Posts Tagged ‘inspection’
At today’s North West Sixth Form College Librarians’ meeting we had a really interesting presentation from an Ofsted inspector talking about the 2009 Ofsted Common Inspection Framework. The group had invited her in to find out more about how the current inspection process impacted on library services.
On my travels I’ve heard many times about how the library or Learning Resources service has been seemingly completely ignored during inspections and how frustrating this is to those working in the service. Conversely, at a recent seminar we, the JISC RSC NW, ran in the region there were conflicting views on how much interaction the inspection team had with library services during two separate college inspections. Well today, for me, cleared up the confusion. To put it bluntly… if an inspector doesn’t visit your college library or learning resource centre during the inspection it usually means that there’s nothing to be worried about. Inspectors will usually only visit the library or learning resource centre if they are following up on a concern or an activity or service they think is a strength within the overall college. So, if you want to see an inspector and appear on the resulting report, start promoting the excellent work you are doing to everyone in the college.
Things a college library service can do to appear positively in an Ofsted inspection report:
- Get involved in cross-college initiatives – expecially those within the areas that may limit the overall inspection effectiveness grade – safeguarding and equality and diversity.
- Have a look at my previous post about Facebook and accept my challenge. http://chrissiet.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/librarians-the-facebook-expert/
- Add safeguarding to your information skills training.
- Educate your learners (and colleagues) on how to stay safe online wherever possible.
- Familiarise yourself with your college equality and diversity policies
- Investigate your college reporting procedures for equality and diversity and amend your reporting accordingly
- Don’t just praise the service within your own SER, make sure you’re praised within others around the college as well.
- You can also contribute to the grade for Leadership and Management through the Value for Money Contributory Grade (C7 from the Common Inspection Framework). Therefore, prove that all the resources in the library provide value for money and make sure your manager knows!
I recently attended a presentation from Nigel Ecclesfield from Becta concerning inspection for Further Education Colleges and was delighted to hear that provision for Libraries, Learning Resources and Open Access areas were now assessed in the inspection process. Some points are included below.
Fit for Context?
- Planning – inspectors will be looking for provision of Learning Materials and technology.
- Delivery – the use and adaptation of resources
In particular inspectors will evaluate whether:
- staff and learners have the relevant IT skills to make good use of e-learning facilities
- there are adequate resources for e-learning
- the quality and effectiveness of e-learning is well monitored
There are appropriate opportunities for learners to use e-learning facilities outside scheduled lessons.
- Open-learning/drop-in facilities
- Home access to college network
- Wireless facilities for learners with their own equipment
- Web-access to search and ordering facilities
- Acceptance and growing use of electronic documents to review and submit work for assessment
- Use of inclusive technology to support the range of learner needs
Staff and learners have the relevant IT skills to make good use of e-learning facilities
- Ability to use readily available office software to produce documents, store and find files, produce presentations, etc.
- Search the Internet, Intranet and learning platform for appropriate resources
- Access and use specialist software to meet the demands of courses
- Communicate effectively using a range of means e.g. e-mail, discussion forums, etc.
- Access own work and college facilities outside the scheduled classroom sessions – ideally 24/7
There are adequate resources for e-learning
- Access to computers and other necessary hardware e.g. cameras, sound recorders
- Access to the appropriate technology for individual needs
- Access to generally available software to create and manage a wide range of files
- Learners have e-mail accounts and access to resources
- Databases of paper-based and 3D resources
- Databases of electronic resources
- Access to a learning platform
- Staff resources are stored and available via electronic means
The quality and effectiveness of e-learning is well monitored
- Use made by learners of digital/electronic resources
- Location and storage of learner work
- Improvement in results?
- Improved communication between staff and learners?
- Increased range of learners following different modes of learning
- Teaching observation
- Self-assessment activities
The full presentation can be found here: The Inspection Line – Nigel Ecclesfield