ETF Research Conference 2016 abstracts edited

A range of research papers from teachers and trainers on the Education and Training Foundation’s practitioner research programme were presented to the ETF’s Research Conference in July 2016.

Papers examined a wide range of topics including: teaching and learning in prison education; addressing barriers to functional English; improving maths GCSE outcomes and mathematics teaching in vocational settings; and promoting British values in teaching and learning.

The following are summaries of the paper abstracts. Each gives you a flavour of the research undertaken and, in many instances, the project structure, methodologies and key findings.

The intention is to publish the research papers in full at a later date and, it is hoped, that these summaries will, in the meantime, whet your appetites and, perhaps, encourage you to undertake your own research.  The full papers will be assessed by the University of Sunderland’s exam board as all practitioners on the practitioner research programme are eligible for credits towards an MA.  For more information on the practitioner research opportunities please visit

Just suppose teaching and learning became the first priority... in prison education (with acknowledgements to Professor Frank Coffield) “If students don't learn the way we teach them, then we must teach them the way they learn. Sometimes those ways they learn require us to change the ways in which we teach.” Tate 2004

The above statement has been fundamental in my teaching philosophy: placing the learner first.
I fully support the findings of the Dame Sally Coates’ report ‘Unlocking potential: A review of education in prison’ which was published in May 2016.  The report mirrors my own belief, that you need a whole prison approach to education. However, there is no indication of the changes that are needed to the delivery model to support the new approach.  In our work we describe how we intend to introduce this practice into the delivery of mathematics at HMP Humber. We have already implemented one element of the Coates report; namely, delivering Level 3 Core Mathematics with learners taking the exam in May 2016.

Michael Allcock, functional mathematics team leader at HMP Humber; Darren Rogers, HMP Humber and Rachel Cook, HMP Humber. SUNCETT Exploratory Maths & English Project Practitioners.

Whoosh! Zap! Whoa! Leading reading with a challenge.

The research explores the impact of implementing a series of reading workshops (reading challenge) as a case study to measure learners’ views about reading and whether it leads them to discover and develop their reading potential. The research aim was to determine the validity, relevance and impact of this approach to improving the reading fluency and engagement of a wide range of learners across college.

Preliminary findings indicate that learners have widened their scope of reading materials and are displaying confidence in making choices about what they read and evaluating the content in detail.
Tutor feedback indicates that the reading challenge has facilitated learners to cultivate their knowledge of the world both on a local and global stage, and provided an opportunity to discuss issues relating to equality and diversity.  The research indicates that reading is a core skill which can have a significant impact on attainment and can underlie success in writing skills.

Baljinder Bains, librarian team leader at Burton and South Derbyshire College. SUNCETT Research Development Fellow.

‘The Power of Together’ Collaborative Practitioner Development

Our organisation has promoted collaborative learning practices for educators since 2012.  Our observations have confirmed that certain circumstances are essential for effective practitioner development and collaboration: resource; autonomy; trust; perseverance.  However, a word of caution on the language we use and our expectations. Essentially, it has become very easy to make broad and wide sweeping statements about teacher developmental practices because they often have very similar mechanisms and even similar outcomes. But there are differences too.  Some emphasise the role of evidence based practice and practitioner research. Others, the role of collaboration between teachers, or within departmental teams. Some focus on how the development of skills changes the ‘situatedness’ of a practitioner within their learning community, whilst others focus on the community connections.

Understanding these nuances and making explicit choices between forms of collaborative practice leads us to be more specific and careful in our terminology and in what we can and cannot expect from any collaborative learning technique for practitioners.

Emily Barrell, quality improvement manager, Realise Futures Learning & Development. Emily is a previous SUNCETT Research Development Fellow.

Curriculum Design has been squashed by the “Teach to the Test” culture.

Since the government reforms which made study of English compulsory for 16-19 year olds, it has been a challenge to accommodate the sheer number of students entering the college with a D grade, or lower.
Tutors who are specialists in teaching Functional Skills English but who have little experience of teaching the literature element of GCSE English valiantly stepped into the breach. Many initially felt ill-prepared and unsure of what and how to teach.

