Welcome to the October issue of our Vocational Learning Resources newsletter. This month, we’re focusing on student engagement, a reminder about our Digital Learning Resources in FE Teaching Toolkit, September’s Digital Skills webinar, Colleges Week and this month’s chance to win a £30 National Book Token!
Keeping learners engaged
This month we’ve been thinking about student engagement. Keeping learners motivated and interested in online learning is a big concern: what do organisations need to consider in order to keep learners engaged?
Accessible to all
Transitioning to online learning may be difficult and stressful for some learners so making sure that the digital learning experience is as accessible as possible for all learners should be top priority.
When using a new platform or digital resource, try and adopt a ‘usability mindset’ and test them from the perspective of various students and their specific needs. Do the resources come in alternative formats? Is the software intuitive and easy to use? Are there any design features that detract from the usability?
Taking steps to ensure that the digital learning experience is accessible and inclusive helps all learners to participate and thrive in online learning environments.
Make it social
Keep the social element of learning alive! Break out rooms can be used on online conferencing platforms for smaller group discussion and can help facilitate active participation instead of passively listening to information.
Social media platforms can be a great way to continue engagement outside of the classroom. Instagram can be used for subjects with a heavy visual focus whereas Twitter can be used for re-tweeting relevant content, articles or videos and generating discussions.
Help students choose their own learning journey
Students are more motivated and engaged when they are part of the learning process. Learners can be given a greater sense of independence over their own learning journey by letting them focus on using resources that they naturally gravitate towards and reflect their learning style.
For some learners this could be reading through a bitesize guide, for others it could be using games and quizzes or watching videos. Let learners have an active role and consider asking for feedback on different tools or resources.
Digital Learning Resources in FE Teaching Toolkit now live!
Our Digital Learning Resources in FE Teaching Toolkit is now live! This free to use toolkit has been created to offer support and guidance on how FE teaching practitioners can use digital learning resources effectively.
The toolkit covers a wide range of topics related to using digital content in teaching and learning and has a ‘dip in’ format that means you can pick and choose the areas that will be the most beneficial for your continuing professional development.
Check out the toolkit by clicking on the link here: https://vocationalresources.support.jisc.ac.uk/feteachingtoolkit/
Digital Skills webinar now available
The recording and transcript of the 30 September webinar (‘Digital Skills’) is now available at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/training/e-books-for-fe-online-clinic
In this webinar, we covered:
• E-books and mobile devices
• Introducing the Digital Learning Resources in FE Teaching Toolkit
• An overview of our Vocational Learning Resources and our new pricing model
There will be no webinar in October, due to half term holidays. The next webinar will be on Wednesday 25 November from 2-3 pm, in which we will look at the updated e-books for FE support site, and, with members’ feedback, take stock of the term as a whole.
This week has been Colleges Week: a chance to celebrate and shout out about all the brilliant work colleges are doing.
Each day has had a specific theme to show how colleges have been at the centre of:
• The economic rebuild
• Growing and supporting individual sectors
• Innovation and designing the future
• Supporting people and supporting communities
• The COVID-19 response
Want to learn more about what’s been going on this week? Click here for the Love Our Colleges page or check out Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn by using the hashtags #LoveOurColleges and #CollegesWeek.
Win a £30 National Book Token
Remember that there’s still time to win a £30 National Book token this month! Answer the question below on Twitter, including @ebooksforfe and @fe_jisc in your tweets to be in for a chance at winning.
The question for October is:
“How are you supporting peer-to-peer learning in relation to our e-resources?”
Deadline: 31 October.
The winner will be announced in the November newsletter.