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Section 7. Staff development

Skills, experience and approach of staff

One of the key success factors in developing and delivering successful flexible models of delivery is the skills, experience and approach of staff. For some staff, more flexible, and particularly blended learning approaches, will be unfamiliar and challenging. It is very important that staff are supported to develop:

  • their personal IT skills;
  • a practical understanding of using IT-based approaches;
  • appropriate teaching and learning materials for independent study, both for paper-based and online use;
  • strategies for supporting learners remotely and in different settings.

There are a number of ways you can support staff to develop their skills and confidence:

  • Auditing staff skills will help to identify existing strengths within the team and prioritise areas for development - Sample questionnaire.  
  • Plan staff development needs. Page 18 of ‘Developing Models of Flexible Delivery for Skills for Life provision’ considers staff training and development needs including a detailed plan for staff development from Wirral Metropolitan College.
  • Encourage staff to experience online learning.
    Asking vocational and other staff to use blended materials gives them first hand experience of being an online learner, a working knowledge of the materials their learners may be using, as well as the opportunity to brush up their own skills. Castle College used this approach to trial a functional mathematics course with vocational staff.

Move On materials for staff development

Blended Learning using the Move On Learner Route

This two-hour training session introduces participants to the Move On Learner Route, uses reflective activities from the E-tutor Guide and considers a scenario for blended learning using the Learner Route.

Sophie: a blended learning example

A scenario using the Move On Learner Route to support blended Skills for Life delivery for a warehousing employee.

Do allow sufficient time for staff to develop skills and confidence to deliver by this method and for development of the VLE site. Both technical and pedagogical expertise is required.

Leics ALS SfLSP 2009-10

Embracing flexible learning can feel like a challenge for tutors and learners alike. I knew that my ICT skills had not kept pace with the latest technologies. However, with the right support and training, it proved to be so much easier than I imagined to update my skills. It has transformed my teaching for the better!

Essex ACL Tutor