seminar 1.2 stephen nicholls

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Learning Technologies- Post FELTAG Steve Nichols Funding Policy Implementation Manager [email protected]

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Seminar 1.2 stephen nicholls


Page 1: Seminar 1.2 stephen nicholls

Learning Technologies-


Steve Nichols

Funding Policy Implementation Manager

[email protected]

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Our role in adapting the

funding system to move the

sector forward

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Within the Government response to FELTAG the Agency has

a number of actions focussed on removing obstacles/barriers

to online learning.

These actions fall into three categories:– Collection of information and evidence– Funding policy / system changes– ‘Encouraging’ the greater adoption of technology in the



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Action: Pilot Activity

Following a consultation and a call to interested parties we

will be working with a small number of providers in AY 14/15

to test and identify any barriers or opportunities within the

skills funding system focussing on:

• Success rates

• Agency Funding Rules

• Agency audit

We are also expecting to gather evidence on:

• Awarding body assessment requirements

• Ofsted Inspection

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Pilot Activity: Progress

• Consultative event in August

• Invited interested organisations to submit initial proposals to work with the Agency and other stakeholders on specific online learning pilots.

• Initial pilot initiation meetings are being held during November to develop objectives and outcomes.

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Action - Introduction of new ILR field

• The Agency will add a new field to the Individual

Learner Record (ILR) specification through which it

will collect information on the proportion of online


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Progress – Intro. of new ILR field

• The Agency has introduced a new field in the

14/15 ILR to collect evidence on the current

proportion of curriculum design delivered by

computer mediated activity rather than by a


• This is only to collect evidence.

• It will not affect funding in AY 14/15 or AY 15/16

and it will not form part of a providers audit.

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Action – Temperature Check

• The Agency will undertake a temperature check of current Agency providers to understand what the current baseline of online delivery might be.

• This intelligence will be used to supplement data collected through the ILR.

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Progress: Temp Check

• Survey launched via Provider Update in October to collect data for this temperature check.

• The results of this survey will be used to support discussions and activity with regard any future policy development.

• Intend to repeat this survey at regular intervals in order to monitor progress.

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Action: Online OnlyFunding Rate

• From 2015/16 the Agency will introduce an online funding rate. This rate will be announced in Autumn 2014.

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Progress: Online OnlyFunding Rate

Considered but concluded:

• it would be inappropriate to establish a rate prior to data

and intelligence being available from previous actions.

Before considering the rationale and potential benefits of

introducing an online funding rate the Agency will:

• continue to collect the necessary data and intelligence

• consult further with the sector.

Timelines for reporting of both pilots and ILR means the

Agency will make proposals during 15/16 with a view to

potential implementation in 16/17.

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Online only FundingRate - Challenges

Determine if online funding rates are feasible/practical?

Some challenges here;• Would the rate be higher/lower than existing rate?• How would that affect the market?• Does not fit into our current system, we don’t

currently specify delivery method-we pay on outcome

• In the context of reducing Adult Skills Budget

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Action: introduce a business rule

• The Agency will introduce a business rule for the approval of qualifications for funding focussing on an online threshold

• Intended to encourage (but not restrict) awarding organisations to design qualifications to use learning technologies as a core component

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Progress: introduce a business rule

• 2014/15 technical guidance for awarding organisations


“our policy is that Government funding should support

an offer that is vocationally focussed and responsive to

new and changing skills as well as having the flexibility

to encourage innovation through the use of new

technology both in delivery and assessment”.

• The Agency will continue to consult with awarding bodies

to identify barriers to the development of suitable

qualifications meeting this criteria.

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Action: Percentage of online delivery

• We will work with the sector and relevant

stakeholders in AY 14/15 and 15/16 to establish

how the FELTAG online percentage aspirations

(10-50%) can be established within the funding


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Progress: Percentage of online delivery

• We will establish evidence through the pilots, ILR data and sector consultation during 14/15 and 15/16 to determine which qualification and curriculum areas are appropriate in this context.

• There are no plans to audit or make funding judgments on providers with regards the 10-50% aspiration for the foreseeable future.

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Percentage of online delivery - Clarification

The intention of FELTAG, and the Government's response to it, is to

encourage greater use of digital technologies and a better 'blend' of online

and traditional face to face delivery to engage learners more effectively

and ensure greater value for money for everyone from the FE and Skills

budget. We stand by this ambition.

To take this forward we need to establish the current levels of online

provision and hence the Skills Funding Agency is undertaking activity to

support this. The Agency will be collecting this evidence over the next

year and will not be considering making any changes to the funding

system until at least 2016/17.

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Action 4- Online Learning- Definitions

•Remote Learning completed away from the classroom, with no face-to-face engagement between tutor and learner.•Mix of remote online learning and face-to-face delivery•The mix of online and face-to-face delivery in a classroom/workshop•The mix of online and face-to-face delivery across a range of contexts-classroom/workplaceIf we are to link this to funding we must be clear which definition we are using!

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18-21 Work Skills


A brief summary

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To evaluate the impact on employment outcomes and skills development of systematically mandating new JSA 18-21 year old young people (who have below level 2 in English and/or maths) to undertake English and maths GCSE or Functional Skills.

The necessary learning will be delivered through either a ‘blended’ or ‘pure’ online offer only.

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• Learning period max 6 months

• 5 regions

• Target 10,000 learners (additional 5,000 control group)

• Learning 16 hours per week max

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Learning Definitions

Online learning:

• The ‘blended’ online learning will be defined as ‘pre-dominantly online but a combination of online learning with face-to-face support from a tutor’.

• ‘Pure’ Online - for the purposes of this pilot the ‘pure’ online learning will be defined as ‘100% online learning with virtual support only from a tutor’.

• The key element that will differentiate the ‘blended’ offer from the ‘pure’ online offer will be the physical presence of a tutor for support when required.

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• The pilot will be evaluated through a Randomised Controlled Trial commissioned through an independent Research Company.

• An objective of the pilot is to test and agree the cost efficiency and funding arrangements of new online delivery models and will help inform our thinking on future funding arrangements.

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Questions and close