See Itslife Library for other reading
Best Practice Guide for Learner Support - "10 Steps to Develop Learner Support - a guideline through the key issues". The guidelines aim to assist managers of learning schemes wishing to develop support to learners, providers of programmes and materials wishing to recommend support options to customers and course designers who need to ensure that programmes are adequately supplied. It provides users with an overview of what is meant by learner support and the different options and includes a step-by-step approach with a checklist at each stage to help users develop a strategy for the review and development of learner support in the organisation. Download (pdf 3 mb)
Course-related Learning Support: Who Benefits ? Burns, Janet (1996) Course-related learning support, designed to assist students underprepared for first-year mathematics and physical science, is offered though a learning centre at Massey University in New Zealand. This paper discusses longitudinal data, gathered by interview and questionnaire over one academic year, from students enrolled in courses supported in this way. Student decision-making related to uptake of support, perceptions of the support offered, self-esteem, attitudes to study, study approaches and performance are all examined. Who benefits and how are found to be related to the type of support selected and the time in the academic year when the support is taken up. Notions of volition and academic literacy are used to interpret findings. The document in HTML form
Identifying Learning and Support Needs : a digest of assessment tools for initial assessment in various areas, including Key skills, personal effectiveness, personal style and others from the Scottish Executive. A useful and full range of sources with links to more details for most of the topics. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/library3/education/ilsn-00.asp
Initial Assessment - A learner centred process (Green: London LSDA) A publication which is linked to a CD Rom, but which is a useful overview of current practice with Initial Assessment. download (pdf 220k)
Infed.org, the site for Informal Learning, is a comprehensive, accessible, absorbing and well designed site. In fact it's an absolute gem, with masses of excellent content.
Relevant sections include :
Make sure you browse, as there is a huge amount on this site, which is one of the best around. http://www.infed.org/index.htm
Learner Guidance and Support - 2 West country projects (both supported with funding from the LSDA)
The West Country Learning & Skills Research Network's report "Learner guidance and support: Models used and staff views of effects on retention" Download (pdf 170k)
The West Country Learning & Skills Research Network's report "Providing Effective Support for Part Time Learners" Download (pdf 180k)
Learning journeys: learners' voices
Learners' views on progress and achievement in literacy and numeracy - Jane Ward with Judith Edwards. This publication explores a vitally important area of adult literacy and numeracy - how to engage learners more in the learning process and ensure that their experiences and perceptions inform the learning opportunities they participate in.
Learning in progress: recognising achievement in adult learning
Adult and community learning providers need to respond to the needs and values of their learners, who may have deliberately chosen non-accredited learning, and also to national priorities and standards, which require evidence of learner achievement. This booklet discusses practicalities of how these often conflicting needs can be met. The value and uses of assessment in adult learning are explained and the discussions are illustrated with exercises for tutors to follow, case studies and examples of forms used to record and recognise achievement. Download (pdf 402k)
Martinez P (2001) Great Expectations : setting targets for students. London - LSDA Useful and readable, and the findings include:
Target setting works best when it focuses on enhancing student learning targets as s.c.a.m. (Specific - Challenging - Achievable - Measurable).
There is evidence linking low achievement by some learners to low expectations of teachers and trainers.
Setting targets does work when done effectively
Successful Tutoring - Good practice for managers and tutors (Green: London - LSDA) This document presents the 'course tutor' as the key to success in the relationship between the course tutors and the individual student. The tutoring role can involve tackling absenteeism; developing learner confidence; reviewing progress; developing confidence and competence in tutoring skills. One-to-one tutoring has proved more effective than group work in improving retention rates and there is a need for skills training for tutors. Download (pdf 190k)