As we move from controlled assessments and exam to a completely linear delivery, we have the opportunity to develop a more engaging and collaborative curriculum.  We hope to develop an interactive, accessible scheme of work by creating a collaborative community of practice to share ideas and strategies; we will hit the ground running in September 2016.  We want to give some of the power to the students so that they “own” their learning. We will translate the AQA English Language specification to good teaching, learning and assessment which will meet the full range of students' needs and provide an appropriate level of challenge.  In turn, this scheme of work will link with Functional Skills, using similar texts to teach the necessary skills, allowing students to seamlessly progress from Level 2 to GCSE.

Alison Bartrip, English and maths coordinator at Barking & Dagenham College; Jayme McClory, English lecturer, Barking & Dagenham College. SUNCETT Exploratory Maths & English Project Practitioners.

To understand L1 (first language) interference in diagnostic assessments for numeracy and to establish L1 interference in learning in a numeracy classroom.

The project was developed to look at the level of language used in maths diagnostics, initially to help examine language issues within a mixed-level ability maths group within a local remand prison setting.
We were concerned with identifying language barriers which disrupted assessment in numeracy specifically in a prison setting with high churn and low levels of literacy.  We took a basic skills assessment and took language from the assessment, making the tasks picture based. We used three samples of ESOL students with little exposure to maths vocabulary to assess their level of maths against their current diagnostic score.

Samples were taken from two different establishments HMP Pentonville and HMP Moorlands with resources being designed at HMP Lindholme. Working across sites has allowed us to sample both short and long stay prisoners in the class samples.  The education teams on each site have helped to develop and refine resources designed to assist learners at the end of this project. Work on Schema Theory and Dual Coding has allowed us to focus learners’ attention on specific information when designing and developing resources.

Lindsay Battersby, deputy education manager, HMP Lindholme. SUNCETT Exploratory Maths & English Project Practitioner.

‘I worry about the future’: enhancement, inclusion and participation of non-traditional students in art and design higher education.

The presentation aims to discuss and evaluate Bernstein’s idea of a democratic education within the context of current art and design education. It asks whether or not all students receive a democratic education.

The analysis draws upon the findings of a longitudinal study about post-Access to HE students' experiences as they undertook their degrees in art and design. Through narrative inquiry it was possible to show how these students used continuous reflexivity and practical wisdom in order to meet both the demands of the degree programme and those of their families.

At the same time as they were pursuing the dream of becoming an artist or designer, post-Access to HE students did not always enjoy their academic achievements. This was due to worry and self-doubt coming from a perception that they were different from other students in their cohort.  It was found that some aspects of art and design pedagogy positioned mature students as 'other'.  But both post-Access and traditional students on occasion drew upon their past experiences and character to act well on their degrees for themselves and others. This was sometimes stymied by the managerialism of the institution so students did not always maintain or develop self-confidence, feel included or participate politically in their education (important facets of Bernstein's pedagogic rights).

Dr Samantha Broadhead, head of research at Leeds College of Art. SUNCETT Research Development Fellow 2010-2011.

16-18 Teaching, Learning and Assessment: How can we address barriers to Functional English by assessing and tracking the collaborative skills of learners?

To correspond with the new criteria for the Common Inspection Framework (CIF) - Personal development, behaviour and welfare - research is needed to assess and develop collaboration skills in individuals in the classroom.

Therefore, an innovative approach should be used to extend teaching, learning and assessment activities to make the English Functional Skills criteria more relevant for the diverse range of learners in our catchment area.  To prepare learners for their next step, the use of a student profile to record their developing cognitive problem solving skills, social skills and IT skills, will be trialled. This will help to increase learners' awareness of the significance of working collaboratively in the current employment market and work towards improving the overall economic activity in the local community.

Sally Carpenter, lecturer at Dearne Valley College; Alison Todd, lecturer at Dearne Valley College. SUNCETT Exploratory Maths & English Project Practitioners.

Learner Voice: Silence Speaks Volumes

Although widely acclaimed as ‘good practice’, the use of Learner Voice as a means of evaluating educational experiences of students does not appear to be living up to its name. We want to know why.
Many of our students and colleagues appear disinterested in the process and those who do engage often get neither action nor response to their input. Staff have expressed frustration at their powerlessness to effect changes for students across the college.

In this report we discuss our findings from interviews and focus groups with staff and students about their experiences of Learner Voice to identify what makes it effective in one area and not in another. We also asked our participants to contribute ideas to improve the current process.  Our findings indicate the key roles of confidence, power and language in our current process as well as the impact of organisational structure on the communication of these ideas. We also examine literature, research related to the use of Learner Voice in Further Adult and Vocational Education contexts. We explore the key theories of ideal conditions for participation in Learner Voice and the different activities and purposes that it is used for.

