What next?

What lessons will you share?

Apprenticeships = partnerships

It works only when the learner, employer, training provider and assessor work together and keep up the communication.

Be organised right from the beginning; make sure you are clear on what your research question(s) is/are; get as many people (you know can help or contribute) involved as possible.

That technology use does not rely on availability of devices, expensive software or learners using their own resources. Many mobile apps have webpages that allow their features to be used. Learners do not need to pay for 3G as long as college Wi-Fi is stable – a priority for future development.

Although it was a comprehensive plan at the start, the feedback from the employers threw that plan ‘out of the window’. As a result from their feedback, I had to revise the plan altogether and go into a different direction for the research project. Lesson learned NEVER ASSUME!

Be willing to try new approaches and new technology – the wider impact has been amazing.

How could the Foundation improve its support for practitioner research/ research in the sector?

Having a regular meeting time, whether this was face to face or virtual, that practitioners could join. If this was formalised within a project bid, organisations would have to agree this time for research & it would become a priority rather than something that is done in a practitioners own time or sidelined.

A calendar of meetings and activities to be published well in advance.

Not sure – it was very good! Maybe support practitioners with wider dissemination e.g. how to submit an article for publication.

This was great. Sum of money wasn’t too scary, but did allow release and time to do the work.

The support we have had has been excellent, as has the networking, so I cannot suggest a better way for these things to be done.

Longer time allowed for the project. Bursary made available from the start of the project. Clear signposts to previously published projects on the Excellence Gateway.

Keep funding research – it makes a difference. Without funding, I probably wouldn’t have innovated and developed something new. It values doing something out of the box which benefits learners and tutors and potentially the wider audience of tutors and learners in general.

The above quotes are taken from the mid and end of programme evaluation surveys.