1. To ensure that distance learning delivery meets the guidelines set by the awarding organisation.
2. To ensure that assessment methodology is valid, reliable and does not disadvantage any group or individual learners.
In order to do this London Bridge College will:
- Ensure that teaching/delivery/assessment staff are timetabled to support blended learning when learners are working remotely
- Ensure there is a process to manage feedback on assignments, questions are constructively answered, and feedback is provided in a timely manner
- Ensure the setting of assignments is undertaken in the face-to-face sessions and that deadlines are clear
- Ensure that when learners submit work measures are taken to ensure the work is authentic and has been completed by the learner
- Maintain and store securely all assessment and internal verification records in accordance with Pearson Centre Agreement.
London Bridge College is an online provision, and all learning and assessment is delivered through an open learning or ‘distance’ learning model.
Validity and approval for online delivery
The College is accredited through Pearson to provide BTEC qualifications. The college’s delivery model and assessment arrangements have been designed with strict adherences to the Pearson Distance Learning and Assessment policy, produced by Pearson Assessment services. At centre and qualification approval stages, the Pearson verification professionals have checked that the college arrangements reflect the standards and requirements set out in the policy. Further, on an annual basis through the LSV (Lead Standards Verification) activity conducted by Pearson regular checks are carried out to ensure ongoing compliance and adherence to the policy.
The college’s model of delivery includes both Distance Learning, and Distance assessment, as defined by the Pearson policy:
Distance Learning is a mode of delivering education and instruction, often on an individual basis, to learners who are not physically present in a traditional setting such as a classroom.
Distance Assessment is a method of assessment delivered to learners away from a centre, with little or no face to face contact with tutors. Assessment is designed to be carried out remotely. Distance Assessment enables access to assessment for learners who are in situations/settings where traditional methods of assessment delivery may be difficult or impossible to operate. Distance Assessment is frequently delivered electronically
Potential risk for online learning
Online learning, where learners are not in direct and regular face to face contact with lecturers, trainers, assessors or other front line delivery staff can present a unique set of risks that may threaten the integrity of the qualification, or the validity of assessment. The college have undertaken a robust risk assessment to identify associated risks, and have put in place controls to mitigate risks so that they are minimised. This policy seeks to identify said risks, and show what steps the college take to mitigate, manage and control the risks identified.
During registration with the college, learners are required to authenticate their identity using specially designed industry software. Formal ID is checked and a verification photo of the learner is retained
The College’s admissions policy allows a ‘roll-on, roll-off’ approach to programme delivery. This means that learners are able to enrol on a programme at any point of the year, and a free to work at their own pace through the learning material and assessment tasks. Suggested timelines are presented at the start of each programmes for the learners. These timelines suggest the amount of time to be spent on each learning activity and assessment task, and the duration of time to be spent working through each unit of module. The centre management team monitor learner achievement and progress against the set timescales, and make contact with learners to review progress where slow progress has been evidenced. This intervention supports learner retention and achievement.
As the mode of delivery follows a roll on-and-off model group learning at the college is unusual, as learner numbers on any particular course or programme could fluctuate, and learners enrolled onto the same programme will be at different stages, and work at their individual pace.
The college’s e-learning is provided in a ‘flat’ format. This means that there is learning materials for the learner to ‘consume’. Learning is set out in a logical sequence, covering each learning outcome of a programme, using engaging methods such as Ted Talks, Videos, quizzes, PDFs, screencasts of presentations, pictures and diagrams, links to external websites and further reading or research, reflection exercises and ‘head and shoulder’ armchair style video introductions and explanations from course staff. Learning at College is not usually delivered using interactive chatrooms, real-time teaching or online seminars, although their occasional use may be embedded. Where this style of teaching is included, the following guidelines should be adhered to:
- 1. Anything we say or do online can be recorded, stored, edited and forwarded without our knowledge.
