Professional Learning: Evidence of changes in teaching, learning and assessment practices
Learner feedback was collected at the end of each lesson – a range of methods was used including verbal feedback, post it notes or written feedback. As a result, the duration of lesson activities is shorter. Learners say they like lots of small tasks.
They like a mixture of vocational context, exam preparation and projects. This has taken the pressure off English tutors to feel they have to constantly contextualise work.
During the first Birmingham dissemination event another project talked about using flipped learning. I passed this idea on to the tutors. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been tried as learners never do homework so they felt this wasn’t suitable at the moment.
Learners said they felt they should be able to negotiate their assessment dates and this has happened to a certain degree.
Reflecting on how the learners reacted to receiving a voucher has made me think about when learners take their English Functional Skills assessments. In order to achieve an English Functional Skills qualification learners have to take 3 assessments in Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing. We stagger these over a period of 4 months. Attendance at exams is sporadic.
To try to improve attendance at exams and motivate learners to keep on track we issued college certificates of achievement for the reading exam. In some cases, this was the first certificate of achievement that some learners had received in a long time. So far results and attendance at the writing exam have improved from last year.
As the result of one of our Skype meetings with our mentor and partners on the OTLA project we were invited to visit Cambridge Regional College. Two of our English tutors visited and observed classes to pick up good practice in behaviour management.
Whilst the college has a focus on improvements that need to be made both in the Self-Assessment Report and the Quality Improvement Plan, a member of the Senior Leadership team led the project to demonstrate the College’s commitment. Ideas and decisions have been made jointly with the tutors and this has empowered them to be part of the improvement process. They feel that not only are Senior Managers on board but they are starting to see a change and some “quick wins”.