Work-Based Learning Digital Transformation
There’s something about approaching the end of the year that prompts one to look back, reflect and wonder what next? My reflections took me back to 2008, when we undertook a WBL e-learning survey.
At that time only 16% of WBL providers had any form of digital strategy, less than 50% of managers who had an understanding of the staff skills required in relation to e-learning were in the minority, only a third of providers afforded any form of opportunity for learners to utilise technology to record evidence and blended learning wasn’t even a concept – a position that is unrecognisable today, largely through collaboration and a shared vision.
Wind forward to 2019, a time when WBL providers, alongside Jisc, Welsh Government and other key stakeholders, helped shape then embrace the Digital 2030 Framework and, subsequently, the digital teaching and learning standards.
Digital 2030 vision
Post-16 learning providers will seamlessly integrate digital technology into delivery; and encourage innovation in using inclusive, accessible and bilingual approaches to enhance the learner’s experience. Based on an awareness of the digital skills needed to support the Welsh economy, providers will equip learners and staff with the digital capabilities and confidence they will need to succeed in everyday life and in work.
Jisc continues to work with the sector to support implementation of Digital 2030 and, using a tailored version of Jisc’s Digital Experience Insights service, measure progress in achieving its vision and aims. In 2021 over 1000 WBL learners and 200 staff participated in the survey, helping identify areas of improvement and priority.
- 83% of learners highly rated the quality of digital teaching and learning on their course.
- 81% of learners highly rate their learning provider’s digital provision.
- Two thirds of learners have access to online course materials and 58% to online skills training resources whenever needed.
- Three quarters of learners highly rated the quality of delivery methods on their courses to meet their needs in completing their course, with 69% highly rating delivery methods as meeting the needs of current or potential employers.
- 83% of teaching staff are motivated to use technology to support teaching but only 57% confidently use digital tools “in the classroom”.
- The positive measure for continual improvement in the learner experience and business processes through effective and innovative use of digital technology has more then doubled since 2019 from 30% to 65% in 2021.
- Similarly, the score for staff and senior managers understanding the benefits of digital technology has grown from 29% to 62%
- The score for staff being equipped with digital capabilities and confidence has grown from 37% in 2019 to 59% in 2021.
Whilst there is a lot to celebrate in these figures, there are also notes of caution. For example, the rapid growth in staff digital capability and confidence is to be commended. However, the same evidence shows that 41% of staff still don’t feel digitally capable nor confident.
In 2022, Welsh Government is funding Jisc to offer a range of strategic and professional development opportunities for WBL leaders and practitioners including:
- A repeat of the digital pedagogy course entitled Crafted Teaching Active Learning.
- A Wales bespoke Digital Leaders course.
- Construction of a new learning design programme.
- Working with sector representatives on the creation of digital literacy resources.
- Provide digital delivery reviews, resulting in an organisationally owned action plan to address identified digital priorities.
I believe there are even more exciting ‘digital times’ ahead for the sector and we look forward to continuing to collaborate on the sector’s digital journey.
Alyson Nicholson, Head of Jisc Wales