Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds[Diana:] The new apprenticeship reforms are interesting because they put employers in the driving seat. Training providers and employers will now be working together to agree the curriculum and assessment plan in line with the new standard. The government provides a tool kit to guide you through this process of converting from the existing frameworks to the new standards. It takes you from the initial vision, strategy, and leadership right through to the new systems and quality arrangements. This course is about ways of enriching those teaching, learning, and assessment activities with digital methods.

Skip to 0 minutes and 42 secondsThe question is: How? As we zoom in to the detail of designing support for apprentices, we can make use of an online resource from Jisc called 'the apprenticeship toolkit'. The roadmap offers advice for each stage of your journey through preparation, planning, and delivering the activities, that by the end of their apprenticeship enable the apprentice to pass their end point assessment. So our first question is, how might digital methods enrich the preparation stage? In the road map tool you can click through to advice on for example, staff readiness, and see the list of ways technology can help. This is how Salford City College supported their staff.

Skip to 1 minute and 28 seconds[Allan:] What is really important, and what's been an important part of our transition to the world of digital is kind of the training and facilitation support that we've given to our delivery team for the various elements. We have an IT lead who supports the development of our virtual learning environment across all of our areas. And we have a kind of IT digital lead within our administration function to support the use of the communication tools that we have with our employees and apprentices. [Diana:] For planning the learning process from induction and the initial assessment to developing apprentices individual learning plans, teams like those at WhiteHat use a range of digital tools as well as their learning platform called Fuse.

Skip to 2 minutes and 9 seconds[Fred:] We complement our use of Fuse with other open source tools. So for example, Google Drive, which we use a lot. Google Sheets and Google Docs for our planning of sessions, for sharing that amongst internally amongst the team and making sure we're collaborating as a group of staff effectively. [Diana:] The delivery stage is where you blend conventional face-to-face methods with the digital methods. We'll look at especially at how providers use digital to give apprentices the support they need when the coach isn't with them. [Sophie:] We really believe that to make a change and to have that transformative learning experience online learning on its own with the group that we work with isn't enough.

Skip to 2 minutes and 48 secondsBut similarly that face-to-face learning, we can't be there all the time. So for us blended learning is both tools and resources that we use to enhance the delivery when we're with the apprentice. But also a suite of curated and engaging resources which the apprentice can access outside of their face-to-face visits with the coach. But with the coach on hand to both deliver remote sessions and also to be engaging. Engaging from afar. [Diana:] The key to success in the final stage of assessment is the progress checking. And this is where digital can help in several ways. At Salford City College, for example, their learners use an online portfolio tool called Learning Assistant.

Skip to 3 minutes and 28 seconds[Karen:] Learning Assistant is an online portfolio for the learners. So the assessor would be able to access all their learners' portfolios through their own Learning Assistant. And each learner will have their own Learning Assistant portfolio. It's confidential because it's password protected. And on Learning Assistant they'll be - it's got all the National Occupation Standards for the qualification. It'll also have a contact diary on the Learning Assistant. It'll also have a section where you can upload evidence. So everything's quite transparent. You can see where learners are up to. Just by accessing your Learning Assistant you can see where all your students were up to.

Skip to 4 minutes and 12 seconds[Diana:] And this is how we'll work through the course, looking at preparation and planning in Week 1 and delivery and assessment in Week 2, at each point asking the question, how can digital help?

Digitally-enriched apprenticeships roadmap

In this video, apprenticeship providers talk about their uses of digital methods to support both staff and their apprentices.

We describe their journey in terms of the government’s ‘Future Apprenticeships Toolkit’, which sets out the requirements and stages of planning for the new apprenticeships.

For this course, you will work though the Jisc ‘Apprenticeship Toolkit’. This free online resource offers advice and guidance specifically on how digital technology can open up the opportunities to apprenticeship providers. It also addresses some of the common issues and challenges with running an apprenticeship programme. You can access this toolkit using the link in the See Also section.

The four main areas for consideration are:

  1. Preparation
  2. Planning
  3. Delivery
  4. Assessment.

Click on the image below to open an enlarged image of the map we will use, which you can also download from the Downloads section. You can navigate an interactive version of the map by clicking on the link in the See Also section (Please note, this is best viewed on a large-screen device such as a laptop.)

The roadmap for the apprenticeship journey This graphic is based on the Jisc roadmap for ‘The Apprenticeship Toolkit’ which is also available as an interactive on their website. We are grateful to Jisc for permission to use their design. Click to enlarge.

This week, you will focus on Preparation and Planning, next week you will look at Delivery and Assessment. Throughout this course, we assume that you already have an understanding of apprenticeships and will be transitioning to the new Standards. See the Institute for Apprenticeships website or the ‘Guide for apprenticeship levels’ PDF in the Downloads section below for more information if you are not familiar with this area.

Have your say:

Which of the four stages would be your own priority for immediate action?

Share and discuss your thoughts with other learners in the Comments.

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This video is from the free online course:

Blended Learning Essentials: Digitally-Enriched Apprenticeships

University of Leeds