Course aims & outcomes
Some very broad course aims are generally decided at the prospectus planning stage by the Provider (your employer). Tutors should then work on those course aims so that they support the learners, taking into account the tutors expertise and the general setting.
The course aims are the 1st stage of developing a Scheme of Work.
- Aims are general statements of intent
- They express the tutor's (and provider's) hopes about the outcomes of the course or lesson
- They do not say what the learners will actually be doing or learning
- They are usually expressed in general terms
- Outcomes are specific action statements
- They say what the learners will be able to do, think or feel
- They are typically expressed using action verbs
- They are written in ways that allow the tutor and learner to assess whether or not they have been achieved
- Outcomes should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound)
Scheme of work
Tutors and learners sometimes ask us why we require a scheme of work. A Scheme of Work shows what will be taught when and outlines learner activities and resources needed for each topic or teaching objective. It also:
- It improves learner achievement
- It fosters a commitment to improvement
- It makes it easier (and more likely) to share good practice
- It raises expectations of the quality of teaching and learning
- It promotes professional development
- It makes it easier to deliver a course
- Addresses any missing prior learning such as Functional Skills
- Includes time and strategies to teach skills (such as homework), as well as content and resources
- Integrates ILT, equal opportunities and key skills into the teaching scheme
Lesson Plans are a tutors detailed plan for each lesson. Good workable lesson plans are simple to follow and easy to follow for quick reference. A good Lesson Plan sets out:
- The purpose of the lesson (aim of the lesson - this should be a reflection of what you have stated in the Scheme Of Work SOW)
- Lesson timing / pace
- What stage individual learners are at in learning their objectives and whether some learners need more support or more challenge
- What the intended learning objectives are
- Evaluation of the extent that learners achieved the planned objectives (or indeed achieved any unintended ones)
- Issues, ideas or feedback carried into next lesson
Measuring soft outcomes
To enable tutors to measure distance travelled, it is necessary to measure pre and post course (and sometimes 3-6 months down the line). We will be measuring outcome baselines at first session of a short course and the second session of a longer course (in the form of an initial assessment). The second outcome measure is on the penultimate session of a course (to allow for non-attenders and this will form part of a standard process).Download links
Induction & risk assessment
Learners should be safe and kept well informed. They have an entitlement to know:
The course aims are the 1st stage of developing a Scheme of Work.
- Where they will be learning and what the safety procedures are
- Who will be teaching them and that this person is appropriately trained
- What we expect from them
- What they can expect from us
- How to access IAG at appropriate times
- How to complain
Induction can be delivered in many ways that are appropriate to the learners, the venue and the activity they are undertaking but the content of inductions most stay the same. All learners must sign the new Learner Agreement!
Risk assessments should be carried out before and during course delivery. Risk assessments will enable the tutor to take appropriate remedial action to minimise any risk of harm to anyone including themselves. This could either be a class where a physical activity takes place and the risk assessment may take the form of a medical questionaire or it could be an art class where scalpels are used and where training in how to use a scalpel safely is given. Either way the risk and any control measures must be recorded by the tutor.
It is very important to carry out initial assessment to establish learners’ starting points, prior learning or experience, their interests and aspirations, and to identify learners who may need additional support. Methods of assessing initial needs may include:
- Pre-course meeting or interview
- Learners’ self-assessment or questionnaires
- Evaluation of written information (e.g. enrolment form)
- Individual or group discussion
- Tasks or assessments relevant to the course
- Observed group or individual tasks or activities
Maths, English and ICT formal online initial assessment using BKSB please click here for the tutor login
Planning for Individuals (ILP)
Adult, Community & Family Learning require records of progress for all learners on all courses. For Qualification courses this is an Individual Learning Plan (ILP).
For non-qualification courses we use a RARPA system of tracking personal outcomes for learners. RARPA stands for Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement. This is a 5 stage process, some of which has been covered in previous sections.
