The Jisc Award for Effective Use of Digital Technology in Further Education Synopses 2023/24
Cardiff and Vale College
The FE Anti-Racism Curriculum project required the development of an anti-racist learning programme suitable for the FE sector. This included the development of a blended tutorial module and relevant subject modules. The scope was expanded to include the development of an immersive digital environment as well as to expand the breadth of curriculum modules covered. The project was to be developed by FEIs with support from reviewers with lived experiences of racism and expertise in anti-racist practice. As well as the tutorial module, the subject areas of history, mathematics, sociology hair and beauty, philosophy, biology, health and care and psychology were identified as areas of focus. All resources would be developed in the mediums of English and Welsh.
As the only FE college serving our City of Sanctuary, we have been at the forefront of supporting refuges and asylum seekers to adapt and acclimatise using our English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) programmes. We implemented Microsoft Translate across our college to remove language barriers and empower over 1000 English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students, including child asylum seekers, to successfully engage in education despite disadvantage. Teachers utilised Translate technology in lessons and assessments to swiftly identify learning difficulties that had previously gone unseen when students struggled to communicate in English. For example, one student was found to be illiterate in their native language, greatly impacting their English acquisition. The real-time translation feature enabled personalised support, accelerated English language learning, and fostered inclusion and achievement among students facing trauma and displacement. Beyond the classroom, the college provided training to staff, including administrators, receptionists, and learning centre personnel, on using the Translate app on phones when interacting with non-English speaking students. This supported students’ access to key services and integration into college life, enhancing their sense of belonging. Implementing this widely available, simple and free technology proved transformative in dismantling language barriers and facilitating vulnerable students’ engagement and progression despite adversity.
NPTC Group of Colleges
The College was the first FE institution in the UK to offer these workshops in collaboration with Intel and Tablet Academy. The integration with these industries, further enhances the programme’s relevance and real-world applicability. While the impact of emerging technologies like AI is undeniable, the degree to which it currently influences and prepares our learners depends on various factors such as country, gender and age. While the programme builds upon existing practices and incorporates proven methodologies, its distinctive approach lies in its hands-on nature, providing students with practical experience and project-based learning. As a participating College we offered eight enrichment workshops for up to 30 students in each workshop, these were delivered by experts within the field of AI. The programme also enabled exclusive access to curriculum-aligned learning content, together with support to help our educators move forward with embedding AI into their lessons. Throughout this programme, students gained a theoretical understanding of AI, its historical context, and insights into its ethical considerations and societal impact. They also explored the current trends and future prospects of AI, preparing them for a dynamic and rapidly evolving field.
Sunderland College (Education Partnership North East)
The creation of our digitally enhanced Innovation Space, including a 360-degree immersive space, provides a hub for collaborative teaching and learning approaches to our staff, students and community. The inclusion of a fully integrated seven-metre immersive VR cylinder, with full wraparound wall and floor projection, a motion capture room and ‘Living Staircase’ auditorium enriches the development of students’ 21st Century skills including their awareness of technology and their digital capabilities to meet industry expectations. It provides a focal point for teachers to work in partnership with our learning technologists and teaching and learning specialists in preparing new learning opportunities and then for all these roles to work together to support our students. The Innovation Space and the Learning Innovation Team encourage and support the introduction of new approaches to improve student experience outcomes and ensure they are future ready. Project based learning, real world learning combined with the use of technology, help us to integrate innovation into TLA. The use of AI and VR have enhanced the quality of education for both our FE and HE students. The development of our Immersive Technologies and Space Framework will ensure a continued vibrant Space for students, staff and community into the future.