap forward from the post it note to the digital it’s really quite easy to employ VocalEyes in a live situation and I’d be happy to facilitate this. I’ve used it in several meetings and conferences and it has worked well. Let me know if you want to pursue this. VocalEyes is cited by Estyn education inspectors as an example of best practice. It helped the University of Wales TSD gain its best ever NSS results and is being employed by many organisations for capturing and enhancing engagement. I’d love to see you use this as a tool (it is web-based) at your face to face events and also to capture data from students in FE colleges – the ones who don’t get to go to the meeting. It’s also great for avoiding the backlash decisions. Here’s my email: s.hoss@pembs.ac.uk

All the best


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