Google Hangouts Meets, for example, can be set to autonomously record your meetings and auto-generate a transcript of what was spoken and by whom. We must keep every interaction with our learners professional and clean. The same high standards of personal conduct that are expected of us in the classroom apply even more when we are teaching online.
- 2. Know when your camera and microphone are switched on.
If engaging if video conferencing ensure that the microphone and video is activated only for the face to face time, and switched off immediately, so that there is no inadvertent capture of audio of video. In addition, be equally aware of video conferencing apps that can auto-generate captions. If you switch your camera off, but fail to switch off your microphone, otherwise audio will not only be audible to your students, but captions may even appear on their screens
- 3. Parents and/or others may watch you teach, so be prepared for that. Your audience may be larger than anticipated. It is always recommended to include ‘ground rules’ to protect confidentiality and protect the contribution of members of the group. Where learners’ cameras are switched off, be cautious about who else may be present. This places us, as teachers, under even greater pressure to deliver high-quality learning. Be professional and keep standards high. If we aim to be clear, caring and professional, then our students and their parents will respect and appreciate our efforts all the more for it.
- 4. Be aware of chat features that are built into apps. These can contain casual emojis that one can choose to use; but we must be careful not to chat casually with any student (even by adding emojis to our messages). Keep all communication conducted through integrated chat as professional as you would in any classroom environment. (Click here for a useful article on how teachers should behave on Social Media.
Requirements in relation to managing approved distance learning and distance assessment provision at the college.
- When learners are registered on Edexcel online (EOL) we inform Pearson that our learners have been taught or assessed at a distance, using the dropdown menus and checkboxes available
- We inform at the earliest opportunity SV and LSV associates, and any other monitoring personnel from Pearson that our learners follow distance learning and distance assessment and provide whatever details requested to support effective and robust external monitoring
- The college does not offer any programmes where assessment is set and marked by Pearson and which must be taken under specified conditions.
- The college is committed to following Pearson guidance on the conduct of assessment and the requirements and procedures regarding suspected malpractice; details of the college’s compliance with these regulations are provided within the Assessment Policy and the Malpractice policy
Delivering of learning, using the college’s distance learning approach:
- Course information clearly describes the college’s responsibilities for the delivery of the programme of study and states what support is available
- For each programme there is a clear suggested timeline for learners to follow, which outlines the delivery of the learning package and associated resources and study materials.
- The process for summative assessment of learners’ work is clearly laid out for each programme, with a suggested timeline, and allocation of time to each task. Learners are encouraged and able to work at their own pace to complete assessed work in line with work-life balance
- For each assignment submission, there are clear instructions for learners on the way in which we ensure that evidence submitted by each learner is authentic. Learners are required to submit an authenticity statement from their Moodle account with each piece of work submitted, using industry standard authentication confirmation
- College staff are provided with clear information on the ways in which learner’s evidence of achievement will be assessed. This is provided through the assessment policy, and staff handbook
- •The college does not deliver qualifications which include workplace-based performance evidence
How the college supports learners within our ‘distance learning’ framework:
Learners are provided with:
- A clear explanation of the requirements of the programme and of the type and amount of independent and supported learning they can expect. This is provided both prior to registration and enrollment and as part of the induction module to each programme
- The qualification specification, to show the intended learning outcomes and associated assessment criteria. This is provided as a PDF download for each unit within Moodle
- An explanation of the learning and assessment methods for the programme. An introduction video once learners are enrolled on programme and introduction text is provided as part of the pre-course information available
- • Clarification of roles and responsibilities. We provide clear information on the learners’ own responsibilities outline the role of assessors and IV and the administration team in providing support, assessment decisions and quality assurance of the process
- • An identified contact who gives learners constructive feedback on their learning and progress towards their qualification aim. All learners are allocated an assessor and receive regular feedback on submitted tasks. In addition, the central administration team provide a single point of contact for learner queries and support requirements
- • The encouragement to engage fully with their learning and the assessment process. This is provided via their assessor and the central admin team who monitor learner progress against the programme identified timeline
- • Opportunities for interim (formative) assessment of their evidence of learning to enable individual constructive feedback and guidance towards final (summative) assessment. This is provided via the feedback from assessors on submitted tasks
- • Tutors, trainers and assessors with appropriate and suitable current knowledge and skills for the delivery of the programme. This is achieved through detailed and thorough staff induction, ongoing standardisation and regular updates
- • Confirmation that the distance learning provision is subject to the normal, scheduled internal quality assurance processes and the quality improvement cycle. Learners receive information post-enrolment about the quality cycle related to their programme, including details of internal and external verification processes, as well as their right to appear and the route to follow should they wish to do this
- • Appropriate IT/technical support. This is provided via web-page support and FAQs, learners may also contact the central administration team for IT support where the electronic resources can’t help
What the college does not do:
- The college does not deliver qualifications where observation of learner performance of a task or skill is a requirement or where the qualification requires that assessment must be taken under specified conditions, which may include direct supervision, designated timings or other forms of control.
