Representatives from Coleg y Cymoedd joined managers, mentors and lecturers from other colleges at Colegaucymruâ€™s National Teaching and Learning Conference earlier this month. The event, supported by the Welsh Government was held at Theatr Hafren, Newtown to share the results of their research; having adopted an evidence-based approach to teaching and learning. The sector has received strong support from the Welsh Governmentâ€™s Quality and Effectiveness Policy Branch. It was Welsh Governmentâ€™s Quality Improvement Fund (QIF) that enabled colleges to undertake supported experiments.
The research, undertaken as supported experiments in the classroom, focused on challenges that face the whole of the education sector and included Peer assessment, self-assessment and different methods of feedback, active learning approaches and ensuring that each learner is stretched and challenged to reach their potential, developing literacy, numeracy and higher order thinking skills, mobile technologies and learning in a â€˜flipped classroomâ€™.
Coordinator of the ColegauCymru Teaching and Learning Network and organiser of the conference, Julie Lewis, said: â€œA key strength of these initiatives is that systems and practices are improving across colleges as a whole, with senior managers, heads of departments, mentors and tutors all working to the same aims.
Colleges are now sharing the lessons they have learned through new sets of resources that include:
Toolkits for numeracy and assessment and a literacy marking scheme, Case study booklets, videos of classroom practice and an online platform for resources and Conference and workshops to disseminate practice.
Vice Principal of Teaching and Learning John Phelps said: â€œOne of Coleg y Cymoeddâ€™s vision statements is for us to be regarded as a provider of excellent teaching, training and learning. With this key focus in mind we place a high priority on giving our learners an excellent learner experience through a range of teaching, learning and assessment approaches that are firmly embedded into their learning activities using sound evidence based teaching techniques.
As part of developing our approaches we have worked directly in partnership with three other FE colleges across SE Wales as well as the rest of the FE colleges in Wales. We will continue to work in partnership to continually improve the teaching, learning and assessment approaches to ensure that the experience for Coleg y Cymoeddâ€™s learners is the very best it can be. The sharing of practice across, and with, the wider professional learning communities can only enrich the experiences for our learners.â€
Rhondda Cynon Taff