Apprenticeship toolkit

Examples of practice

Tips from the University of Northampton

Students are more likely to be engaged if they feel themselves to be part of a learning community. Research at the University of Northampton found:

  • Students are more likely to engage when they feel they are valued by staff
  • Students work harder at online activities when staff are reliable and consistent in their engagement with those activities
  • Students work harder online activities where there are effective support measures
  • Students are more likely to engage when they feel connected with their peers
  • Groups established face-to-face can go on to engage better in online activities

Technology support at Northumbria

Northumbria University tries to remove barriers to the use of technology by providing support for both academic staff and apprentices. A wide range of support is tailored to the individual needs of the academic and their learners. This ranges from academic guidance and advice on choosing technologies appropriate to the pedagogical need through to implementing those technologies within their learning delivery. Focused help guides and instructional videos are developed for both academic staff and learners but ‘Point of need support’ is available as well. Whilst the onus of supporting the learners is on the academic, the TEL support extends to supporting the learners by dealing with individual problems and also facilitating group workshops.

This level of support is particularly important for degree apprenticeships as the learners can be on the move. They need to be encouraged so that they are happy using technology. We cannot assume that either academic staff or apprentices are digital natives. Patrick Viney