Nigel Ecclesfield, Co-Author of Digital Learning: Architectures of Participation

Our book called Digital Learning Architectures of Participation was published by IGI Global in July 2020, and we have 20 years’ experience each working in FE colleges and adult and community education and 10 years working at the national level with Jisc and Becta and other bodies on various FE related technology and learning / teaching projects.

This involved working with Government, consultants, researchers, and commissioning projects.

Thus, we have a great deal of relevant experience concerning what a future FE Pedagogy might look like.

Fred leads World Heutagogy Day on 23rd September every year promoting creative Pedagogies of learning and Nigel was an inspector with ALI before it was absorbed by Ofsted and he continues to contribute to a range of different activities and to monitor research on post-compulsory education.

We are both continually reviewing learning, pedagogies and technology use and working with national and international projects and practitioners.

The title of our book has three elements to it.

  1. Digital refers to our Digital Practitioner project looking at "technology in action" in FE colleges
  2. Learning refers to our overall concern with "Modelling learning" or learning theory
  3. Architectures of Participation developed from the E-Maturity Framework for Further Education project that ran for 18 months, trying to define the e-mature or "e-learning ready" provider in post-compulsory education.

We have a blog to support the book called Learn Teach 21 as we see learning as a co-creation process between learner and teacher. When Fred taught in a London FE college he developed a technique he called "brokering" as he believed everyone in FE wants to learn, but perhaps not in the structured and exam-oriented way it is presented to them in formal education.

Brokering means identifying a pathway between students’ interests and motivations and the formal assessment requirements of a course. He "front-loaded" the delivery of any course to help develop learning skills which enabled students to produce individually designed work to meet the course requirements.

Nigel has a background in counselling, student services, teaching, inspection and teacher education, dating from 1985 in Cambridge, London, Liverpool and Devon and through his experiences in staff development and inspection, sees FE as the adaptive layer in education, taking up Government policies to deal with issues arising in both the compulsory sector and higher education and in these processes, potentially becoming responsive to and leading Government policy, changing learner needs/interests and employer needs.

What we discovered in the revelatory Digital Practitioner Research was that FE lecturers were using personal technologies such as smart phones and apps and were collaboratively developing fresh learning paths. The curiosity of the individual Digital Practitioner was producing new modes of learning using everyday technology devices. Geoff Rebbeck produced a 7-level framing of these new skills that could be used to re-invent the staff development of FE staff, moving away from computer skills training to developing the craft professionalism of teachers.

In developing these ideas into a book, we looked at the work of others and a wide range of issues concerning learning in all sectors and contexts. One key idea particularly stood out for us, Daniel Kahneman in his book Thinking Fast and Slow identifies that we have two modes of thinking. Fast thinking is immediately responsive and gives answers quickly almost without thinking. Slow thinking considers questions more reflectively and is concerned with both framing the answer and providing an answer. Fred's front-loaded "brokering" technique is concerned with first taking his learners through a slow-thinking reflective phase before enabling them to get productive and complete their courses using fast thinking

If we want to develop a Future FE Pedagogy perhaps it could be built around combining these elements, with Digital Practitioners who are creating "artfully-crafted, student-centred, learning experiences" that are designed to stimulate both slow thinking "how do we frame the problem?" and fast thinking "how do we solve the problem" so co-creating learning with their students, helping to build provision that is more closely responsive to context and helping to frame policy, when top-down policy over the last ten years such as college mergers, have failed to make any impact on provision. In developing new pedagogies. For example, Popov D and Cattoretti G (2019) “The impact of college mergers in Further Education, Department for Education, London, states,

“We find no strong statistical evidence of college mergers leading to an improvement or deterioration of college performance on average. That is, we find that on average the effect of merging is statistically indistinguishable from zero. This finding is robust to the different model specifications we have explored and applies to all financial and nonfinancial outcomes we have examined.” (p 42)

We need to be aware of the affordances of digital technologies and their potential contribution to learning and teaching, especially in post-compulsory education. Our book was written to set out our theoretical models e.g. “The Emergent Learning Model”, developed from our research and experience (Part 1), while illustrating these ideas (Part 2) through examples of projects and practice drawn from the UK and other parts of the world and then by pointing to ideas and resources, which we will add to in the Learn Teach 21 and Architecture of Participation Blogs as a growing resource for the future.

In January the DfE produced a White Paper “Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth”, which sets out the Government’s direction for the further education and skills sector, which intends, over the period between now and 2030 to reinforce employer control and influence over sector providers and the post-compulsory curriculum outside universities, while creating higher level vocational qualifications, reforming teacher education and extending the reach of “online” and “remote” learning, ostensibly drawing on the experience of colleges during the Covid pandemic.

We believe that the White Paper raises many questions we have already addressed in the book and that the book is pertinent to the discussions initiated by the White Paper.

To pick up the debate we are producing a comprehensive review of the White Paper in our blog Architecture of Participation and both engaging with and encouraging discussion on the White Paper as the policy and its implementation are carried forward.

Nigel Ecclesfield and Fred Garnett, Co-Authors of Digital Learning: Architectures of Participation

Future FE Pedagogies - Vol 1

The Future FE Pedagogies journal was categorically not intended to be a 'how to improve your e-learning skills' guide - there are professional associations, websites and online materials fulfilling this function already. 

Rather, we aimed to provide for time poor colleagues a series of think pieces: nuanced analyses of the potentialities and challenges of TEL for our practice.

Future FE Pedagogies - Vol 1 Preface

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

@AoCDavidH

Future Pedagogies - The Context

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

@BobHarrisonEdu

Rethinking the improvement of teaching and learning in a virtual environment through unseen observation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

@DrMattOLeary

Free, easy and fit for purpose TEL: lessons learned the hard way by a non IT whizz

Martin Compton

@Mart_Compton

Research from the front: A Developing Digital Project

Matt Gordon &

Jan Calvert

@mattgordonwfc 

@jancalvert 

Pedagogy at the centre - getting the blend right

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

@eddieplayfair

Ways of Engaging: some approaches to developing learning skills

Ian Duckett

@duckett_ian

The Proverbs of TEL

Howard Scott

@HowardScott75

Digital Practitioners creating "artfully-crafted, student-centred, learning experiences"

Nigel Ecclesfield & Fred Garnett

@Neecullompton

Moving a class online

Dave Cheseldine

 

The Reality of FE TEL Post-Covid-19: Thoughts from the bike by an FE Teacher Educator

Jamie Heywood

 

An open letter to the Secretary of State for Education: preparing FES teachers and trainers to ‘teach well’ in a digital world

David Powell

 

Conclusion

Vikki Liogier

 

You may also be interested in these articles:

#AntiRacismInAction : Wales | Episode 4

Sponsored Video

Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 2 days ago

The Environmental Impacts of Remote Work: Stats and Benefits: Working from home is a necessity rather than a luxury… https://t.co/NEJrovahxg
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page