Page 12 of 24 - Designing learning and assessment in a digital age
About this guide
What you need to know
Now you have embarked on designing for digital, how will you know you have achieved successful outcomes? Is success just about course completion?
In other parts of this guide, we look at how you develop good practice in digital learning and assessment. Here we invite you to envisage what success looks like.
There is overlap with the topics of digital capability and employability as we ask what qualities you would like your students to have as a result of studying at your organisation.
Why this matters
It is important to consider the impact of digital learning designs on students and to discuss with them what they will gain from the models of learning you have adopted.
Many students are challenged by the level of autonomy expected of them at college or university and some are unclear what they are achieving through independent learning. Equally, we can learn a lot from the strategies and approaches students have discovered for themselves.
Creating a dialogue around the theme of what successful digital learning looks like, and linking this to outcomes such as future employability, can address this issue. Defining success will also assist you in future curriculum planning.
What the experts say
“Increasingly, learners expect their digital skills to be a resource for getting on in life, and getting an education. They have innovative learning habits of their own, and they have creative ideas about how educators could better support them. Through stories like these we are learning to listen.”
Helen Beetham, consultant in higher education
Read key themes from our digital student/learner stories (pdf).
Be inspired: case studies
University of Northampton – changemakers of the future
The University of Northampton has created a framework of attributes its graduates should expect to achieve as a result of their studies. In 2013, the university was recognised by Ashoka UK as a ‘Changemaker Campus’—a designation that reflects its commitment to catalysing positive social change through:
- Change: doing the right things
- Self-direction: in the right way
- Collaboration: with the right people
- Positive work ethic, integrity and values: for the right reasons
The model is supported by a toolkit with practical guidance on applying the framework at different levels of learning.
Read more about the ChANGE (Changemaker Attributes at Northampton for Graduate Employability) project on the University of Northampton website.
Hartlepool College – it’s not just about the qualification
Hartlepool College promotes the icould free-to-use careers website on social media to open up a dialogue with students about transitioning from learning into work.
With over 1000 video interviews available on the website, students not only gain an insight into different professions and jobs, they also discover what skills, qualifications and attributes they need to acquire while on course – and are able to assess their own attributes in relation to featured careers.
The website integrates up-to-date labour market information (LMI) from LMI for all into each video. The data sets include the likely employment or unemployment rates, pay, hours, skills and qualifications needed.
The University of Derby’s report, making use of icould: learning from practice (pdf), contains real-world examples of embedding these resources into the curriculum.
“I like the way that the videos I have watched show the narrative and complex aspects of life and career. It helps to illustrate the need for career management skills.”
Higher education adviser
HEFCE – measuring learning gain in higher education
In 2015, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) invested in 13 collaborative pilot projects with the aim of developing knowledge about and capacity for measuring learning gain – the distance travelled by students on degree programmes. Over 70 universities and colleges, reflecting student and sector diversity, are involved.
Understanding how to measure learning gain can help universities and colleges evaluate the effect of different teaching practices, and enable them to design learning more effectively.
“Learning gain is broadly defined as the improvement in knowledge, skills, work-readiness and personal development made by students during their time spent in higher education.”
Find out about the LEGACY (Learning and Employability Gain Assessment CommunitY) project on the University of Warwick website.
Developing the Greenwich graduate is a presentation from the University of Greenwich on developing the attributes students need as professionals.
Is your campus on course to achieve Changemaker designation? Find out more about Ashoka U’s Changemaker Campus programme.
Try the free teaching resources from icould which include suggestions on how to embed understanding of the world of work into subject teaching.
OECD - Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (AHELO).