Reports

Introduction:

During the VocTeach FE Symposium there were a number of polls conducted using the Mentimeter platform which aimed to get feedback from a broad set of stakeholders who were in attendance.

In his opening address the Symposium Chair, Professor John Domingue invited attendees to rate ‘How useful a national aggregator and discovery platform for teaching resources would be to the FE sector?’ on a scale of 1 (not at all useful) to 5 (very useful). The average rating from 61 respondents was 4.3 our of a possible 5. This question was posed again at the end of the Symposium, when although by that time a significant portion of attendees had left the Zoom meeting, the average rating from 23 respondents was 4.4 out of 5. The conclusion can be drawn that the VocTeach aggregator and discovery platform will be useful.

Introduction poll

How useful would a national aggregator and discovery platform for teaching resources would be useful to the FE sector? (4.3/5 Very useful)

The Symposium concluded with seven different Roundtable discussions with their own Mentimeter polls. The questions and results are shown below. The scores are mostly rated out of 5, and while some of the numbers are low so not significant, they are all included for completeness.

The final two polls were posed to all the attendees still online at the end of the Symposium, about the most import aspects of a search and discovery platform and whether attendees would be prepared to have a mixture of paid-for and free content. The responses to these are available at the bottom of this page and, together with all the poll responses, will be considered by the VocTeach project team as they continue with the development of the VocTeach prototype.

Roundtable session polls

The symposium participants were randomly assigned to one of 7 breakout groups, each group had a topic and two questions to answer as a mentimeter poll via menti.com. A facilitator from the OU VocTeach team ran each breakout group.

Breakout Room Topics & Questions:

Each breakout room will be asked to contribute to two questions. Below are the topics and questions for each of the 7 breakout rooms.

Participants will be assigned a breakout group at random during the event.

Breakout Room 1: Why Share FE Content

Q1. What are the main reasons that make it hard for your organisation to share content? (Closed, participants will be asked to agree or disagree with the below statements)

  • A lack of infrastructure (where do I share?) 2.3/5
  • Sharing our teaching content would undermine our business model 2.7/5
  • Our teaching content would need to be better curated to allow worry-free sharing; we do not have the human resource available to undertake this 3/5
  • We do not yet have the skills to participate in cross-institutional sharing of teaching content 2.7/5
  • We are worried about our institution’ s liability from sharing teaching content – e.g. a copyrighted image used within teaching content 3/5
  • We do not need to share our content/I am satisfied with our current situation 2.3/5
  • here is insufficient incentive to share teaching content. Creating teaching content is time-consuming, to share content would need direct benefits 3.7/5
  • We are ready to share our teaching content with the sector 2.7/5

MentiMeter Poll - What are the main reasons that make it hard for your organisation to share content?

Q2. What would need to be the conditions that would enable your organisation to share your teaching resources across the sector? (Open).

Mentimeter Poll - What would need to be the conditions that would enable your organisation to share your teaching resources across the sector?

  • Funding to enable continued development of resources

Breakout Room 2: Issues with Sharing FE Resources

Q1. What are the most significant legal and ethical barriers to sharing teaching resources in the FE sector? Please rank the answers below.

  • Accessibility (the content must be accessible for all). 3rd
  • Copyright and IP 2nd
  • Ownership of the content 1st
  • Sharing sensitive information & GDPR 4th

Mentimeter Poll - What are the most significant legal and ethical barriers to sharing teaching resources in the FE sector?

Q2. What measures can we put in place to overcome these issues about content sharing? (Open)

Mentimeter Poll - What measures can we put in place to overcome these issues about content sharing?

  • Building awareness and guidance
  • For copyright incentives (commercial or others)
  • For copyright government push (policy/regulations) can help
  • None of the above

Breakout Room 3: Content Aggregation in FE

Q1. From a technical perspective, how difficult would it be for your organisation to support synchronisation &/or aggregation of teaching materials? (Closed, participants will be asked to rate each statement from very difficult to very easy).

  • Enable machine-readable harvesting from your platform to an aggregator (e.g. by means of enabling an existing OAI-PMH Moodle plugin). 2.7/5
  • Manually submitting teaching resources to a central system. 4.3/5
  • Make metadata of teaching resources compliant with Metadata standard standards, such as (SCORM or xAPI). 2.7/5
  • Comply with harmonised guidelines on metadata of teaching resources across the sector if they were introduced. 2.3/5

Mentimeter Poll - From a technical perspective, how difficult would it be for your organisation to support synchronisation &/or aggregation of teaching materials?

Q2. Based on your experience, where do you see the most potential for an easy technical win in allowing scalable aggregation of FE teaching resources? (Open)

Mentimeter Poll - Based on your experience, where do you see the most potential for an easy technical win in allowing scalable aggregation of FE teaching resources?

  • Non accredited courses for SEND learners in specialist colleges need accessible and interactive resources – difficult to aggregate from other platforms?

Breakout Room 4: FE Challenges for Educators

Q1. What are the biggest challenges that educators face when looking for digital teaching materials? (Closed, Participant will be asked to choose up to two options)

  • The available content does not offer enough student interaction. For example, most of the content is just static pages and doesn’t engage its user. 0%
  • It can be difficult for teachers to create high quality digital content due to lack of technical skills. 0%
  • It can be difficult to easily find good quality content. 25%
  • I don’t have enough training to produce good quality digital resources. 25%
  • There might be enough resources, but it is time-consuming to discover resources matching our teachers’ specific needs. 50%
  • I don’t see any substantial challenges. 0%

Mentimeter Poll - What are the biggest challenges that educators face when looking for digital teaching materials?

