The effectiveness of strategies for learner involvement in post-16 learning - May 2012

Summary

Most providers make good use of a range of methods, including formal representative groups, learner advocates, consultations, questionnaires and surveys, to engage and consult with learners about their learning experience and the environment. The findings from such learner-engagement are then used to plan improvements in student services and courses.

However, inspectors found that no provider within the post-16 sector had systems in place to monitor and evaluate the benefits of learner involvement to individual learners.

Recommendations

The Welsh Government should:

  • review the requirements of the provider's annual self-assessment report to capture more fully the outcomes of learner-involvement strategies;
  • review the National Union of Students’ further education student representation project to assess its impact for learners;
  • monitor the implementation of learner-involvement strategies at provider level;
  • implement learner-representation projects across the post-16 sector to train learners to act as learner advocates/representatives and secure the involvement of a wider body of learners; and
  • establish sector learner forums at a national level in order to enable learners to shape the nature and scope of their learning.

Providers in post-16 sectors should:

  • set up systems for recording the range of outcomes achieved by learners, including personal and social benefits, as a result of taking part in learner-involvement activities;
  • improve the systems for monitoring learners in order to identify the impact of taking part in learner-involvement activities on individual learners; and
  • support learners to get involved in learner-involvement networks at a local and national level.

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