Apprenticeship toolkit

Examples of practice

From lecture capture to workplace evidence.

Northumbria University is delivering a range of apprenticeships and, in so far as possible, is using its existing systems. The university has apprentices undertaking a professional development module that requires them to produce a personal action plan assessed via a presentation.

The university wanted a way to achieve this that was effective in resource terms and also wanted to build in peer review. Ensuring this was easy for the apprentices to do and would scale up to work across all platforms was difficult but has been achieved.

Northumbria was already using an Panopto for lecture capture and saw its potential to support apprenticeships. Panopto is now used by apprentices to record 10 minute video presentations that can be shared nationwide for peer feedback. Using Panopto overcomes many problems associated with recording videos for subsequent assessment. It is easy for students to use and has all of the audit information needed by the university which wouldn’t be available if they had used other cloud services.

Using an e-portfolio for tracking

Northumbria University was already using PebblePad and has found it well suited to meeting the needs of their new apprenticeship programmes.

Patrick Viney explained that key to this success is using two different elements of the e-portfolio tool: the private individual learning space to record reflections and ATLAS - the active teaching, learning and assessment space for sharing when necessary.

Apprentices use PebblePad to record their 20% off the job training. They have a template to log their hours and what they did.

Each apprentice will use a combination of workbooks and portfolios:

  • Workbooks contain records, such as off the job training records, mentor meeting records, tripartite meetings during workplace visits, etc. These workbooks are used throughout the apprenticeship
  • The portfolio will contain selected evidence demonstrating how they are meeting the standard and is submitted for end point assessment.

The problem of getting material to external examiners is a long-standing issue for universities and the issues are exacerbated when it comes to sharing information with employers. Northumbria has found that the use of PebblePad solves this problem.

The apprentice can decide what to share, who with and for how long which is more effective than simply emailing a copy. They can also make live updates to shared information. The material stored in PebblePad meets the university’s requirements for ESFA audit as there is a copy of each apprentice’s work in the assessment space so it is available even if the student accidentally deletes it.

Ensuring that the apprentices fill in their record sheets is the weakest link and the university deals with that by creating an assessed module each year which looks at their learning records. To pass the assessment for the module apprentices have to present their four best reflections, plus have their portfolio assessed plus do a 2.5K word reflection on their learning so far.