‘Accelerated’ learning in digital teaching and learning skills
The swift change in learning and teaching, because of Covid-19 has undoubtedly accelerated the learning and skills development across the work-based learning (WBL) workforce in Wales.
The Post 16 Professional Learning Scoping Study, published in September 2019, provided an overview of the post 16-workforce ‘skills gaps’ that needed to be addressed to improve the overall quality of teaching in the sector. In line with Digital 2030: strategic framework also published in 2019, the report identified the challenges faced by practitioners in relation to the use of digital technology for effective teaching recognising a lack of pedagogical skills for online tutoring and curriculum development.
At the start of the year, the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) began to work with Dr Esther Barrett, Subject Specialist, JISC Wales to develop an accredited ‘train the trainer’ style practitioner programme, which could be cascaded in each provider thus providing a recognised, consistent approach to blended learning skills across the workforce.
The course ‘Crafted Teaching, Active Learning’ will commence in the autumn of 2020 and will focus heavily on ‘how leaners learn, how teachers teach and how digital skills can help’. The course will also align to the Digital 2030: strategic framework and the newly developed Digital 2030: A strategic framework for post 16 digital learning in Wales. In addition, the course will utilise the Education Workforce Council’s [EWC] Professional learning passport for evidencing the CPD, ongoing practitioner reflection and assessment.
NTfW have also been supporting how the use of technology can support and enhance more innovative and effective methods of assessment in the workplace. Discussions, which are ongoing, with Qualifications Wales and awarding bodies around the increased urgency to use technology for these assessments will result in options that are more flexible and the use of remote invigilation for those assessments and tests, where face-to-face invigilation has become and will remain a challenge for the sector.
NTfW has also been representing WBL on Welsh Government’s blended learning task and finish group, one of the six work streams established as part of the Covid-19 Resilience Plan for the post-16 sector. The recent Blended learning guidance for Post-16 providers will further support practitioners in the use of technology and digital learning platforms.