Sero worked with Jisc on Phase three of their ‘Digital Student’ project exploring the needs of learners in relation to their expectations and experiences of the digital environment.
The scope of the study covered work-based learning (including apprenticeships), adult and community learning and offender learning. It built on the approaches used in Jisc’s previous HE and FE studies, adding to the FE sector literature review and conducting primary research with both learners and providers. The aim of the study was to make recommendations about the services that could be provided to support greater and appropriate use of technology by these learners.
Stand-out conclusions were that social media can be effectively used to combat the isolation students can feel in work-based learning, while in adult and community learning students want to use technology to fill the (often week-long) gap between lessons. In offender learning there is a need for consistency in the technology available from one prison to the next, with the potential to use it to maintain family contact and improve the chances of rehabilitation.
The study ran from July 2015 to early summer 2016 and led to Jisc publishing a guide, ‘Enhancing the digital experience for skills learners’: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/enhancing-the-digital-experience-for-skills-learners