More power to you, and your students

Preview: Supporting all students to achieve their best outcomes is a key theme of this year's Connect More events, run by edtech not-for-profit Jisc

Across further and higher education, students are telling us that they want to see changes to their curriculum. While 82% of university students feel that digital skills will be important in their chosen career, only half believe that their courses prepare them well for the digital workplace. The student digital experience tracker – a Jisc survey of 22,000 students – told us FE students were of the same opinion.

So how can we meet the challenge of delivering high-quality and cost-effective education that also gives students the digital know-how needed for 90% of careers?

Outcomes not outputs

Supporting all students to achieve their best outcomes is one of the key themes of this year’s Connect More events, run by education technology not-for-profit Jisc.  

During the Digifest keynote in March, NUS president, Shakira Martin called for the post-16 education sector to make sure that students from non-traditional backgrounds are not forgotten. She highlighted the need for education to be ‘flexible and adaptable’ when creating a system that provides all students with digital skills and grants them meaningful employment.

It’s crucial, of course, that students from all backgrounds are supported to achieve the best possible results in FE and HE. Part of that suite of support must include student mental wellbeing, which will form part of discussions at this year’s Connect More. Launched later this year, Jisc’s Effective learning analytics will give tutors and support staff a technologically savvy way to quickly see whether students are at risk, by flagging changes to behaviour and results. 

82% of university students feel that digital skills will be important in their chosen career – but only half believe that their courses prepare them well for the digital workplace

Connecting with your peers

The five Connect More events will also focus on how to harness digital technology to deliver an excellent learning experience. As well as workshops run by Jisc and experts from across the FE and HE sectors, an essential element of these events is the opportunity to network, and learn from other practitioners in education.

From finding out about new technology that’s improving curriculum delivery to sharing stories of success with digital media, the programme allows practitioners to step into the limelight – whether it’s at this year’s PechaKucha talks or just through chatting over coffee.

The five Connect More events will also focus on how to harness digital technology to deliver an excellent learning experience

Keeping students focused

‘Personalised and individualised learning’ in education is becoming as much of a buzz term as ‘personalised medicine’ in healthcare, but what does it actually mean, and is it possible for HE and FE to achieve alongside so many other priorities?

Whether you work as a lecturer or your role is more ‘behind the scenes’, technology can have a part to play in bringing a more student-tailored approach to the curriculum offer. Blended learning and flipped classrooms are more well-known methods; supporting students through a mixture of face-to-face and online learning, but new digital resources are being created all the time, many of which will be available to try at the Connect More Digi Lab – a hands-on edtech experience including robots and virtual reality that translate to the classroom; keeping student experience central.

Building technology into apprenticeships will be another new application for colleges and universities to consider when designing that all-important five-star learner experience.

Jisc are working with FE colleges and universities to map the technological touchpoints of the apprenticeship journey so that apprentices can receive a more efficient and effective learner experience – it’s just one of many projects to empower educators and their students that’s being showcased at Jisc’s event series this summer.

The five Connect More events across the UK will be kicking off from May 2018. For more information, programme updates, and to book your place, visit www.jisc.ac.uk/connect-more