The aims of this Scottish Government led project on improving the learner journey are to ensure that learners are able to make more successful transitions from school, into post-16 education or training and then into work.
Our main objectives are to empower learners to make better decisions by making it easier for them to see what they have achieved so far, what learning opportunities are available to them and how they can get to where they want to be in the future.
Early in 2012 we commissioned the Glasgow based service design agency, Snook, to work alongside us in carrying out research into ‘Improving the Learner Journey’. The research aimed to develop new insights into learner’s experience of the Scottish education system by understanding first-hand how learners see their ‘journey’ and how they make decisions based on the information, products and services available to them.
As part of that research, Snook discussed with learners, practitioners, delivery agencies and others to generate ideas on how the Scottish Government, and the key stakeholders in the sector, can remove barriers, encourage participation and improve the learner journey. Over 60 different ideas are included in the final report and we have selected a few to inform our future plans.
One of the recommendations in the Snook report, ‘Post-16 education: Improving the Learner Journey’, was that the development of a common application process for colleges in Scotland would be a positive step for prospective students.
It would unify and streamline the current processes, allowing students to apply for multiple courses and colleges similar to the UCAS system that currently operates for Higher Education applications.
With this in mind, it was clear that one point of contact for planning and reviewing your learner journey was needed. This is being developed in the form of an internet based visual route map to allow learners to map where they are on their own educational journey and what their potential next steps could be. This would act as an online portal that will allow learners to access a wide range of services and information, such as the prospective single application process for colleges.
To ensure that learners remain central to the project we plan to work with them closely along with practitioners and key stakeholders throughout the project through workshops, focus groups and co-design sessions. Further engagement with the project is made possible through the Knowledge Hub where people can give their views, ideas and feedback.