Within Adult and Community Learning the majority of teachers, who deliver vocational learning, tend to be industry specialists who also teach. Often, teaching forms a minor part of their working life; for example, they could be teaching five sessions per year. Asking these professionals to participate in a training programme, that requires intensive training over a period of time, could be perceived by them, albeit mistakenly, as onerous and also irrelevant. Moreover, even if they were inclined towards training, constraints on their time may prevent them from engaging in the traditional face-to-face accredited training programmes. However, in spite of the recent deregulation of the sector, Ofsted expects to judge every provider’s overall effectiveness by the quality of its teaching, learning and assessment. This research, therefore, looked into development of a training module that would provide these professionals with a supported, flexible online programme that includes the fundamentals of effective adult learning, to be assessed through developmental observation of practice and reflective self-evaluation. The results of this research has generated a potential for this training module to become part of the induction and probation process of new, untrained teachers joining the academic staff at the City Lit.
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Khorshed leads teacher education at the City Lit. She has extensive experience in professional development of teachers within the adult and community sector. Her passion is using technology for learning. She has expert knowledge and skills relevant to blended, online and flipped learning and has developed resources and curriculum for delivery of online training programmes for teachers, mentors and facilitators of informal learning, including blended and online learning. She has participated in several action research projects and has previously published research in developing and delivering initial teacher education through the blended learning mode of delivery.
Brenda has headed staff development for many years at the City Lit. She is responsible for CPD for all staff – teachers, managers and frontline. She has long-time experience of working with City Lit’s very sessional teachers and has herself developed short online activities for new teachers, such as Inclusion, Equality and Diversity and Induction to the City Lit. Brenda has actively supported this project, including identifying the target group who would participate in the project. She was also involved in the evaluation of the results of this research.
Liz is the E-learning co-ordinator at City Lit – part of the E-learning team who are responsible for developing the use of e-learning across the curriculum. She is the first point of call for tutors who need advice and training in integrating e-learning into their teaching; this may be advice and training on using multimedia equipment, finding or creating online learning resources, or creating a course in Moodle. She has provided advisory support as well as technical support during this project and was involved in evaluating the results of the action research.