Collaboration for disruption

Posted on by karen.smith

English | Cymraeg

Portrait image - Alyson Nicholson, Director Jisc Wales

Alyson Nicholson, Director Jisc Wales

The post-16 sector in Wales has a strong and productive history of collaboration that demonstrates a genuine willingness to work together to ensure successful outcomes, parity of opportunity, and a high-quality service.

In recent years the sector has worked together on a number of strategic and practical projects, supported by Jisc and funded by Welsh Government. 2019 saw the creation of the Digital 2030 Framework. In 2020 we collaborated to develop the digital pedagogy course, “crafted teaching; active learning,” designed specifically for the work-based learning sector with the intention of putting excellence back into the teaching aspects of apprenticeships.

In 2021, alongside the Digital Diamonds network, we co-created and published quality resources to support the delivery of Essential Skills Wales Digital Literacy courses. Then in 2022, in response to Estyn’s thematic review, Developments in remote and blended learning practice, representatives from the sector worked with Jisc to develop and pilot a series of learning design workshops, and resources that could be used to support asynchronous professional learning.

Even more recently, Welsh Government asked Jisc to undertake a piece of research looking at collaborative practices in the sector. Within the coming weeks, Jisc will be publishing a suite of case studies, showcasing examples of collaboration in teaching and learning and the ingredients that made the ventures so successful.

One such example explains how Educ8 and CEMET, the Centre of Excellence for Mobile Emerging Technologies (part of the University of South Wales), created a virtual reality (VR) learning resource for hairdressing apprentices studying hair colouring.

In this case, VR is being used to simulate real world techniques, to enhance learning and also to understand the consequences of getting it wrong without experiencing the real-world trauma of such a scenario.

Emerging technologies like VR are positively disrupting education, increasingly being utilised in classrooms and workshops, and in a range of scenarios to enhance the learning experience. Examples include enabling sports students at Coleg y Cymoedd to practice non-concussive heading of the ball, virtual welding at Neath Port Talbot College and even a fully-fledged digital hospital for medical students, as created by Cardiff University.

A more recent disruption is that brought about by Artificial Intelligence (AI). This technology, though not new, has been hitting the headlines recently with tech giants like Microsoft and Google looking to incorporate AI into their platforms. Whilst we may be familiar with Chatbots and Digital Assistants, how comfortable are we with AI-assisted marking and feedback and what are the possibilities? What potential does AI have for planning, collaborative learning, content creation or employability? What is the impact on assessment?

Digital background depicting innovative technologies in (AI) artificial systems, neural interfaces and internet machine learning technologies

Jisc’s national centre for AI in tertiary education exists to support members in using artificial intelligence effectively and has produced an AI in Tertiary Education report that looks to answer questions like these, as well as provide an insight into the future of AI in education. There are also informative guides and blogs, and you can explore what AI has to offer through a range of interactive demonstrations.

The national centre for AI has established a community group where members can share best practice; lessons learned; ask and answer questions around AI and its uses in education; and connect with each other to find common solutions to shared problems.

How can we continue to collaborate together to ensure we make AI work for us?

If you’d like to find out more about these new technologies or how Jisc can support your digital journey, please contact your Jisc Relationship Manager

Jisc Wales

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