- The college does not deliver qualifications which include an element of external assessment
- The college does not deliver qualifications which include the handling or use of secure materials
The college deliver BTEC programmes, which do not include BTEC Firsts or Nationals. All programmes within the college’s offering consist of assignment based assessment. Assignments are designed according to the BTEC standard assignment brief format, and further details can be found in the college’s Assessment Policy.
All college assessment is undertaken via distance assessment, and the college takes steps in the design and implementation of assessment to ensure that it:
- is fit for purpose, by ensuring that it meets the ‘Assessment Requirements’ as set out in each unit within the programme specification.
- has content which is appropriate to the level of assessment; including a relevant vocational scenario.
- meets the requirements for assessment specific to the particular qualification and is
- consistent with the qualification specification
- is delivered in a way which is appropriate to what is being assessed;
- does not disadvantage learners in line with the UK Equality Act 2010 and any other relevant UK equalities legislation;
- is accessible to learners and uses straightforward language
- allows each learner to generate evidence that is valid and can be authenticated;
- permits Reasonable Adjustments to be made, while minimising the need for them; inline with Pearson assessment guidance
- has appropriate controls in place to prevent and detect plagiarism.
Authenticity of learner work
Through rigorous assessment and internal quality assurance processes, the college takes all
reasonable steps to ensure that, in relation to distance assessment:
- Evidence submitted by each learner for assessment is authentic
- A declaration of authenticity is completed by learners and assessors
- Provide access to Pearson associates to ensure that as part of the external quality assurance, Standards Verifiers are able to review the process through which the college confirm the authenticity of learners’ evidence.
Movement of learner evidence of achievement and data
Please refer to the data policies for detailed arrangements in place on how the college manages data and the flow and movement of evidence
Systems, data integrity and disaster recovery for e-assessment
- The college regularly maintain and review the security of e- assessment systems for protection against corruptive influences. Detailed procedures are in place to assure the security of hardware and software and the integrity of test data. (See the data integrity and disaster recovery policies)
- College systems allow for flexibility in the light of technological development. System testing is always thorough, and is reviewed at regular intervals The college
System access and security of learners’ assessed work:
- Our e-portfolio systems which are used for distance assessment are stored and maintained securely.
- The college ensures that access by all required parties is possible, in line with relevant data protection protocols
- Learners are required to keep a copy of their assignments, and are emailed feedback which is provided on Moodle so that they can move their portfolios from one centre to another.
- Assessed work is stored securely, readily and easily accessible for:
- Internal verifiers;
- Standards verifiers;
- Users at locations remote from the centre; and
- Any other interested and validated organisation or person.
- The college ensures that portfolio evidence is retained and accessible for standards verification and audit, assessment and internal verification records are retained for a minimum of three years.
Last update: September 2020, Review: August 2021