This has been a good year for the profile of technology supported learning in FE and Skills.
The FELTAG report has did a great job in sharpening thinking about how best to adopt good use of technology for learning. It has even managed to stir up the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) to write-in a requirement for 10% of all courses to be online. This % is affectionately known as the Percentage of Online Delivery or the POD. The devil, of course, comes in the detail of the POD and what can be accepted as ‘fundable’ online learning. The answers lie in the SFAs ILR Provider Support Manual where there is a bold but rather brutal attempt to say what is good enough to fund.
It is worth looking at the examples of fundable and unfundable learning given way inside at page 44. The provider Manual has the following to say.
The following are examples of online learning [ie fundable by SFA]:
- Learning materials that the learner accesses on a college virtual learning environment such as Moodle
- Video demonstrations or Powerpoint presentations accessed outside the classroom
- Structured learning packages that are not facilitated by a lecturer.
The following are examples of activities that do not constitute online learning and should not be included in calculation of the Percentage of online delivery [ie NOT fundable by SFA]:
- A video of a practical demonstration that is shown in the classroom with the lecturer present
- Work undertaken on a computer with a lecturer present
- An online webinar delivered by a lecturer
- Homework assessments that are undertaken on-line
- Email/telephone or online tutorials or feedback discussions.
Did SFA get it right? – see next post for my perspective.