vocational

Using assignments instead of final exams: a case for assessing learning in prisons

Using assignments instead of final exams: a case for assessing learning in prisons

The majority of my learners have learnt the relevant skills required for them to use the tools of a particular Office product, however, some are finding it difficult to pass exams due to: set time pressures, reminders of bad school experiences, and a reliance on good memory.  

From a teaching perspective, going assignment based would make my life easier as I would have more time to spend teaching learners rather than constantly marking exams or checking IPU’s not just for ICT content, but for grammar and spelling.

How can I encourage greater participation of learners in maths activities whilst teaching vocational subjects?

How can I encourage greater participation of learners in maths activities whilst teaching vocational subjects?

This research therefore is intended to develop strategies to engage students on this study programme to increase their confidence to learn maths by effectively embedding maths activities into the teaching of the vocational subject.  It is also intended to measure the impact of this work on their overall attitude to learning maths as a broader subject and whether it is possible to move the students away from having a fixed mind-set in relation to this subject area. 

Does skills development and work related skills interventions as a collaborated approach, support more claimants into employment on Work Programme.

Does skills development and work related skills interventions as a collaborated approach, support more claimants into employment on Work Programme.

As the sole trainer on WP it is my responsibility to identify a scheme of work that best fits the claimants and increases their work skills and employability. I intend on designing sessions that focus on the development of practical work skills and how these skills are linked with competencies in the workplace. 

For a vocational, day release course, where the learner is in full time employment, does additional communication between the teacher/ learner/ employer improve student learning & engagement?

My reasons for this particular area of research is in hope to better the student engagement in the course by re-enforcing study habits through communicating, while utilizing some innovative ideas to drive forward the future success of our students, and embed study skills for the duration of this 3 year course. I feel I will benefit from this project, as I will be teaching to more engaged students, should my action research implementation prove successful.

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Work based placements are a key focal point of Employability Training today - How valuable are they to our students; how much do they affect their chances of finding work?

Recently I have noted that placements have become harder to set up and deliver within the given timeframe due to internal department and organisational process changes and I am concerned that the delays and difficulties we are encountering may be affecting our student’s prospects of finding work.


I believe that placements play a valuable role in the success of young people finding work in today’s difficult job market and delays in providing them have a detrimental effect on the learners progress as well as a knock on effect on my teaching schedule.

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Vocational Training In Prisons

There are many factors that have been explored and documented to explain why people turn to crime. Many of these early criminology theories had at their core, the premise that crime is more prevalent in sectors of society that are deprived and where young people have little education.
In prisons in the UK today education and the attempt to offer skills to a previously unskilled and uneducated prison population has proved successful in part. This work will attempt to discover what factors might put a prisoner off taking up vocational training offered and what measures could be taken to encourage more prisoners to enrol in further education or vocational training.

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Standardising Methods in Bricklaying

In the construction industry, predominantly bricklayers, as this is where the author’s specialty lies, there are varying methods and techniques that bricklayers use to get the same results; for instance, building a straightforward wall, a bricklayer might spread his mortar differently from another bricklayer but get the same result and no method is better or incorrect as they achieve exactly the same outcome.
But when this is transferred to a learning environment, you can see the potential problem.
If there is a group that is taught by two different teachers, and they have different methods, this can lead to confusion within the group which is what is happening with the groups I am involved in.

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College and Work-Based Learning in Hairdressing - How to Improve the Perceived Skill Level

It has frustrated me for a long time, how the perceptions are very different between college training, and work based learning, whilst both are striving to achieve the same end result. That end result being excellent professionals in the hair and beauty industry, that in turn give back to their community and the industry as a whole. After being on both sides of the fence, so to speak, salon lecturer and professional hairdresser. I feel it has been a constant problem/clash between what is expected from employees and the skills students actually possess.
I would like to explore and diagnose this hypothesis further and delve into what the issues/problems are, if any, why they exist, evaluate my findings and take appropriate action where possible, and as a trainer what I could do about closing the divide between these two areas. 

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Retaining Employers for Work Placement Students

The purpose of this research is to establish why employers very rarely continue to participate in accepting students on work placements. How as a college can we improve their retention and encourage employers to work with us, so it benefits the up and coming workforce. The NVQ Floristry Courses Levels 1,2 and 3 all require work placement to be completed as part of the criteria of the course, this is set down by the awarding body.

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