Celia Clarke, tutorial mentor at Sheffield College; Francesca Devlin, tutorial mentor and safeguarding/well-being officer at Sheffield College. SUNCETT Research Development Fellows.

Improving Maths GCSE Outcomes in FE

The Department for Education awarded around £35,000 to Sussex Downs College (SDC) and City College Brighton (CCB) in order to improve the outcomes for this year’s GCSE cohort. CCB already had very encouraging pass rates, SDC have been working to emulate their success.

In collaboration with The University of Brighton, SDC have pioneered the ‘Essential 8’ approach based upon these strategies and have deployed it across the GCSE cohort. The ‘Essential 8’ is a set of questions which follow a set order of 8 repeated topics and is designed as a starter to each lesson. CCB remained with their proven approach, utilising IT and realistic mock exams.  Learners have been able to use IT in the classroom, for the first time at SDC, to access online, self-marking past paper software (an activity which CCB use to great effect). Many have taken the opportunity to additionally engage with this out of class contact time.

We have established a cadre of talented and informed maths educators as a process of the funding which will have lasting benefits for future student cohorts.

John Cooper, GCSE maths lecturer at Sussex Downs College; Louise Kazimierczyk, GCSE maths lecturer at Sussex Downs College. DfE funded Shared Learning Grant Project Practitioners.

Finding my Way: The Long-term Impact of Specialist Residential Education

Despite evidence from the National Audit Office (2011) indicating that specialist provision reduces lifetime support costs, budget holding commissioners may still perceive this as a costly option in the short term.
Although progress for learners with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) can be identified whilst at college, it is difficult to measure how this impacts on wellbeing and quality of life beyond college.
Drawing on Vygotskian literature, the research explored which areas of progress (self-care and support; participation; autonomy) were sustained eighteen months after leaving college and how this impacted on social aspects of learners’ lives. The scope of this study was limited by the research tool, which needs refining for future use.

Findings from this small sample do not indicate a pattern of progress retention, but a picture of change specific to the individual. This is dependent upon their current living environment and the availability of specialist services/guided learning.  To maintain learned skills beyond college, recommendations include (i) the provision of ongoing specialist advice and support for parents of college leavers and (ii) exposing post college providers to best practice.

Fern Faux, research coordinator at the National Star College. SUNCETT Research Development Fellow.

What is the impact of synthetics phonics based approach when teaching literacy to emerging ESOL adults?

As an ESOL provider we were faced with a challenging case of demonstrating progress within a designated time scale. In order to address this need, we had to implement a reading strategy that would advance learners’ reading skills.  We were fully aware that having tried and tested various reading classroom approaches, none had been successful in terms of accelerating progress in reading. Having previously experimented with teaching phonics to illiterate learners, we decided that this would be the most effective method to adopt.  We devised the following question “What is the impact of synthetics phonics based approach when teaching literacy to emerging ESOL adults.” 

Our preliminary findings have revealed that the use of systematic synthetic phonics will work in conjunction with regular ESOL provision. It has accelerated learners’ ability to take small steps in reading whole words and sentences through blending and segmenting. This is an ongoing process.
We support the fact that this strategy is of interest to ESOL practitioners who are faced with the challenges of non-readers.

Liz Frost is a manager at Premier Learning; Maria Gorreova is at Premier Learning. SUNCETT Research Development Fellows.

Improving mathematics in vocational education (IMIVE)

The Improving Mathematics in Vocational Education project linked colleges in Sussex (West and East), Surrey and Kent and private Training Providers. The objective of the project was to effect a step change in awareness of teaching methodologies and resources used to deliver GCSE mathematics to post-16 vocational learners.

Project activity centred on the delivery of a series of county-wide development events and the establishment of subject peer group networks with virtual resource back-up. The latter have been facilitated by college collaborative organisations and are designed to be sustained beyond project end.
The project has been delivered by FE Sussex – the consortia of the 12 colleges in Sussex and three additional colleges in Surrey.

