Since the publication in September 2009 of the new Common Inspection Framework Ofsted have been reporting more regularly on a provider’s use of technology to enhance learning. As providers get ready for inspection, I thought it useful to highlight some of the comments recently made about the use of information learning technology (ILT) or information and communication technology (ICT) from reports published in the last few months. These are divided into ‘things to aspire to’ and ‘things to avoid’. Ofsted report under the new CIF brings greater focus on safeguarding, digital inclusion and employer responsiveness. The good thing is the positive comments are in the majority.
Things to aspire to
Teachers make good use of technology in classes, especially electronic whiteboards and the internet. Students successfully use electronic media outside lessons, helped by dedicated IT provision in well-equipped subject-specific work areas close to classrooms.
Learning resources are good and specialist resources are widely available for students who have physical and learning disabilities. Most teachers make good use of information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance lessons. Specialist practical equipment and resources are generally good. In some areas, for instance media, photography, drama and dance, resources are outstanding.
Assessment practices are good. Assessment planning is very thorough and good use is made of information technology to record evidence and track learner achievement.
The college has a well-developed and very well used virtual learning environment (VLE). Teachers place a wide range of good quality materials on the VLE, and students make good use of these.
The availability and high specification of all information learning technology (ILT) facilities within the college greatly supports the learning experience of all students.
Arrangements to provide training are very flexible including the very good use of information learning technology.
Equality of opportunity is good. Learners attend a particularly useful equality and diversity workshop at induction and during training complete compulsory electronic learning equality and diversity training packages which are of a high standard.
Things to avoid
Information and communication technology (ICT) is widely available but not always used effectively to support learning.
The college has increased the provision of ILT across the college. However, managers acknowledge that development is still required to improve how well ILT is used to enhance learning.
Teaching and learning are good and are exemplified by well planned lessons that offer students a wide range of activities to challenge and motivate them. However, the development and use of information learning technology (ILT) to enhance learning is limited.
Teachers use interactive technology well, with some developing innovative materials for the new virtual learning environment. However, a minority of lessons are too teacher-led and insufficiently challenging.
RSC London Senior Advisor