Hartpury College has been nominated for a 2017 Times Education Supplement Further Education Award. These prestigious awards recognise and celebrate significant contributions to Further Education and represent a great accolade for learning providers.
The college has been shortlisted in the “Outstanding use of technology for improving teaching, learning and assessment” category, which rewards those who have demonstrated innovative use of technology within their institution.
Utilising the online learning environment Moodle has been vital in moving away from traditional paper based systems. After a nominated staff member championed the adoption of Moodle there was a 225% increase in its use in teaching, learning and assessment.
This means that students can access learning beyond the classroom in their own time. They can upload and engage with content online, embedding videos for example, and utilise forum discussions with teaching staff, while documents can be digitally signed or marked.
One area where technology is becoming increasingly important is agriculture, where farmers of the future are using a range of technological solutions to push forward food production. Farming is already progressing in leaps and bounds as industry embraces technological innovations which make it easier to manage animals and crops to get the best out of them.
Hartpury students have experienced some of these technological advances as part of the teaching at in the ‘outdoor classroom’ - Home Farm. Agricultural students benefit from industry-led teaching which uses high-tech solutions, such as a robot which moves up and down the dairy barn to push up fresh feed for the cows, in a practical setting.
There is even a smart phone app which students can use to analyse data, such as weight, that is linked to individual animals thanks to their electronic identification tags. This means they can record and track a range of traits that are important in producing livestock ready for market, such as daily increases in live weight.
Janatha Stout, Director of Agriculture, said: “Our aim is to provide courses that are academically and vocationally up to date, influenced by industry requirements and preparing students for employment or further study.
“We have been investing in the latest technologies for practical teaching situations and linking it back to the way students are learning. By putting theory into practice we have been able to produce students who are day one ready when they enter the world of work, with 100% agriculture students who completed their course in summer 2015 going on to find work.
“It’s an honour to be recognised by the TES FE Awards and it proves how effective our teaching innovations have been. Our staff and students should be immensely proud.”
The winners will be announced at a gala awards dinner which will be held at the illustrious Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Friday 24th February.