We’re working on ways to improve the apprentice experience by capturing and analysing the many kinds of data that can be collected through the apprenticeship journey.
The digital apprenticeships project is one of five new ideas to emerge from our co-design consultations with members and other stakeholders. They have asked us to research how we can use technology to enhance and improve the apprenticeship journey in order to meet the needs of employers and apprentices in the 21st century.
What we're doing
This research is developing alongside our effective learning analytics project and our work to build a learning analytics service.
At the core of the learning analytics service is the learning data hub (formerly called the learning records warehouse) where academic and engagement data is collected, stored and processed.
We’ll extend the learning data hub to enable data to be gathered from all aspects of the apprenticeship journey. This will include attendance at training, progress, topic coverage, as well as data from systems such as student records, VLE and e-portfolio systems.
By analysing progress of apprenticeships will be able to make timely and appropriate interventions and enhance and improve the apprenticeship journey.
Why this matters
Apprenticeships is a growth area undergoing massive reform, with a government target of three million starts by 2020 and the implementation of the post-16 skills plan. This is a tenfold increase from the current level of 300,000 apprentices.
The employer levy funding began in April 2017 is estimated at £2.5 bn, a billion pounds larger than now. Increasing and more effective use of technology will be crucial to achieving government targets whilst maintaining high quality.
Making timely interventions will enable apprentices to learn more effectively.
The proposed future service will benefit employers as well as providers. They want to know what their employees are doing when they are not in work. They may also have employees at numerous FE and HE institutions as they up-skill national workforces, and will not wish to check numerous systems to get a clear picture of activity.
Current solutions offer provider and apprenticeship dashboards but not employers, requiring institutions to build individual solutions, replicating activity and resources across all providers. As apprentices’ progress from FE to HE this adds another system for them and their employer, having to re-input all that data and begin again.
How we'll do it
We propose to build a tracking, monitoring and reporting system for employers, providers and apprentices on top of the learning data hub.
We’ll provide advice and guidance on embedding digital into the apprenticeship journey and on how to structure data for the learning data hub.
We will develop information on the ethical issues surrounding gathering, storing and using personal data, including our code of practice for learning analytics. We’ll create analytics algorithms so the tools are available when members are ready to use them.
If you’re interested in keeping up with progress, join our community of interest. This will bring members together to discuss ideas and meet with organisations that are already developing smart buildings, both in education and in other sectors.
Follow the digital apprenticeships blog for updates.