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Jisc launches tool for further education providers to benchmark digital status


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Jisc has developed a tool help further education and skills (FES) providers benchmark their digital status.

The not-for-profit provider of education technology said the FES digital elevation tool has been designed to help the relevant organisations in its membership to self-assess and identify the next steps towards improvement. It also provides signposts to helpful resources.

It covers three levels of digital elevation. The first is ‘foundation’, comprising the ‘must have’ digitally inclusive policies and procures, remote access for learners and compliance with web accessibility regulations.

Second is ‘transform’, taking in the ‘should haves’ of giving learners access to a range of appropriate devices along with online assessment and workplace skills. Third is ‘elevate’, covering ‘can haves’ such as integrated data analytics, artificial intelligence and augmented and virtual reality.

Jisc said some elements of the third group are in operation across a small number of FES providers.

Kickstarting process

Its director of FES, Paul McKean, said: “The pandemic has really kickstarted the process of digital elevation for FES providers, but the use of technology across the sector remains mixed, with pockets of truly innovative practice.

“We hope this tool will drive strategic decisions and, ultimately, boost providers’ ability to prepare learners for an increasingly digital workplace.” 

Edinburgh College was among the organisations taking part in the pilot of the tool. Its assistant principal (quality and improvement) Kerry Heathcote said: “We utilised the digital elevation tool in a collaborative manner, systematically cross-referencing each of the assessments with the themes of our digital strategy 2020–2025.

“The accessible, intuitive platform and iterative nature of each element means that it has been highly effective at informing robust self-evaluation, action planning, and review activity.”  


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