SAT: Individual Learning Plans: from paper to online (Nicki Berry)
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7 January 2016
How many things can you think of, that were once only available in paper form but are now online? Every day, we undertake a variety of tasks using the Internet, which only a decade ago were predominantly paper-based: banking, job applications, travel timetables, sharing photos, to name but a few. There is now a public expectation of being able to input and access key information online.
In education, the primary and secondary sectors have largely kept pace with innovative technologies and online provision, using it to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. As well as many proprietary software products being marketed, there has also been a surge of open source material, which has enabled schools to adopt and adapt products for their own needs, without a large financial outlay. Further education may, however, have been left behind in this respect, with less open source products available than in schools, so that what is now the norm for schools could still be considered an innovation within the field of adult education, and certainly within my organisation.
In further education, tutors encourage their learners to set personal goals and short-term targets to direct and focus their learning. It is important to recognise and record progress and achievement, and on government funded courses, this is done through the use of Individual Learning Plans (ILPs). Many providers are still using paper forms for this, which tutors and learners tend to regard as tedious and bureaucratic. Could an online interactive e-ILP be more relevant and engaging for 21st century learners?
This multimedia presentation offers H818 conference delegates the opportunity to decide for themselves the extent to which an e-ILP gives learners an innovative and engaging alternative to current paper documents. It will begin by examining some of the shortfalls of the existing paper ILP, and the learner and tutor feedback that led to the desire to create an e-ILP. I will then demonstrate the process of creating such an e-ILP within the open source Moodle virtual learning environment (VLE). I will show how activities within Moodle, such as the database activity, can be used to create an e-ILP. Reflections of the lessons learnt along the way will be shared, including learner and tutor feedback through recorded interviews.
Other further education providers have participated in related projects but many of these have focussed more on the e-portfolio than an e-ILP. Gloucestershire Council began to capture evidence of learner progress in the form of video and audio portfolios but stopped short of developing the ILP itself. Similarly, the National Star College has adopted the use of e-portfolios with pictures, podcasts and video to record the achievements of learners with learning difficulties. My project adds to and extends the work of these by attempting to revitalise and modernise the underpinning paperwork - specifically the ILP.