Key outcomes from the project:
• Improvement of teaching and learning through exchange of knowledge and practice by pairing expert practitioners with other teachers.
• 35 teachers engaged on a two-year development programme, which supports and expands teaching methodologies.
• 17 colleges and 20 training providers paired with leads to cascade training and changes within their own organisations.
• Step change in teaching techniques such that flipped classroom and resources improve efficiency of delivery and pace of lessons.
• 10 actual/virtual meetings held between January 2016 and July 2017.
• Enhancement of teaching and learning methodologies through broadening of practice and adoption of new techniques.

Ian Goodwin, consultant FE Sussex. DfE funded Shared Learning Grant Project Practitioner.

Reading for fact or pleasure # never

Based on experiences in our previous GCSE sessions, we recognised a major barrier to our learners’ development was their lack of ‘love for reading’. We decided to focus our research on providing alternative approaches to reading, including group based learning, short, valued snippets of different text types and linking texts to every day issues.

Anne Hopper, learning and development manager, Springboard North East, Louise Rought, skills for life coordinator, Springboard North East. SUNCETT Exploratory Maths & English Project Practitioners.

Doing It Differently: The Use of Video Technology for Providing Student Feedback.

Providing good quality and effective feedback is one of the key elements in the learning, teaching and assessment process. Although assessment feedback is often provided to learners in a written or verbal form, it is apparent that lecturers often encounter the frustration to encourage the learners to engage and act on the feedback they receive.

Therefore, this small-scaled project is carried out to explore the possibility of using video technology to enhance the experience of feedback to the learners.  The most important research question for this project is to find out if the video feedback benefits the learners to engage with assessment comments received from the lecturers.

The preliminary results of the project suggested that the learners found the video feedback beneficial to enhance their understanding and interpretation of the assessment comments received from the lecturer, particularly written feedback; and the accessibility of the video feedback allowed them to engage with the comments at their own pace.  The implication of this project is to encourage more teachers to consider if the use of video feedback can help the learners to become more independent in terms of autonomy and self-evaluation when they work on their assignments.

Joyce I-Hui Chen, College of West Anglia. SUNCETT Research Development Fellow.

Flipping Maths for ESOL Learners

English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) learners may find that obstacles to completing mathematical tasks lie more with their language skills than with their maths skills. They may understand mathematical concepts in their own language but struggle to understand when asked in English.
The purpose of this research is to test out the efficacy of ‘flipped learning’ as an intervention designed to give more time to grasp the language component of maths problems.

This research was carried out with a small sample of learners across levels in Functional Skills ESOL Maths classes. Preliminary findings suggests that learners were better prepared, engaged with learning at their own pace and were more confident with the language element of maths. Success depends crucially on learners engaging with the pre-classroom tasks and ensuring access is readily available.
A key recommendation is for teachers to invest in support for learners with this change of practice to ensure maximum engagement with pre-classroom tasks is achieved. Flipped learning should be seen as part of a variety of approaches and not as the sole replacement for traditional methods.

Helen Irish, ESOL course leader at Stockton Riverside College. SUNCETT Research Development Fellow.

How can we best promote Fundamental British Values in teaching and learning?

The expectation that teachers in the education and training sector will promote Fundamental British Values (FBV) within the classroom is contentious.  This action research study investigates how trainee teachers and experienced teachers in an FE college engage with the policy of FBV, how they translate in the classroom and further questions such as ‘How can we best promote FBV in teaching and learning?’

Analysis of the baseline assessment demonstrated that teachers recognised attributes from FBV, but they were not actively signposting them as FBV within their classroom. Key findings indicate that teachers agreed with the notion of the values, but expressed tension with the term Fundamental British Values.  As FBV are located with the Prevent strategy trainee teachers were concerned that open dialogue may lead to conversations that they don’t feel professionally confident in managing. This may indicate a concern from the FE community regarding the discourse between the expectations of the regulatory body and the lack of foregrounding of British Values that is occurring.

Mary Kitchener, educational development, Swindon College, Lisa Lawlor, education lecturer at Swindon College. SUNCETT Research Development Fellows.

You are not alone: In what ways can collaboration between NQTs and trainee teachers enhance their professional practice in the diverse FE and skills sector?

This paper describes a small-scale initiative to promote collaboration between newly qualified teachers (NQTs) and trainee teachers in order to enhance their professional practice.

This evolved from trainee and NQT feedback indicating a need for additional support for continuous development, and an Ofsted recommendation to implement creative strategies for in-service trainees to widen their scope of professional practice.  All the participants had been or were studying for a part-time, in-service PGCE or Cert Ed (FE and Skills) in an FE college in the Midlands.

