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Vocational Learning Resources Newsletter December

Welcome to the December issue of the Vocational Learning Resources Newsletter. Now we’re coming to the end of a very challenging year, we hope you all enjoy the upcoming break. In this newsletter, we’re reflecting on the past year and what we’ve learnt.

Reflecting on learner engagement

Last month, our webinar focused on reflections over the past term and how this year has influenced blended learning and the use of digital resources. If you missed it, you can catch up here.

One of the questions posed was how the increased focus on blended learning has affected interactions with students. A key theme was that the lack of footfall in physical spaces has led to organisations turning to online methods to help keep learners engaged. Colleges have been working on keeping learners engaged by highlighting subject specific resources and targeting potentially high usage groups. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter are being used to promote resources as well: a recent example of this is Northern Regional College who recently promoted our Vocational Learning Resources by highlighting a different service each day over the span of a week on their social media platforms.

Reflecting on building digital capabilities

Another key theme of this year has been the urgent need to develop the digital capabilities of staff and learners. Some colleges have tackled this issue by organising specific digital skills CPD events for staff or by embedding a digital skills course for students as part of the library induction process. However, some colleges have reported that they are still struggling to engage staff and students in this area.

In response to these concerns, we created our Digital Learning Resources in FE Teaching Toolkit which was released earlier this term. The toolkit was designed to help and support teaching practitioners use digital resources effectively to enhance their teaching practice and help improve outcomes for their learners.

The toolkit includes areas such as ‘Building digital capabilities’, ‘Using digital resources’ and ‘Keeping learners engaged’. If you haven’t checked out the toolkit already, you can find it here:

Reflecting on the use of digital resources

Due to COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns, blended and online learning became increasingly important. To help FE organisations during this incredibly difficult time, Jisc made their Vocational Learning Resources open and freely available from March until the end of July this year.

Though these resources are now back to a subscription service, we have set up 30 day trial option to help colleges explore the resources before deciding to take out a subscription.

The 30 day trial gives you access to all our services (Construction Training, Digital and IT Training, Education and Childcare Training and Health and Social Care Training). If you’re interested in learning more, you can go to the Vocational Learning Resources catalogue page here or contact us at

As a final note, we hope that you all get a well deserved break this Christmas and we’ll see you all in the New Year!

Stay in touch

Twitter: @FE_Jisc

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