- Aims of the course
- Initial assessment of learners
- Identifying appropriately challenging learning objectives
- Recognising and recording progress and achievement
- End of programme learner assessment and IAG
- Example RARPA used for Ballroom Dance - Form - Aims
Outcome tracking & group profile
Qualifications have now been rolled out across the ICT, Functional Skills (English and Maths), ESOL and Photography curriculum areas. If you are delivering qualification courses either as a provider or as a tutor you must make yourself familiar with the policies relating to quality arrangements for qualification courses. If you are a tutor employed by ACFL then you must also read the Guidance for delivering assessments and exams.
To assist the service in managing qualification, registrations, funding and the testing environment/delivery we have devised a process map and a set of templates for assessors of tests (markers) and Internal Verifiers (IV) also known as IQAs.
Registers & achievement
The link between attendance and achievement of course and personal aims are well documented. All ACFL partner providers and tutors must record attendance and achievement regularly. Poor attendance or achievement is often a sign of an area for development for Information Advice and Guidance (are learners placed on a course that's right for them?), or the Standard of Teaching and Learning (and learners vote with their feet) but they can also be a sign that the learners we work with have multiple and significant barriers to regular attendance. Recording attendance is crucial to addressing some of these barriers or areas for development.
Attendance: Registers should be marked at EVERY SESSION. Providers should monitor registers regularly and in-course so that any issues of poor attendance can be dealt with while the learners are still doing a course.
Achievement: Achievement should be measured according to the funding stream. Adult Skills Budget Funding (qualification courses) achievement is measured according to whether the learner passes or fails an exam or assessment. For community learning and universal access the tutor should use RARPA (see tutors toolkit for guidance). Attendance and Achievement rates are used for calculating success rates for the provider or cohort of learners. All partner providers will have a minimum success rate baseline KPI.
Progression:The intended progression destination must be recorded for all learners at the end of a course. Please see the register for guidance.
Course folder & samples
As part of the ongoing monitoring of all of our provision, we ask that all providers and directly employed tutors provide electronic samples of documentation used during planning, delivery and post-course.
Please note that sampling does not affect the primary obligation of providers and tutors to keep and maintain their own records for inspection by Ofsted and ACFL Harrow. The sampling procedure is in addition to those liabilities and not in substitution of them.
The sample documentation is required to ensure that:
- Health and Safety including Safeguarding is embedded in course induction and delivery
- That equality of opportunity is evidenced in induction, planning or feedback paperwork
- That learners progress is recorded and that IAG is delivered at the appropriate stages
- That attendance and achievement is well documented and acted on
- That feedback and evaluations are acted on
Samples should include Induction, Initial Assessment, RARPA (or skills trackers - ILPs), registers, Learner evaluations, group profiles and Tutor evaluations. See full list here. In the event of technical issues relating to electronic submissions, samples should be sent to the: Quality Improvement Officer, Adult Community & Family Learning Harrow Civic Centre Station Road Harrow HA1 2XY
It is mandatory that providers have processes for consulting with learners. Information from learners should:
- Inform curriculum planning and review
- Support evaluation of quality of provision and teaching specifically
- Be embedded into Self Assessment Report (SAR)
Providers may use any appropriate system to gather information from learners that will feed into improvement planning. What is important is to gather information that is consistent with the overall provision focusing wherever possible at the following queries:
- How welcome were they made in the programme or setting?
- How appropriate was the programme for the learner and did it meet their needs?
- Was the programme well taught?
- Do learners get the support they need?
- Equality: did the learner feel they were treated fairly?
- Is learners’ work assessed regularly and do learners get the feedback about their work to enable them to progress?
Tutors are best placed to evaluate whether a course design / aims / venue / marketing has worked well or not so well. We ask providers (your employers) to make judgements on the strengths and areas for development of programmes and the tutor evaluation is vital to inform this judgement. The evaluation should contain:
- Summary retention rate of learners (percentage of people staying on course seen against the number that started)
- Summary success rate of learners (percentage of people achieving on course seen against the number that started)
- Summary attendance and punctuality
- Record what and where the learners progress onto IAG)
- Record any factors affecting success rates (good or not)