Q2. How would you like VocTeach to support teachers? (Open)

Mentimeter Poll - How would you like VocTeach to support teachers?

  • Make it easier to discover good quality resources
  • To support teachers to find resources relevant to their specific course specification

Breakout Room 5: A Search and Discovery Platform for FE Resources

Q1. What functionalities would you expect and desire from a search & discovery platform for FE? (Closed, Participants will be asked to choose as many options as they wish). The following are current functionalities of the VocTeach platform, which ones matter the most to you?

  • User- tailored recommendations. 3
  • Categories that describe the different type of learners and teaching. 1
  • Content coming from multiple data sources. 1
  • Quality teaching content. 2
  • Linking content to the curriculum and other relevant structures. 2

Mentimeter Poll - What functionalities would you expect and desire from a search & discovery platform for FE?

Q2. What, if any, additional functionality would you like an ideal search and discovery platform for FE to have? (Open).

Mentimeter Poll - What, if any, additional functionality would you like an ideal search and discovery platform for FE to have?

  • A push functionality – a bit like Google alerts.
  • Easy to deconstruct and reconstruct – Xerte toolkits is great at this. Other tools like NearPod and Quizlet are also great at allowing you to build from somebody else’s content and adapt for your own use.
  • An indication of which resources are mobile friendly would be useful.
  • An indication of the accessibility barriers/benefits of the resource.
  • Ability to generate a URL for a repurposed resource and an embed code.
  • Sharing best practices that talks to a wider teaching community.
  • Sharing best practices from multiple platforms.
  • Teacher reviews of the resources – possible star rated.

Breakout Room 6: Policies for Sharing and Accessing FE Resources

Q1. If I could decide how government resources are distributed to FE, I would…

(Closed, Participants will be asked to choose one option)

  • Mandate & support the sharing of Open Educational Resources to colleges by creating a search and discovery infrastructure. 3
  • Fund the creation of high-quality content accessible by every institution in the UK. 2
  • Train the practitioner to provide and create high quality digital resources. 0
  • Support financially each institution to create their own private teaching resources, encouraging more competition across FE colleges. 0

Mentimeter Poll - If I could decide how government resources are distributed to FE, I would...

Q2. Would you have any other recommendations? (Open)

Mentimeter Poll - Would you have any other recommendations?

  • Encourage greater shared digital integration
  • We need an infrastructure, only way this will develop is to mandate it. Is easy to align this to UNESCO principals
  • Get conversation going properly with University and College employers and institutional bodies – Universities have already opted in for Open Research
  • N/A

Breakout Room 7: How can we Sustain a FE Aggregator Platform

Q1. Considering a mix of possible sustainability models for the VocTeach platform, how do you rank the appropriateness of the following options? (Closed, Participants will be asked to rank the options).

  • Subscription: FE Colleges or individual teachers’ pay annual set fee and their members get to use all resources 4th
  • Freemium: Basic resources are free to all but FE Colleges or teachers’ pay a subscription if they wanted to consume premium resources. 2nd
  • Government Funding: HM Gov agencies fully fund aggregator platform to keep all resources free to users. 1st
  • Seller Revenue: Content providers will have a paid-for option. Paid for content will be prominently advertised on the platform. 3rd
  • Crowdfunding: Appeal to all sector members for constant donations. 5th

Mentimeter Poll - Considering a mix of possible sustainability models for the VocTeach platform, how do you rank the appropriateness of the following options?

Q2. What other obstacles do you see in creating a sustainable platform for FE? (Open).

Mentimeter Poll - What other obstacles do you see in creating a sustainable platform for FE?

  • Maintaining content provision from practitioners.
  • Student access to technology and internet services.
  • User experience has to add value – sustaining the relevance of the platform for the users – without relevance it will not be used.
  • Sustaining morphable content, reach to users etc.
  • Cross-referencing very similar curricula across the developed nations.
  • Getting heads of e.g. Awarding Organisations to see the benefits of involvement and cross-AO cooperation; in England DfE has cultivated competitiveness between them, in contract to NI, Scotland and Wales.
  • Sustaining CoP interest – do we need a method of incentivisation?
  • The platform and collection of resources must remain free to all. Checking the quality of the shared resources is important and will be at the heart of collections’ success. Effective accessibility practice should be reinforced.
  • Financial sustainability should be from a mix of sources to spread risk.

Wrap Up Questions: 

  • How useful would a national aggregator and discovery platform for teaching resources be to the FE sector? 4.4/5

  • I would like to have as comprehensive a set of learning content as possible 3.5/5
  • I would like to see only high-quality learning content 4.2/5
  • The content needs to be very well organised so that I can quickly find what is relevant to my own context 4.7/5
  • A significant proportion of the offered content should be interactive 3.6/5

  • I dont mind if I (or my institution) have to pay for the offered learning content as long as the price is fair and the quality is high 2.8/5
  • I expect all learning content to be available for free 3.1/5
  • A mix of paid-for and free learning content is OK with me 3.3/5
  • I would like learning content to be easy to reuse and embeddable within my own lectures with few restrictions 4.5/5