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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Key Findings of the LSC ILT Survey 2004

Becta recently carried out a survey on behalf of the LSC which is now available on the FERL website.

The survey is called "ICT and e-learning in Further Education: embedded technology, evolving practice". It seeks to assess progress in the provision of information and learning technology within the sector along with the extent to which this provision is integrated into the teaching and learning process.

As with many of these things the full survey is quite detailed and lengthy (a 36 page word document) but the site does have a shortened summary for those want just an overview. Even shorter still is the section that outlines the key messages - which are as follows:

    1. "Taken as a whole, the FE sector has a robust ICT infrastructure capable of delivering a wide range of electronically mediated learning experiences. Demand for this technology is clearly widespread and may continue to grow and consume any future increase in capacity.
    2. Access to ICT both for students and for staff has reached target levels set by the National Learning Network (NLN). However, the large increase in full-time equivalent (FTE) students over the last few years has clearly put a strain on the level of access available to students and the demands made of the college infrastructure as a whole.
    3. The use of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) as a learning platform is increasing in colleges, and those that use VLEs find them easier to use than other platforms. However VLEs and electronic learning materials are not extensively used within most colleges.
    4. There is some evidence of ICT being used in traditional teaching, and some blended learning is taking place. However ICT and e-learning are still largely peripheral to classroom teaching and are most extensively used for additional support activities, to extend independent learning.
    5. Colleges are able to identify their ability to adopt innovation with regard to ICT and e-learning, and, over time, innovations have spread effectively throughout the sector.
    6. The current level of investment in additional and replacement computers appears to be at sustainable levels. However, additional increases in investment must be considered if there are further increases in FTE students."


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