Redcar & Cleveland College is one of the first education providers in the country to bring e-portfolio software to students – a move that has seen it awarded the prestigious Gold Status by Smart Assessor.
The technology, called Smart Assessor, has been successful in facilitating all apprentice learners – currently 275 – across various disciplines to keep their portfolio work updated whilst they are out on location.
Students can upload audio, photos and videos to the online portfolio from their smart phones for assessors to view, enabling online feedback to be quickly uploaded and amended. They can also engage in group discussions and e-learning via their smart phone or laptop whilst they are on location at their apprenticeship.
The technology also benefits lecturers, who can create “smart sessions” similar to Facetime and Skype which students can view by digitally logging into the lectures from their employer’s site.
Steven Winterburn, apprenticeship manager at Redcar & Cleveland College, said: “The use of Smart Assessor has been a fantastic success for students and lecturers. Students have gained greater hands-on experience through their apprenticeships by not having the restraints of the classroom to restrict their on-the-job work experience. It has also reduced the need for lengthy assessment paper trails which can be difficult to manage and access remotely.
“Since last August every apprentice has been on the programme, which has allowed them to excel in their studies through flexible learning.”
The technology has been adopted by apprentices in a range of sectors including retail, horticultural, administration, hairdressing, beauty and construction services, enabling them to have an instant record of the jobs they have completed.
The catchment area for the college has been extended by the investment as the technology allows for students to be completely mobile. Students on the wildlife trust apprenticeships in rural areas such as Durham and Weardale can now easily access the learning material without physically having to be at the college.
Danny Martin from Thornaby, a 21 year-old apprentice at horticultural specialist Sanderson Groundcare, said: “On my placement I am often outdoors in Boosbeck and Guisborough, maintaining gardens and outdoor space. Without Smart Assessor I wouldn’t benefit from as much hands-on experience as I’d need to be based in the classroom for longer.
My assessor meets me bi-weekly at the site for meetings and assessments to ensure that my progress is on track. By combining learning and work I am getting the best experience out of my apprenticeship.”
For further information about apprenticeships at Redcar & Cleveland College contact please call 01642 473 132 or visithttp://www.cleveland.ac.uk or our Facebook page RedcarApprenticeships.