Responsive learning through technologies

Opening summary 

As part of the Advanced Teacher Status (ATS) programme, participants are required to undertake a quality improvement project. 

SET’s Professional Status team reviewed all 60+ Quality Improvement Projects submitted as part of the October 2020 ATS cohort shortlisting the top 12 using a scoring matrix, including the below from Kirsty Tate, E-Learning Practioner, Lecturer and Professional Development Coach at East Durham College. 

This editorial provides an overview of Kirsty’s improvement project which focused on the effects of technology-enhanced responsive learning. 

Research Context 

Assessment for learning was seen to be an area for improvement in many departments within my organisation, with practical assessments showing the biggest void. As much research (Bently-Davie 2010, Broadfoot and Black 2010, Kirby 2014, Black and Wiliam 2009, and Fletcher-Wood 2018) argues the importance of assessment for learning and/or responsive learning, these areas have been pushed to the forefront of my organisation’s development priorities.  

As an e-learning practitioner and professional development coach, I set about to explore how technology could be used to enhance learning through assessment.  

Research questions: 

  • To what extend does technology-enhanced responsive learning have on the performance of construction learners’ skills? 
  • To what extend does technology-enhanced response learning have on construction learners’ self-efficacy?  



This small-scale project focused on two lecturers and their learners: 

  • One bricklaying specialist teacher, two bricklaying learners 
  • One joinery specialist teacher, two joinery learners. 

Within a practical lesson, the learners completed a skill while their peer [video] recorded them. The video captured 10-30 seconds of them demonstrating this specific skill.  

Following this, the learner watched their video and self-assessed their technique against industry standards. Time was then allocated to making improvements before being recorded a second time. The learner compared the second video against the first to comment on how their technique had improved and receive teacher feedback.  

Following this, both teachers and learners were interviewed using a semi-structured interview.  


Aims and objectives 

To increase technology-enhanced responsive learning within the practical Construction subject area, with objectives: 

  • To provide a model of assessment that allows learners to analyse their performance of technical skills  
  • Competence to excellence – to improve the technique used by Construction learners when performing a skill in bricklaying and joinery lessons  


Project findings and recommendations 

  • It was evident that both teachers involved in this project recognised the benefits of video analysis within their teaching practice, with one teacher stating, “They [the learners] recorded their skill, reflected on that and then had time to actually improve their development points”.  
  • Positive feedback was received by all learners as they each recognised benefits of using video analysis. The main benefit highlighted by all learners was the recognition of an incorrect technique that they had previously thought was being implemented correctly.  
  • One learner stated that they “don’t like being filmed”. This is an area that could be explored further in future practitioner-based research.  


Professional reading 

Bently-Davies, C. (2010). How to be an Amazing Teacher, pp. 131-155. Wales: Crown House Publishing Limited,  

Black, P. and Wiliam, D. (2009). ‘Developing the theory of formative assessment.’ In Educational Assessment Evaluation and Accountability, 21, pp. 5- 31. New York City: Springer Publishing. 

Blau, I., Shamir-Inbal, T. and Avdiel, O. (2020). ‘How does the Pedagogical Design of a Technology-Enhanced Collaborative Academic Course Promote Digital Literacies, Self-Regulation, and Perceived Learning of Students?’ In The Internet and Higher Education. Volume 45 (100722). [Online] Available at: [Accessed 4 May 2021]. Amsterdam: Elsevier. 

Broadfoot, P. and Black, P. (2010). ‘Redefining assessment? The first ten years of Assessment in Education.’ In Assessment in Education, 11(1), 7-26. [Online] Available at:  [Accessed 4 May 2021]. Oxon: Taylor & Francis Group.  

Fletcher-Wood, H. (2018). Responsive Teaching: Cognitive Science and Formative Assessment in Practice. Oxon: Routledge. 26-121. 

Kirby, J. (2013). What Can We Learn from Dylan Wiliam and AfL? [Online] Available at: [Accessed 4 May 2021]. 

Sennett, R. (2008). The Craftsman. London: The Penguin Group. 241-265.