Anne-Lise Harding, CILIP IL Group’s Further Education (FE) representative, writes below on the evolution of the FELTAG agenda. The FELTAG Report and its resulting actions provide a national strategic impetus for developing FE students’ digital literacy and exploring online and blended delivery methods – key priorities for IL colleagues in the FE sector.
FELTAG stands for Further Education Learning Technology Group. The group was established in January 2013 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and aims at providing recommendations to further the use of digital technologies in the Further Education (FE) sector.
A first report was produced in March 2014 which sets out an ambitious plan to shift traditional teaching and learning towards virtual, online and blended learning. The report also highlights methods and makes recommendations for practical implementation, including the development of a Learning Technology workforce. This report also sets out that all FE providers should have 10% of their courses delivered online by 2016 through a progressive strategy.
In March 2015 a further Government FELTAG progress report highlighted significant development from a number of colleges in terms of infrastructure and online delivery. Digital capabilities of staff were still under question but support offered with the help of JISC through CPD, courses, MOOCs and VOOCs. This was also true for OFSTED inspectors. An emphasis was put on leadership to become digitally capable themselves in order to lead the transition.
Progress is under way with a lot of support from JISC and good practice across England highlighted in the 2016 “The Evolution of FELTAG” report. A further forum will take place in September 2016 to provide a progress update and encourage further progression.
Through implementation of FELTAG recommendations, FE institutions have witnessed unexpected benefits including learners’ empowerment, development of the FE workforce and their digital capabilities and a cohort better suited for the world of work.
Learning Resources Manager,
South Essex College of Further & Higher Education
JISC podcast from Sarah Knight https://www.jisc.ac.uk/podcasts/are-fe-and-skills-providers-meeting-the-feltag-challenge-just-look-around-and-see-25-may
Information Literacy website’s Further Education sector page: https://infolit.org.uk/sectors/further-education/