Our first Guest Blog is by Emma Procter-Legg from the Association for Learning Technology (ALT). She highlights the #amplifyFE Audit project which is closely aligned with VocTeach. We both aim to support vocational teaching staff to gain, develop and share the digital, and digital pedagogical skills they require to thrive in vocational education. You can hear from the ALT Project Team at our #VocTeach20 Symposium on 17th December (Register here) on their Audit findings and the next steps to build the community of practice.
This year ALT have carried out an audit of the existing communities of practice that exist within the vocational, FE and Skills sector and published the main findings in the ALT Communities of Practice Sector Audit Report, July 2020. The audit was produced as part of the Communities of Practice project – AmplifyFE – that is being led by the ALT and funded by Ufi – the VocTech Trust.
The project goal is to establish a successful ‘community of practice’ (CoP) where vocational teaching staff are able to acquire, develop and share the digital, and digital pedagogical skills they need to thrive in vocational education. To achieve this new community of practice, AmplifyFE, aims to establish an overarching network supported by ALT to connect and amplify existing communities of practice.
The audit identified close to 100 Communities of Practice (CoP) in total, including online community groups and networks around a common theme or interest set up by sector bodies and technology companies as well as independent groups run by individuals or groups of practitioners.
The data collected included key indicators such as levels of activity, number of members involved, subject focus such as functional skills, governance, and platforms and tools used. We focused on particular examples of what the vocational, FE and Skills sector landscape looks like to highlight examples of what works – and what doesn’t, examining the characteristics of what makes a CoP sustainable in the long term and what happens when they undergo changes or transition between platforms.
The creation of a successful community of practice focused on the needs of vocational, FE and Skills staff is designed to support the same practitioners that will be supported by the development of the VocTeach platform, currently being developed by the Open University.
ALT Project Team Lead
& Education Consultant