By Matt Jackson - Online Learning Designer at Open Awards
The GCSE exam season is back again after its absence in the pandemic as we return to a new normal. As young people get ready to sit the examinations, there are many conversations about whether or not the English education system is really preparing learners for the future.
Recently, on ITV's Good Morning Britain, they held a debate with Lord Baker who created the GCSEs forty years ago. Lord Baker is now in agreement with many others, believing that the GCSEs need to be scrapped. If you missed the discussion, you can watch it again here https://youtu.be/IZ5hfwtwG64.
The consequence of the pandemic has led us to see many changes and start to question the way we do things. With eLearning being thrust upon Schools, Colleges, Training Providers and Universities, is now the time to reflect on what we have learned and what positives we can take away from this?
During the online EdTech Festival at the end of March, I heard from many speakers on how we can embrace the new challenges on the horizon. So, what was their change forecast? The main points that I took away from this event were to embrace Blended Learning as the norm and increase flexibility of working for people in educational organisations. They talked about seeing an end to the 3.30pm school finish and abolishing the six-week holidays as the blend of online and face to face education has proved to have multiple benefits for learners and teachers. I thought this was remarkably interesting, but the models and evidence of how this can be achieved are the big questions as teachers and tutors are not trained to work in this way, as we saw throughout the pandemic. Not all remote learning was of high quality and many teachers found themselves learning on the job, which is challenging and made some people feel out of their depth.
With that in mind, here at Open Awards, we decided that we wanted to support you in meeting the challenges of the future by developing an Online Teaching and Learning Design course which is a blended approach with the bonus of achieving an optional Badge of Excellence Certificate. This will be released by the end of June in our eLearning Shop.
If you are interested in doing this course, we are offering it free of charge to the first five people who express an interest. Simply click on the link below and make an enquiry.
Finally, although Open Awards does not produce GCSE qualifications and we are not on the front line in schools and colleges etc, our mission is to “Change lives through learning” so we would be very interested to find out your opinions on what you would think would improve the English system to meet the demands of employment in the future. Is more flexible working for teaching staff a good idea? How can we teach using Blended Learning whilst maintaining quality and standards?
Whatever, you want to talk about we'd love to hear from you!
Get involved by sending us your thoughts through the following channel:
Open Awards Community (You will need to add your PLUC Code to your eShop login profile to gain access)