Latest insight report from Eduserv, ‘A digital student learning experience: How can the Further Education sector deliver increased digital resources against the backdrop of budget cuts?’
This report explores current issues around the management and provision of learning resources in FE, highlighting UK colleges’ priorities around the student learning experience, ‘digital first’ teaching, and what more needs to be done to ensure the availability of appropriate resources that impact learning. It also suggests some practical solutions to improving quality whilst reducing costs.
The key findings are:
- Colleges cannot afford all the commercially-available resources needed to support teaching and learning – even existing provision is being reviewed despite wide acknowledgement that this does not currently meet student or staff expectations.
- Most colleges see increasing the range of online resources as the top priority around the student learning experience in the next academic year – with many striving to meet the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (Feltag) target for 10% of all course content to be delivered online as well as sourcing commercially-available online resources such as eBooks and eJournals.
- Due to the culture of FE and the profile of the average student, more traditional learning resources remain vital to learning outcomes.
- In addition to the overall budget issue there are two major barriers to innovation – ineffective procurement of learning resources (ad hoc or departmental purchasing and lack of communications between IT/library professionals and academic staff); and poor staff engagement in new technologies.
- Colleges could benefit more from reduced price agreements for learning resources as individual institutions, or by cost-sharing through regional, FE or FE-HE purchasing and collaboration.