rsc wm spring newsletter 2011

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The latest news from the JISC RSC West Midlands - keeping supported learning providers informed of the latest in e-learning


  • Discover-e 2011 issue

    JISC Advance has signed a Concordat with the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) to ensure coherent support to the sector. The Concordat sets out how the two organisations will work together to ensure coherent support to the sector to maximise the benefi ts of technology. The new formal partnership will eliminate unnecessary duplication and overlap, ensuring it makes the most cost-effective use of funding. With the recent closure of Becta, and LSIS taking on the provision of technology support for the sector with JISC, and JISC Advance nominated as their technology partner, it is critical that JISC Advance and LSIS work together to deliver a more joined up package of support.

    Guy Lambert, the Managing Director of JISC Advance says: It is a particular priority of mine to ensure that by working together with other sector bodies in an open and co-operative manner, we maximise the benefi ts we can bring to learning providers and provide the best possible value for money. Supporting the sector to deliver excellent results for learners and the community is what we are here for.Rob Wye, LSIS Chief Executive says: We aim to embed effective use of technology across all of LSISs services to FE colleges and training providers so that the benefi ts of technology in the 21st century, can be truly realised. Our new formal partnership with JISC Advance will enable us to ensure that the legacy of Bectas work is embedded across JISC Advances services, and our two organisations deliver a more joined up package of support that meets the sectors needs in the most cost-effective way

    A full copy of the Concordat between LSIS and JISC Advance can be found at

    JISC Advance Signs Concordat with LSIS

    RSCNewsletter Issue 7 Spring/Summer



    1. JISC Advance Signs Concordat with LSIS2. Latest e-Learning Good Practice From Our Region - RSC Making a Difference: Burton and South Derbyshire College3. Discover-e 2011 - Getting the Most from Discover-e 20114-5. Pull Out Discover-e 2011 Poster6. Conference Fringe - Preparing your PC for the Conference7. QR Codes Explained - E-safety Tips8. Forthcoming Events - Greener Visits from the RSC - RSC Helps to Save the Planet - Follow us on Facebook

    a bi-annual update from the Regional Support Centre West Midlands

    Spring Newsletter 11 Table Newsletter.indd 1 11/04/2011 11:25:29

  • RSC Making a Difference: Burton and South Derbyshire

    CollegeIn April 2009, staff at Burton and South Derbyshire College requested an independent review of the colleges ILT provision and strategy. Thanks to input from the RSC, the college has benefi tted from a greatly improved IT infrastructure and a clearly defi ned ILT strategy.

    Mike Parker, LRC Manager says, In November 2008, the College appointed a new principal who, after carrying out an assessment of the colleges overall position, wanted to improve ILT and the colleges IT infrastructure. We have had a lot of support from the RSC during the past 10 years and were aware of their e-learning progress review service so they were the obvious fi rst port of call.

    The College requested an e-learning Healthcheck - just one of a variety of tools used as part of the overall e-learning progress review service which helps learning providers to assess their current e-learning position. The Healthcheck is carried out by three RSC advisers each focusing on Learning Resources, ILT Management and Planning, and IT systems. It highlights the main strengths, areas for development and key recommendations summarized in a report and subsequent action plan.

    Mike says, Some of the key challenges for us included a lack of IT infrastructure development and management expertise. There was no clear hierarchy in the IT department and a lack of awareness amongst staff about the colleges ILT strategy. Staff and students lacked confi dence in using ILT as the systems were unreliable.

    The college took on board a number of the RSCs suggestions including:

    Clearly defi ned IT department. Three posts were created as a direct result of the RSCs input, including a Head of IT Replacement PC strategy implemented. Consistent approach to software versions and an implementation procedure now in place.

