What you need to know
2017 saw the most radical reform to English vocational education for 50 years with the introduction of new standards and a new funding model for apprenticeships. The new model introduces significant change for all apprenticeship providers.
Why learning design matters in apprenticeships
Many apprenticeship providers in further and higher education have told us that better understanding of pedagogy and effective embedding of digital tools will be essential to meet the challenges of the new standards-based approach to apprenticeship delivery.
Our work in this area includes a digital apprenticeships toolkit (to be launched in 2018) and a project on degree apprenticeships.
Our previous work on e-portfolios has already established the value of such tools in supporting formative and summative assessment in the workplace as well as developing students’ reflective, digital and employability skills.
What the experts say
"Many apprenticeship providers who have looked to technology to deliver training and assessment in dispersed locations are recognising the value of digital in a greater range of scenarios. Keeping in touch with employers, for example.”
Lisa Gray, senior co-design manager, Jisc
Be inspired - case studies
Prospects College (PROCAT) – strategic thinking drives digital learning
PROCAT, a specialist engineering college, has set a strategic target to create engaging, effective learning experiences for all its students on courses ranging from level 2 to degree level apprenticeships.
Making full use of digital technologies has been driven by student expectations of the way they will learn while at college and on work placement. Research with students showed the extent of ownership of mobile devices in the younger age groups, resulting in a change of thinking about the infrastructure the college provides.
“It was clear to us after this that depending on the VLE and desktop computers was no longer adequate. The digital scene changes and you have to adapt... The days of always doing what you have always done are no longer acceptable, either to learners or employers.”
Neil Bates, formerly principal and chief executive, PROCAT
City of Glasgow College – enhancing employability with e-portfolios
City of Glasgow College has developed its own e-portfolio to help stonemasonry apprentices demonstrate their skills for employers. Prior to the e-portfolio initiative, apprentices could not capture or store evidence of their accomplishments in an electronic record of achievement despite the hands-on nature of their work. As a result, there was little opportunity for apprentices to appreciate the continuous nature of their learning, or to show their achievements to others.
The new approach has brought about significant improvements in the department’s assessment processes and given a boost to student employability.
Changes to the apprenticeship model since this case study was written do not prevent apprentices from developing e-portfolios to document stages in their learning. Doing so may help them prepare more effectively for their end-point assessment.
Nottingham Trent University - building a professional growth mindset
The school of animal, rural and environmental sciences (ARES) at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) integrates scaffolded reflective tasks in e-portfolios with work placements and taught classes to create a work-integrated curriculum for horticulture degree students.
The school’s commitment to enhancing its graduate outcomes is evident in the development of the employability framework underpinning these degree courses.
Senior lecturer, David Jukes, aims to adapt the framework to other courses offered by the school, ranging from BSc. (Hons.) degree in food science and technology to a higher level apprenticeship in food science.
- Watch the video: stories of e-portfolio implementation – University of Wolverhampton
- Keep up to date with our ongoing work on digital apprenticeships
- Join the Blended Learning Essentials 2018 MOOC (massive open online course) on apprenticeships for free via the Futurelearn website