A project aimed at revolutionising digital learning at Myerscough College is well on the way to completion.
Myerscough was selected last year as just one of a handful of projects to receive a share of £750,000 to support a new project thanks to the University for Industry (Ufi) Trust, as part of the launch of their ‘VocLearnTech’ projects.
Myerscough’s project involves the production of interactive instructional videos for the land-based sector. The videos will be predominantly geared at level two golf greenkeeping learners. In addition, an app is currently being developed to allow learners to access the videos on smartphones and tablets.
Kath Lowe, Head of Project Development at Myerscough College, said: ‘’The aim of this project is to produce easily accessible, interactive instructional videos for that will maximize access to training and develop new methods to promote active learning through the use of technology.
‘’The app will enable learners to access these videos on mobile devices and to personalise their learning experience. Apprentices learning in the workplace, full time students, and other employees will all benefit.
‘’The availability of digital learning materials can only improve the learner experience and increase independent learning.’’
Ufi launched its charitable trust in May 2012 to help solve the UK’s skills deficit. The Trust aims to achieve a step change in adult learning and employability for all in the UK, through the adoption of 21st century technologies.
Paul McGrail, Assistant Principal Quality, Learning & Development at Myerscough College is leading the project and says: ‘’The funding means we’ve been able to focus a lot more on the practical side of technology. Historically interactive resources have been more around theory and knowledge and what happens in the classroom. The Ufi funding allows us to look at moving into instructional videos, which is something that we’ve not really covered before.
‘’It’s enabled us to enhance what goes on within our virtual learning environment (VLE). The videos will also become part of an app and will be embedded onto our VLE platform. It supports the learner as we move more towards end practical assessments and they can now look at what they need to do to pass.
‘’The way we’ve structured spending the funding means we have access to an e-learning expert and that’s allowed us to overcome a number of challenges on the way. We’ve been able to plan more as we realised that to do the video is far from straight forward. Having expert help has been vital.
‘’As awarding bodies are shifting more towards end practical assessment we can better prepare learners for this. We wanted to produce something that they can look at on an app or via the VLE site online, so they have out of classroom support.
‘’We’ve had positive feedback from learners so far. We did some initial tests from some of the interactive videos. We’ve also had feedback from heads of area, other than sportsturf, where they’ve looked at this and realised use of this technology would work in their subject too.’’
The videos and app will continue to be developed over the next few months ahead of a full launch.
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by Dave Salmon