Each year, the Association of Colleges’ (AoC) Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK colleges. This award, supported by JISC seeks to celebrate an outstanding example of where the effective use of technology has improved student experience, either through enhancements to teaching, learning and assessment, or through creating business efficiencies which have enabled positive change.
Supported by industry sponsorship and expertise, the College made it to the finals for the substantial heat exchange system built within the National College for Nuclear, Southern Hub, that replicates the inside of a nuclear power plant. This system sits alongside virtual and augmented reality components which combine to create a learning environment that closely replicates the nuclear workplace. By wearing special headsets, learners are able to enter a ‘live’ nuclear site and ‘operate’ without risk meaning specialist technical operations and industry behaviours can be trialled, rehearsed and perfected in a safe and risk-free setting, creating a highly-trained, professional, technical workforce fully inducted in the culture, expectations and protocols of a licensed environment.
Andy Berry, Principal of BTC said “It is especially rewarding to be recognised for our innovative approach to education. Our focus is always to ensure that every student achieves to their potential, and that the education they receive at the College has a clear line of sight to work. We worked in partnership with employers to find a solution to develop specific skills development needs within a safe, technical environment with clear progression routes into employment. The resulting solution using digital technology is a real step change in education and programme delivery.”
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges said: “Colleges excelling digitally is hugely important. With the fast-paced changes that are happening out in the world of work, colleges will need to use technology to contribute to the development of the curriculum – including equipping their students with digital skills. These colleges are not only using them for their own systems, but the learning experience as well.”
Winners will be announced at the TES FE Awards in March 2020. Please visit www.aoc.co.uk for details about the Beacon Award criteria and shortlists.