It’s the time of the year when you may well be finishing one course, and looking forward to starting another after the Easter break. So, I wanted to highlight 2 things to step back and consider: Progression and Induction.
Whilst it is easy to find yourself working on course content until the last moment of the last session, it is important to take time to reflect on the course with learners and to talk about progression options. You will want to take some time for learners to tell you how they have got on with the course, what they have enjoyed, what has been challenging etc. But the end of the course shouldn’t be the end of the road. Please ensure that you help learners to consider:
- other courses in the same subject (or similar) either at your provider, or in a local college or other venue
- courses in a different subject – perhaps doing this course has helped a learner to realise that they could do with some support in English and Maths or IT
- perhaps there are volunteering opportunities related to the course – have a look at https://www.supportstaffordshire.org.uk/ for ideas…
- learners can search for other courses on our website: https://apps2.staffordshire.gov.uk/scc/eventscalendar/
First impressions are so important, especially to new learners, and I often find it difficult to plan the first session of my course. How can we get the balance right? Yes, there is a certain amount of information about ACL that needs to be communicated, and information to be collected from learners on the enrolment form. But it is essential to make learners feel welcomed and at ease in the group, and to inspire them about the course.
In places it might be possible to contact learners before the course starts to ensure that they know what to expect, where to come…this may well be worth your time if your learners haven’t participated in learning recently or may feel anxious about starting a course. Ensure that you plan your session to engage learners, keep their interest, and show your interest in getting to know them. On a longer course, it might be preferable to spread the induction activities over 2 sessions, so that you don’t feel swamped in the first session.
Induction session plan
This is a suggestion for a generic session plan – it will obviously need to be adapted to your course and learners depending on the length of the course, the subject and the expected support needs of the learners. The idea is to pass on the essential information efficiently, and to make sure that learners feel welcomed and inspired about their learning.
Induction Session Outcomes
- Feel welcomed and safe in the group (including Safeguarding and Prevent info)
- Understand the aims of the course
- Have demonstrated some of their existing skills/knowledge
- Have learnt something new
2 hour session
|Session outcome||Group Activity||Tutor activity – assessment, embedding of wider skills, differentiation|
|15 mins max||1||Learners arrive, tutor welcomes individuals, learners complete enrolment form as necessary, tutor points out fire exits, toilets, availability of refreshments etc. and aims for today’s session.||Assessing learners’ level of confidence, social skills, communication skills, literacy skills.|
|15 mins||1&3||Ice-breaker activity, learners introduce themselves and start to get to know each other. Depending on the subject and length of course this could be subject-specific or more general. Could be relevant to fill in initial part of Learning plans – what’s your goal? what’s your experience? Support needs?||As above. May be able to identify individuals who need more support in order to take part, or who you want to speak to immediately about support needs.|
|15 mins||2||Tutor elicits from learners what they want to get out of course, tutor explains course aims and negotiates if necessary. Refer to course information sheet and Learning Plans (course aims)|
|15 mins||1&2||Discuss with learners the type of activities they will be doing during the course, and consequently any considerations re health and safety and/or ground rules/group expectations/pair work/group work/use of technology.||Opportunity to assess learners’ understanding of H&S if practical activities are involved. Opportunity to foster good working relationships and values of respect, tolerance etc. (Prevent)
Useful to ask learners what IT they generally use/expect to use as part of their learning.
|15 mins||3||Activity to assess learners’ starting points – could be more or less formal depending on subject, and on learners. Could be discussion based, group or pair-work, or individual.||Initial assessment of subject-specific knowledge/skills. Good to have some open-ended tasks for more able. Be aware to give support to less able/confident.|
|15 mins||4||Introduce something different/exciting/engaging to motivate and inspire learners!||Continue to assess how learners work in the group. You will need to plan some differentiation.|
|15 mins||1&2||Give out learner handbooks, point out important info for learners to refer to especially Safeguarding and Prevent.
Ask learners to complete initial assessment part of Learning plans if not already done, and possibly (start to think about) individual learning outcomes.
|As learners are completing the forms you can circulate and talk to learners about their individualised outcomes.
Collect Learning Plans so you can look at the first part before planning session 2.
Individualised outcomes will probably need to be confirmed during session 2. See below for some more ideas…
|10 mins||Recap and evaluate||Review the session with learners – what have they found most useful/interesting/difficult? Remind learners of days and times of course. See you next week!||This info feeds into tutor evaluation of the session|
Examples of course outcomes and individualised outcomes:
Beginners’ French (5 weeks) Course/group outcomes:
- Give personal information
- Order food and drink
- Ask for directions
Learner A (complete beginner)
- Give personal info about myself
- Order café food and drink using number 1-20 and 30,40,50 etc
- Ask and understand directions around town
Learner B (near beginner with more experience)
- Give personal info about myself and family
- Order restaurant food and drink using numbers 1-100.
- Ask and give directions around town
Art (4 weeks) Course/group outcomes:
- Use a textured surface
- Use traditional materials to create effects successfully and safely
- Use non-traditional materials to create effects successfully and safely
- Evaluate the effectiveness of their work
Learner A (more confident and experienced)
- Combine different media on the textured surface
- Use polyfilla, copper leaf and gesso
- Use a palette knife to create a painting
Learner B (less confident and experienced)
- Use acrylics on textured surface
- Use polyfilla and copper leaf
- Use a palette knife to create a painting
Creative crafts (5 weeks) course/group outcomes
Complete a felt project
- Using different stitching
- Using stuffing
- Using applique techniques
Complete a craft project following instructions
- using 2 different stitches
- using stuffing
- using simple applique technique
Devise my own felt craft project
- using 4 different stitches
- evaluate different available stuffing
- using applique and add other materials to the design
IT basics (6 weeks) course/group outcomes
- get online safely
- use email
- use a search engine to find information
- shop online and list relevant security features
- send and receive email and format the text
- use Google to search
- send and receive emails with attachments and use Options tab
- compare 2 different search engines
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