    More informal learning spaces created across the college Moodle administered by a permanent member of staff Staff development opportunities for IT technicians

    Vaughan Dyche, Head of IT says, With a signifi cantly improved infrastructure, staff and students are now much more confi dent and trusting of the systems we have in place. The IT helpdesk turnaround times are now much quicker and the IT department works more closely with the curriculum staff to ensure their needs are met. The college has a strong learner voice ethos and through student councils, we have taken on board the learners comments which has, for example, lead to a restructure of their Moodle.

    He adds, The RSCs intervention was useful leverage to get things moving and made a big impact on the college. I would advise other learning providers, who are in a similar position to how we were in early 2009, to contact the RSC to help you formulate an action plan. Their independent, critical friend approach was just what we needed!

    For more information about the e-learning progress review service, contact Allen Crawford-Thomas at call 01902 518930

    Latest e-Learning Good Practice from

    Our Region

    Since the last issue of our newsletter, a further 6 case studies from the region have been published on the Excellence Gateway:

    Shrewsbury 6th Form College: Video conferencing drives distance learning

    Stafford College: Mobile learning adds new dimension to teacher training

    City College Birmingham: Piloting a virtual world for communication, teaching and learning

    Shrewsbury Sixth Form College: Open source assistive technologies support college learners

    Birmingham Metropolitan College: Refurbished Learning Resource Centres result in increased student usage

    South Staffordshire College: Widening access to resources through e-books

    Newcastle Under Lyme College: Adapting to new learning spaces

    To read these case studies in full, and view more examples from our region, visit


    Spring Newsletter 11 Table Newsletter.indd 2 11/04/2011 11:25:36

  • Discover-e 2011

    127 delegates booked onto last years event and from those who took part in our evaluation, 93% of respondents found the conference a positive experience. Here are just some of the benefi ts of attending:

    Save time - you can take part in the conference without having to leave your desk at a time to suit you. If you cant make all of our live sessions, they will be recorded so you can access them later.

    Save costs - the conference is free to all our supported regional learning providers. There are 8 sessions spanning a variety of topics so it is a very effective way of enhancing your CPD.

    Hear how others have done things - this years speakers are all from learning providers in the region so you can hear their e-learning journeys fi rst hand.

    Networking - share ideas and resources with likeminded delegates through the Moodle forums and live sessions.

    Access to expertise - the RSC e-learning advisers will be available to answer your queries. JISC Advance services will also be in our conference fringe (see page 6) sharing their knowledge on legal matters, digital media for teaching and learning and more.

    Turn over for your Discover-e 2011 poster. Please feel free to display this in your organisation

    Getting the Most from

    Discover-e 2011

    RSC West Midlands will once again host its annual e-learning event online.

    From 17th-18th May, Discover-e 2011 will run through the RSCs Virtual Learning Environment Moodle. For most sessions, you can log in and take part in activities at a time to suit you although some sessions, which feature live elements such as chat, will require participation at a fi xed time.

    The event is aimed at anyone from the region in the post-16 learning and skills sector with an interest in e-learning and its application to teaching and learning.

    This years event is themed around Supporting Learning Provider Priorities.

    Spanning two days, the event will feature interactive workshops, facilitated by learning providers and our e-learning advisors. It will give delegates the opportunity to interact with a range of speakers, view video clips, listen to audio, and network with likeminded individuals. You can share examples of good practice, access a wide range of useful resources, and enter competitions with the chance to win equipment for use in teaching and learning.There will also be links to useful e-learning resources.

    Four sessions will take place on each day and will cover topics including:

    Doing More with Less E-safety Going Green Learner Voice

    The conference fringe will feature sessions from a number of JISC Advance services including JISC Legal and JISC Digital Media . Greg Vivash, RSC Manager comments, This year will focus on the priorities of our learning providers. We will hear their experiences of the issues that have taken priority in the last 12 months.

    We are now taking bookings for this free event. To fi nd out more and to secure your place, visit our website at now. Places fi ll quickly so book early to avoid disappointment.

    We look forward to meeting you online!


    Spring Newsletter 11 Table Newsletter.indd 3 11/04/2011 11:25:37

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