EDS Action Research Programme

In 2021, ccConsultancy was commissioned, in partnership with That Reading Thing and SfL Network, to run an action research programme focussing on Essential Digital Skills (EDS) in further education/ community learning contexts, on behalf of the Education and Training Foundation.

Seven teams were granted funding to take part in the programme, all of which were from community learning settings where much of the work in EDS is currently taking place. The two aims of the EDS action research programme were to:

  • Improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment in the FE and training sector and;
  • Support increased professionalism for practitioners in the sector.

The programme took place between January 2021 and April 2021, with reflection and dissemination activities continuing until July 2021.

You can find out more about the projects from this collection of videos and links, curated on Wakelet.

Summary of key findings

Initial feedback in relation to the two overarching objectives was overwhelmingly positive as seen in some of the feedback shown on this page.

Mentors and the wider EDS project team observed improvements to teaching, learning and assessment as teams became confident in their action research practices. Their practitioner research motivated individuals who were able to build on their established positive relationships with learners:

“All 3 of the EDS teams I’ve been working with had clear ideas for their projects in mind and very motivated tutors, which meant that they were able to get off to a flying start and achieve a great deal in the time available” (feedback on the EDS programme from EDS mentor).

“What’s really working with this programme is the way that we are asking teams to come together on a regular basis to talk about their research and share practice. This learning from one another and the relationships they are developing with one another and with the insight and support of the mentors is helping drive improvements across the board” (reflection on the EDS programme design during core team meeting).

Although the short amount of time spent on the project means that it is difficult to measure long-term impact in relation to the programme’s key aims, initial findings (including a hunger from participants to engage in further research and to continue their EDS work) are very promising.

“Thank you for the opportunity to take part in the project and for all your help and support mentoring us. We really feel like it’s been worthwhile and made a difference and we are keen to carry on with our research too” (Email from project lead at the end of the programme, Manchester AES)

“I am blown away by what’s available and the CPD opportunities on offer through this programme. Thank you!” (Comment from project lead following project inception event, Newcastle ACL)

“Just had a great morning sharing findings of #EDS_AR with really supportive #FE and #ACL colleagues from across the UK. This time last year, I would’ve been terrified but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. #practicemakesprogress #justdoit” (Tweet from project participant, Manchester AES).

EDS Project Clusters