ELP 2 is a new JISC funded project which continues the work in ELP and extends it beyond; using a wider range of learners and a wider range of online learning tools which focus on social networking.
ELP2 will investigate and identify solutions to the issues and challenges that arise in providing a personalised learning experience which meets the needs of individual learners in a range of settings in their lifelong learning journey. The project will explore these issues through the implementation of e-Portfolios, web logs (blogs) and other social software to support widening participation and developing skills essential to successful lifelong learning.
The ELP project explored and evaluated the potential of e-portfolios to support students at key transfer points in their lifelong learning journey. In ELP2 we want to investigate the potential of less formal, personal online support tools where ownership is more likely to be vested in the users (ie learners). Key issues we identified in ELP that we want to investigate in ELP2 include: the nature of ownership, assessing reflective ability and learning, time issues, and feedback. In addition, we wish to establish the combination of tools that most effectively support active learner engagement and the development of skills that are required in the future to enhance local economic development and increase business start up.Aims and objectives In particular the project aims to:
- demonstrate how an extended range of formal and informal technologies can support flexible delivery and the development of essential lifelong learning skills;
- identify which of these technologies or combinations are most effective in extending widening participation opportunities by facilitating learner engagement and uptake, and the development of lifelong learning skills;
- identify the impact of the national requirement for 14-19 Individual Learning Plans on partner regional WP initiatives, in particular the organisational, administrative and technical integration and interoperability issues, and establish ways that social software can provide solutions;
- establish the potential of social software to create and expand informal support networks for a variety of regional stakeholders, eg: learners, tutors, parents, employers, careers adviser, community groups;
- explore the potential of social bookmark software to enable these networks to develop a shared knowledge resource and create a collective memory;
- facilitate access to HE throughout life by offering a range of flexible delivery solutions, particularly the provision of local opportunities.
- Establish the impact of Individual Learning Plans (ILP), required by 2008, on regional lifelong learning initiatives and identify ways in which the integration and interoperability issues can be addressed by these social network technologies.
- Extend the provision of widening participation opportunities to a broader range of learner groups beyond what was targeted in ELP. These may include mature learners, excluded and isolated learners, learners from BME and other priority groups.
- Demonstrate how social software can enhance the capacity of learner groups and other stakeholders within the region to form support networks which can provide peer and mentor support, engender a sense of a wider community of learners and create shared knowledge, advice and guidance.
- Establish the extent to which social software engages and motivates learners and enables them to develop the skills essential for effective lifelong learning, eg self-analysis, reflective skills.
- Complete a longitudinal evaluation of the experiences of ELP participants as they progress in their lifelong learning journeys.