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Archive for the 'Further higher and lifelong education' Category

Can we level the social sciences playing field? Reflections from CLS’s first-ever summer school

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 24 October 2023

Blurred figures of football players in red and yellow kit on a sunny green sports field.

Credit: Annanahabed / Adobe.

Charis Bridger Staatz.

The year 2023 marked many things: the coronation of the UK’s new King, the coinage of the term “Barbenheimer”, and, perhaps most importantly, the inaugural Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) Year 12 Summer School ‘Harnessing the power of longitudinal research for policy impact’.

Our motivations behind the summer school were twofold: to contribute to widening participation efforts in general across the higher education sector, and to support greater diversity in the social science researcher pipeline. Our experience showed the real potential of programmes that give under-represented school students the opportunity to work directly with university departments on scholarly research, especially when that is over an extended period. Such programmes can make a distinct contribution to showcasing that university is a realistic, and hopefully desirable place for young people to be. They can also be incredibly rewarding for the academics who lead them. (more…)

The challenges of moving on from ‘teaching-as-telling’ (in higher education) – and some steps that can help convert new ideas into new practices

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 15 June 2023

Lecturer moving in front of a university workshop class

Credit: Mat Wright for UCL IOE

Gwyneth Hughes.

Even the most experienced teachers can struggle to innovate their teaching practice. But how well are we serving these tutors in realising that end point? My research highlighted the value of explicitly scaffolding teachers’ reflection on their practice with theories of teacher development and learners and learning – to support their development as teachers but also keep expectations in check and motivating.

There is an increased expectation that teachers in further and higher education should be trained in teaching, learning and assessment. The most common route to this end is a one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education programme. In general, there is evidence of broad benefit from such programmes, but their contribution to developing the teacher’s conception of teaching/learning such that it supports parallel changes to their actual teaching practice is not so well-established.

(more…)

Working class young people still often rely on luck for social mobility

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 13 June 2023

Young woman crossed fingers for luck. Credit: Kues1 via Adobe

Credit: Kues1 via Adobe

Louise Archer.

This article was originally published on Wonkhe.

What is the secret of social mobility? How and why do some working class young people “go against the grain” to succeed educationally?

Our recent ASPIRES study, based at UCL, found that luck seems to play a key role in creating opportunities for social mobility.

The study draws on insights from over 200 longitudinal interviews conducted with 20 working class young people and 22 of their parents over an 11-year period, from age 10-21. (more…)

As a researcher on inclusive education, these are the top tips and resources I’d recommend for creating accessible digital content

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 30 May 2023

Live stream of a talk with BSL interpretation and live captioning.

Live stream of a talk with BSL interpretation and live captioning.

Leda Kamenopoulou.

What is accessibility and why should we think about it?

Accessibility is ensuring physical and digital spaces and products are accessible to people with disabilities. It is also a lot more than that, because by making access easier for disabled people, we make access easier for everyone. Moreover, thinking about accessibility is not optional, it ensures compliance with minimum legal requirements, such as the Equality Act (2010) and the EU Directive on Web Accessibility (2018). As highlighted by the Global Accessibility Awareness Day, accessibility is not just ‘nice to have’ or a ‘tick-box’ exercise, so everyone in an organisation must know and be committed to best practices. (more…)

What we should really be asking about ChatGPT et al. when it comes to educational assessment

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 27 April 2023

Cartoon robot and university student writing on laptops at a desk. Credit: PCH Vector / Adobe Stock

Credit: PCH Vector / Adobe Stock

Mary Richardson.

Since its launch in November 2022, the Open AI chatbot, ChatGPT, has been flexing its artificial intelligence and causing moral and practical panics on university campuses across the world. It is unsurprising that universities are concerned about the ramifications of using Large Language Models (LLMs) to create responses to assessments because this:

  1. Challenges reliable identification of academic standards; and
  2. Initiates detailed reviews of certain types of assessment and their future applicability.

The ability of a faceless, brainless machine to answer questions, write poetry, compose songs (although musician, Nick Cave disagrees) and create visual art, all in a matter of seconds, presents us with some astonishing food for thought. The future of not just how we write, but what we might wish to say, is looking potentially very different as more free LLMs become available and ‘learn’ how to write for us. As someone who researches educational assessment, and who teaches and assesses students, there are many questions that I’m grappling with in relation to this new landscape in education, but here I’m focusing on some that academics might wish to consider with their students:

  1. Does the creation and release of LLMs mean students will be more tempted to let an AI model do their academic work for them?
  2. What characterizes cheating when using LLMs in assessment?

