A range of projects exploring uses of ICT that provide e-learning support for young people

Date: 30 April 2008-31 July 2009

A range of recent and current projects led by Don Passey and colleagues explore leading-edge uses of ICT that provide forms of e-learning support for young people. These projects look at uses and outcomes of technology-based resources, some used directly by learners in schools, others used in training and informal settings, and yet others used in supportive ways by parents and teachers across school communities. Further details of specific projects and outputs can be found on his personal webpage.

1. Assessing the potential of e-learning to support re-engagement amongst young people with NEET status

Summary: This study was commissioned by the government agency with responsibility for e-strategy implementation in schools and colleges (Becta). The remit of the project was to explore whether e-learning could potentially support young people 16 to 18 years of age who were Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET). The findings identified a range of key areas where e-learning and uses of e-resources had already been used in a variety of ways by providers and support agencies with young people with NEET status. The benefits of these practices were explored. The study further identified a range of key categories and key features of young people with NEET status, which described their backgrounds, needs and situations more fully, in order that these categories and features might be used to consider more specifically their individual and group learning and support needs.

2. NEETs Intervention Study

Summary: Following the initial study, Becta have commissioned a follow-on study, which incorporates aspects of development as well as research. Changing Media and Twofour Communications are involved in this intervention study as partners with key roles in designing and producing one or more appropriate technological innovations that will be implemented in one or more local authorities (LAs). The researchers will support the design and production stages of the study, as well as undertaking appropriate evaluation to identify benefits and uses by young people themselves.

3. BBC News School Report 2007-2008

Summary: BBC News ran a project in the 2006 to 2007 school year that provided young people in secondary schools (12 to 13 years of age) with support and opportunities to produce their own broadcast news items, in either radio, broadcast or text based forms, with publication on the internet. In the 2007 to 2008 school year, the number of schools involved in the project grew considerably, andBBC News wanted to identify forms of learning that were arising for young people involved, as well as the ways that schools and centres such as city learningcentres (CLCs) were providing support for teachers and students. Findings from the study commissioned by BBC News (in the form of affordances and impacts on teachers, centres, and students themselves, showing wide ranging outcomes for all of these groups) are now published.

4. BBC News Schools Report 2008-2009

Summary: Following the initial study in the 2007 to 2008 school year, BBC News have commissioned a follow-on study, allowing researchers the chance to explore in more depth the range and level of outcomes arising for learners and schools. This study will seek to explore the levels of a range of learning outcomes arising, including those focusing onsubject topic and content, media literacy, news involvement and broadcast creation, digital literacy, long-term interest and future employment, communication and citizenship. Societal and social outcomes and affordances for schools as well as students will be explored as a part of the study.

5. Exploring social inequity issues using a large online data base

Summary: SAM Learning is a leading provider of online revision resources for students in the United Kingdom (UK). Over a number of years, SAM Learning has gathered data about student uses of these resources. The company commissioned this study to explore the potential of its large data base, to investigate whether large data sets could be used to address questions posed at a policy and research level. The researchers focused on exploring questions relating to issues of social inequity, and showed that the data sets were able to address a range of questions, and would be able to be used further in potential subsequent investigations. The researchers were able to explore data questions using data sets of an order of magnitude of some 300,000 in some cases, providing potentially valuable insights from a very wide population. A range of conclusions was drawn, and these form the basis of a report subsequently published.

6. Investigating impacts of uses of retrieval and practice software facilities

Summary: phase-6 is a Swiss-based company that produces software facilities to support memorisation and learning associated with repeated retrieval and practice. The software facilities have been developed on the basis of the theories of Ebbinghaus and the products of Leitner. phase-6 have commissioned this study to explore learning affordances, outcomes and impacts arising from uses of their software and resource facilities in schools in Germany and the US. The study will provide indicators of outcomes, and will seek to identify ways to support effective uses of this facility by teachers and learners.

7. Study of the implementation of the Learning Platform LP+ across Wolverhampton LA primary schools

Summary: Wolverhampton Local Authority (LA) has been instrumental in seeking effective ways to implement centralised technological facilities to benefit their schools as widely as possible. They are recognised as a national leader in the area of mobile learning, and have recently implemented a widespread learning platform (LP) across primary schools, using a successive cohort-based implementation approach. This study was commissioned to investigate the pattern of implementation undertaken, to explore successes as well as areas for further focused development, and to identify any early learning outcomes arising.

8. Independent evaluation of the West Berkshire LA Online Reporting Pilot Project

Summary: West Berkshire LA are piloting the implementation of an online reporting system, giving teachers, parents and pupils access to online reports in real time. This study has been commissioned to look at the implementation of the system, and to identify impacts on teachers, parents and pupils at early stages of use.


Further information

Associated staff: Don Passey

Associated departments and research centres: Educational Technologies