This presentation proposes changes to vocational education, based on open educational innovations from 1858 [sic!], as implemented by the University of London External Programme (Daniels, et al. 2009) and established technologies. Namely, the separation of assessment from teaching and the use of video evidence in assessment. We shall identify the social and educational benefits that this approach can bring and identify both the technical and cultural obstacles that we face in implementation.
Based on previous project experience we shall present a working checklist of factors that have to be addressed to implement these open methods, both inside and outside current institutional structures. This will be accompanied by description of our current work in creating customisable workflows and toolkits for open vocational education. Participants will be invited to comment and contribute to scoping our work.
This is based on these prior activities:
The Clipper video annotation project (http://blog.clippertube.com).
Discussions with the Scottish Qualifications Authority during a Jisc funded vocational e-assessment project (http://citea.digitalinsite.co.uk/).
‘The Big Red Button Workshop’ at the Open University Widening Participation Conference 2016. http://www.open.ac.uk/cicp/main/sites/www.open.ac.uk.cicp.main/files/files/ecms/web-content/284-WP-Conference-Book.pdf
Ufi funded project linking badges to official SQA qualifications, with SNOOK Design Ltd. https://www.ufi.co.uk/sites/ufi.co.uk/files/Ufi_VocLearnTech_Project%20Summariesv1_0.pdf
Workshop on e-Portfolios at 5th International – eLearning Africa conference, http://dspace.ou.nl/handle/1820/3184 , (Casey, et al. 2011).
Using video for assessment has become a viable alternative to traditional academic ‘pen and paper’ assessment instruments e.g. MCQs or essays, that can prioritise written communication abilities of learners over skills ability. Our response to this is converting the Clipper video software into a skills assessment and portfolio toolkit, aka ‘The Big Red Button’ and deploying it in a community education context in the EASY project (Evidencing and Assessing Skills for Youth), as an OER (Hewlett Foundation, 2016).
To benefit non-traditional learners and improve existing ‘closed’ educational systems, a powerful force of change is the attainment of ‘official qualifications’, as education (mostly) revolves around the certification of learning. Our intent is to move discourse about widening access forward; to ask critical questions about ‘access to what?’ This is particularly important in a social context of ‘permanent austerity’, where vocational qualifications can have major impacts on individuals’ life chances.
Daniel, J. & Kanwar, A. & West, P.& Uvalić-Trumbić, S. & Alluri, K & Menon, M. (2009). Open and Distance Learning in a Changing World: Selected speeches of Sir John Daniel and colleagues 2007-2008. Vancouver: Commonwealth of Learning.
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. (2016). OER Defined. San Francisco.
Casey, J., Calverley, G., Greller, W., & Uhomoibhi, J. (2010, 26-28 May). e-Portfolios for Learning and Development: without constant internet or electrical grid access. Presentation at the 5th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education, and Training – eLearning Africa.