We sought to explore how collaboration might support development of professional practice for both trainees and NQTs and build confidence, resilience and self-esteem through joint practice development and building a community of practice providing opportunities for shadowing, career development workshops, coaching and focus groups.  Our interim findings confirm that time and structures for collaborative reflection inculcates risk taking and is central to the learning process that supports professional growth. NQTs were far more likely to involve themselves in the community of practice and benefit from it than current trainees, suggesting that when formal teacher training finishes, new teachers feel isolated in their roles.

Our research indicates that NQTs would make more rapid progress in their professional practice with a formal support mechanism in their professional formation year.

Melanie Lanser, team manager: teacher training at Derby College, Emily Phipps, Derby College. SUNCETT Research Development Fellows.

FAB2 Digital Resilience: The NOT dumping tech way

This research builds upon the FAB Model of Digital Resilience, identified in the emCETT Action Research project (Longdon, Monaghan & Mycroft, 2015), which explored trainee teacher resistance to using technology in teaching.  To effectively take forward this model, we need a clear digital strategy which will help us to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and identify further measures that can be taken to improve digital resilience.

Summary of findings from the Critical Incident Questionnaire:
· Explicitly teach the FAB Model of Digital Resilience, to provide a framework and vocabulary for students to articulate their needs;
· Establish a Digital Strategy for Teacher Education programmes;
· Introduce a pre-course ‘hackfest’ for digital exploration;
· Limit introducing new tech mid-year;
· Ration ‘Digital Nurse’ (Longdon, Monaghan, Mycroft 2015) 1:1 sessions, to limit dependency;
· Run regular rhizomatic ‘pop-up’ sessions, on and off-line, in negotiation with students;
· Develop a bank of instructional videos on a dedicated YouTube channel.

Claim to a wider relevance to research:
The findings will help to shape digital strategy and influence the curriculum, providing a replicable case study. We can potentially bring about cost savings and increase personal digital resilience as a result of moving away from the 1:1 digital support model.

Alison Longden, tutor at Northern College, Tom Monaghan, tutor at Northern College. SUNCETT Research Development Fellows.

Independence Day or Groundhog Day?

This paper investigates whether GCSE maths or numeracy initial assessment results at the start of Level 3 programmes are correlated to the results at the end of these programmes.

Research to date suggests that neither GCSE maths nor numeracy initial assessment results correlate for all learners. However, when GCSE and initial assessment are taken together, there appears to be some evidence that they may give an indication of where further investigation of learners' skills and motivations should be carried out.

Learner vignettes highlight the wide variation of patterns seen across two cohorts of learners.
The research suggests that initial advice and guidance for learners is crucial and that this must take into account more than GCSE maths and numeracy initial assessment results alone and that the transition to level three study needs to be supported proactively.

Gail Lydon, teacher trainer at Selby College. SUNCETT Research Development Fellow.

Is a democratic ESOL class, a reality or an oxymoron?

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses in adult colleges can all too easily be reduced to a narrow range of approaches to teaching and assessment that are preoccupied with issues of compliance and prescribed course outcomes.  As a consequence, the current system of formula-based funding is limiting the opportunities to provide the right conditions for learners to engage with second language acquisition in meaningful dialogue.  Based on preliminary findings, this paper argues that ESOL Conversation Clubs offer a vital alternative capable of accommodating more inclusive, democratic and participatory strategies to support second language learning.

This is not to argue, however, that ESOL Conversation Clubs should replace ESOL classes but rather that lessons learnt from them may be useful to inform wider ESOL practice, including formal college practice.
Working in partnership, these clubs can be invaluable to complement language learning particularly at low level and they can act as a bridge between the outer reach minority learner and formal education.

Ana McDermot, senior ESOL tutor at Thurrock Adult Community College. SUNCETT Research Development Fellow.

From inside adult voluntary and community learning, curriculum design, content and delivery, who decides?

This project focuses on curriculum development within the North East Region of an organisation in the voluntary and community sector. Statistical analysis revealed some interesting anomalies in terms of our curriculum offer.  We will use internal data gathered, to ask the question: ‘Is our curriculum designed to reflect the values, aims and mission of our organisation or is it designed to fit the ‘system’ requirements?’