(more…)

England’s invisible teenagers: how should we support the 10,000 14 to 16-year-olds in FE colleges?

By IOE Blog Editor, on 7 October 2022

 

Three teen girls wearing hijabs holding hands descending concrete steps

Credit: Cultura Creative / Adobe Stock

Lynne Rogers and Catherine Sezen.

More than 100 of the 228 colleges[1] in England provide education for 14-16-year-olds who have found that mainstream school does not meet their needs. The 10,000 plus young people who take up these places are often overlooked, even invisible, in policy terms, falling between school and Further Education (FE).

Research on the combined experience of these students is non-existent. There is no coherent understanding of the curriculum and wider support offered, whether this varies according to local decision-making arrangements and what factors contribute to success or otherwise. What we do know is that the likelihood of many of these young people dropping out and becoming ‘not in (more…)

IOE at 120: how philosophy of education addressed ideas and values at the heart of the debate – 1962-1972

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 28 July 2022

A 'child-centred' primary classroom from the 1960s

Progressive educational ideas and practice were highly influential : ‘child-centred’ primary classroom in the 1960s

This blog is the seventh in a series of 12 exploring each decade in IOE’s history in the context of the education and society of the times. Find out more about our 120th anniversary celebrations on our website, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn to keep up with everything that’s happening. 

Judith Suissa.

John Dewey argued that philosophy could be understood as “the general theory of education”, and philosophy has always played a central role in teaching and research at IOE. Indeed, IOE is regarded as one of the leading centres for Philosophy of Education in the world.

The decade from 1962-1971 is often regarded as the heyday of British philosophy of education, when what came to be known as ‘the London school’ was crystalised at IOE. This was a period when teacher training courses included lectures and seminars in the ‘foundation disciplines’ of (more…)

Rethinking assessment: is the ‘oral essay’ a realistic alternative to the written essay in HE?

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 31 May 2022

Students prepare for oral exam

© MINES ParisTech / S. Boda 2020 via Creative Commons

Katia Dowdle.

‘I own the words I speak more than I own the words that I write’. (student’s sentiment recorded by Joughin)

Higher education students in the UK are predominantly assessed through the medium of writing, with essays being the most common type of assignment. As an academic writing tutor, I have been ‘part of the system’ for several years now, preparing foundation students to understand and appropriately address essay tasks in their university studies.

The mere existence of my job has depended on the long-lived and cherished tradition of essay writing as a means to facilitate learning, diagnose students’ progress and assess understanding. I have always admired the format of academic essay that has an inherent potential to give learners space for expressing new and original ideas and, at the same time, demonstrating their deep understanding of the existing knowledge.

Students have not always shared my enthusiasm though. Moreover, the combination of independent thought and experts’ (more…)

Floating on the ‘cloud’ or living in the material world`? Teaching online in the time of Covid

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 16 February 2022

Lesley Gourlay.

At the beginning of the pandemic, schools and universities were forced to ‘go online’ at short notice. We often refer to this as ‘virtual learning’, but is that really a good description? We think about the internet as something separate from the ‘real world’ we see in front of us, full of objects and people. The language used to describe it suggests this too – we talk about ‘the cloud’ and ‘the ether’, giving the idea that the online world is a special place, free from the messiness of the material world.

However, the reality of ‘online learning’ is also part of the that world. Computers, laptops and smartphones are objects, and we work with them in ‘real life’ settings. During the pandemic, millions of people had to set up and use digital devices at home for work or study. As we (more…)

Levelling up education and skills: a recipe for success?

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 3 February 2022

Claire Crawford, Laura Outhwaite, Sam Sims and Gill Wyness.

It’s finally here: an answer to the question of what the government means by ‘levelling up’. On the education and skills front, it seems to involve some seriously ambitious targets: a massive increase in the percentage of children achieving the ‘expected’ level in reading, writing and maths at age 11 over the next eight years across all areas, with more than 50% rises needed to meet the target in most local authorities. Alongside these national targets, a set of 55 ‘Education Investment Areas’ – roughly the poorest performing third of local authorities in terms of primary and secondary school results – were identified, in which some new (and some re-announced) policies would be targeted.

It is good to have specific, measurable and stretching goals, but given the scale of ambition involved, there was very little detail of how we will actually get there – and no evidence of significant new resources to do it. Complex issues, like inequalities across the life course, require holistic solutions and joined up thinking across all aspects of the journey – things that simply cannot be delivered without appropriate funding. There was also little evidence of the embedding of new announcements within existing strategies – certainly in terms of the plans for educational technology, with the white paper championing the creation of a new online UK  (more…)