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You are here: Home » MLEs for Lifelong Learning (2006) » Case Studies » Alison Learners journey through Loughborough College

Alison Learners journey through Loughborough College

25 Jun, 2005
e-progress file is a system to support the Alison during her course in order for her to achieve the qualification for which she is studying. It includes a formative tutorial process, guided by interactive support packs and enables Alison to record her past and present achievements, both academic and personal.

Institutional context

Loughborough College provides full-time and part-time courses for post 16+ learners. It includes learners with disabilities and works closely with RNIB vocational college who share the same site and Loughborough University who are based within the same area. This activity is based within the college with the learner having access to the system from anywhere on & off site.

Learner activity

e-progress file technically supported by ASP (VBScript) based web application, with MS SQL 2000 database backend.

Pedagogical / technical approach

e-progress file is a system to support the Alison during her course in order for her to achieve the qualification for which she is studying. It includes a formative tutorial process, guided by interactive support packs and enables Alison to record her past and present achievements, both academic and personal. It also facilitates a long-term goal setting process and short-term SMART target setting and action planning. Evidence of achievement generated by the process is recorded by Alison in the e-ILP, accessed through the e-Progress File.

Alison logs into network PC, this network login is detected by the site when opened, logs Alison in once she enters her personal college learner number. The system references these two items on the college student records system, if valid then logs Alison in. This gives secure access to her online ILP forms, and progress file guidance packs, any input by Alison is stored in a MS SQL 2000 database.

Intended outcome

To allow Alison to develop a deeper understanding of her abilities, achievements and skills in order to progress onto the next level of her education ie HE or into work.

Challenges

Alison prefers to work electronically as she finds it easier than recording information on paper. It provides more opportunity to be interactive and also to interoperate with e-PDP in HE should she choose to go onto HE.

The technical challenge was to enable access to content to a wide diverse audience, provide an accessible website, due to close association with RNIB vocational college, where there is a need for accessibility for visually impaired students, but also to consider other disabilities.

Established practice

Alison will enter the process of students being allocated a progress tutor and attending regular progress tutorials on a weekly basis. Using a paper based progress file and guidance packs to develop the independency of the learner.

The e-learning advantage

The process for training Alison into becoming independent has not changed in that she will be allocated a progress tutor who meets with her regularly as part of a group or in 1 to 1s. Focus has moved from form filling to addressing her individual needs.

Technically the system allows Alison to log into her e-progress file from home or within the college student intranet, accessed using her college network login.

Key points for effective practice

Continuous training is required for tutors in order for them to develop their skills in using the e-progress file. Resources in having access to sufficient computers at appropriate times for tutorials. However, it is much quicker and more flexible once the learners have been trained into using it outside any direct contact with the tutor, this would enable computer rooms to be freed up and rotated between groups.

Learners enjoy using the e-progress file as they interact with it instead of non-interactive methods, which are paper based.

Allows learners to take information onto their next destination through a variety of methods including interoperability.

Technically: Interoperability will hopefully be achieved with Loughborough University utilising the UKLeaP standards as the vehicle to transport Alison's details from one institution to another.

Conclusions and recommendations

Pilot shows that learners enjoy the process as they can interact with the guidance packs and keep updates of their information for future reference, more easily. Tutors are able to utilise their time in group sessions to provide more activities to assist development or group interests more fully.
Less paperwork for everyone involved with the process.
Secure access to students and tutors through password protected entry.
Disabled learners are able to access directly the materials within the progress file system through ACCLIP standards and other tools appropriate for them.

Technically: ACCLIP standards are assessed by each learner having the opportunity to complete a 'display profile' which stores this information as XML, the site checks for this XML on login, and alters the CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) settings dynamically. The XML is stored on the server, so if a user access the site from home, the same styles will be applied.

Additional information

Future: Tool for life long learner incorporating interoperability between KS3/KS4/post 16/HE

Fiona Henry, Bill Leivers and Samuel Persse
Inclusive Learning, Loughborough College
29 April 2005

 

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