In posing this question we will look at the evidence through the lens of three different perspectives: curriculum manager, course organiser and a specialist practitioner.  We will examine how our roles gel together (or not) in a way which meets the requirements of our organisation and how this impacts on our own professional integrity and creativity. In addition, we will focus on whether our current provision meets the individual needs of students, rather than meeting the system led process of measurement of data.

Our research has revealed that, although we are working towards meeting the needs of our students, the demands of our roles often compromise our focus. This can distract us from working more effectively together, to provide a balanced curriculum.

Mike Rugg, regional curriculum manager at WEA North East, Tony Bullock, WEA North East, Dianne Holmes, WEA North East. SUNCETT Research Development Fellows.

Talking (with) Heads - Learner voice in schools and making choices for post 16

Currently we are marketing our study programme curriculum offer to schools without fully understanding what information learners need and how they make choices. As a result, too many students are changing programme, impacting on their success and longer-term progress.

This project explores how learners can be better supported to make informed choices prior to entry into college.  Through a questionnaire and focus group meeting with students, we wanted to discover what is important to learners making choices? In parallel, we commissioned a telephone survey of leavers (2015) to look at the destinations of learners after they left their programme.

We found that 50% of leavers, who go on to further or higher study, choose a different subject than the one they had been studying, even though the subject was the most important factor in making the choice in the first place.  From the focus group discussion with learners it is clear that students are serious about their future, with high aspirations and a drive for further study or employment, but many have no idea how to achieve this.

Gill Scott, group quality manager, LTE Group. SUNCETT Research Development Fellow.

The potential and challenges of reflecting on practice

After recognising that teaching staff were continually working under a great deal of pressure resulting in an impact on their performance, we set out to look for a way to create a supportive culture and a means of effective self-reflection.  By working alongside staff we hoped to identify the challenges and barriers, which were prohibiting staff from performing at their best. To do this we needed to think differently about the way in which we engage with continuing professional development to enable staff to reflect more on their practices.

Overall, the aim was to help staff put the passion back into what they do as practitioners, help them remain motivated throughout times of change and to identify what’s required for them to achieve their own potential.

Dawn Stockton, curriculum leader at Gateshead College, Joanne Mills, lead practitioner at Gateshead College. SUNCETT Research Development Fellows.

There is more than one type of selfie: self-assessment

The research was initiated to try and find the most effective ways in which digital technology could be integrated into the learning experience of students on the animal care vocational courses.  At the time that the project started the Government were implementing the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (FELTAG) recommendations (2014) and working towards ensuring that more use of digital technology was incorporated in education and learning.  As the project progressed the research moved away from the emphasis of the FELTAG recommendations towards a focus on the importance of formative assessment, and self-assessment in particular.  Using mobile phones to integrate digital technology into the classroom seemed like the obvious answer. The learners, however, were not as confident filming themselves for assessment as they were snapping selfies.

Key findings highlighted the need for ensuring that students are given the time and space to develop skills for self-assessment, the importance of clear and concise instructions and developing critical
self-analysis. Overall, learners recognised that video self-assessment could improve their practical skills for future assessments.

Sarah Vivian, lecturer at Hartpury College. SUNCETT Research Development Fellow.

Introducing a programme of blended learning in response to the FELTAG recommendations: Initial responses from tutors and learners in a vocational college.

The Swindon College Online Learning and Assessment (SCOLA) programme was introduced in response to the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (FELTAG) Report (2014).  This required learners to complete one hour per week of blended learning delivered through Moodle.  However, there is no readily prescribed model that can be followed to guarantee the successful embedding of blended learning. Therefore, it was important to evaluate the first few months of SCOLA and take into account the perspectives of both learners and tutors to develop SCOLA further.

Seven learner focus groups and six tutor interviews were conducted. Of the learner groups in the study, six viewed the SCOLA activities as additional to their learning and did not value them as highly as assessment tasks or face-to-face teaching. One group, identified SCOLA as an assessment task and this contributed to the successful adoption of SCOLA within their teaching and learning.  This finding was echoed by tutors who felt pressured to focus on qualification related tasks but were not confident in pursuing this through blended learning.

It is therefore recommended that future efforts should focus on developing tutors’ confidence in assessment through blended learning. This should form schemes of work, which are valued as whole entities by learners.

Nicola York, learning zone facilitator at Swindon College. SUNCETT Research Development Fellow.







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