Exploring the Challenge: panel discussions

By Sarah Axon, Ufi Grants Manager

In July we are running three panel discussions to help organisations start thinking about how to approach the issues presented in our VocTech Challenge call.  These are in addition to our usual funding workshops. The aim is to raise awareness of the possibilities and help spark your ideas for what might work for your project.

The Challenge we have set is not easy. We’re looking for projects that are going to work with learners that are furthest from learning. We’d like you to come up with proposals for vocational learning that improve confidence and motivation so that your learners are able to take action to get the skills they need for work.

The relationship with your learners will be key to a successful project. You’ll really need a deep understanding of the barriers they face in order to come up with creative and sympathetic solutions to support them into learning and work. And to do that you’ll need to build a relationship of mutual trust.

The panel discussions will focus on three aspects of working with your learners: who they are, testing your ideas with them and designing a solution that works for them. In these sessions we’re not going to tell you what to put in your application form. Working with learners is a huge topic and there is no one simple answer. Rather we aim to discuss some different approaches arising from different experiences and start you thinking about what approaches might work for your project.

Format

Three experts will discuss the theme. Just like Question Time there will be an opportunity for the audience to take part and ask the panel your own questions – so come prepared. All discussions will be recorded and available from the Ufi website.

Exploring the Challenge workshop 1: 30th June 10-11am

Who are your learners and what do you know about them?

Panel members: 

  • Rachel Simnett – independent consultant with over 15 years' experience in user research and testing, including fieldwork and ethnography, focus group/workshop facilitation, usability, accessibility and UAT.
  • Dan Whiston – independent learning designer with more than 20 years' experience creating online modules, courses, degrees, learning apps and more for clients across the public and private sectors. Dan also manages projects for Ufi.
  • John Casey – currently senior learning technologist at City College Glasgow, with 20 years' experience of implementing technology in education.

Sign up to the workshop

Exploring the Challenge workshop 2: 13th July 2-3pm

Testing your ideas 

Panel members: 

  • Rachel Simnett – independent consultant with over 15 years' experience in user research and testing, including fieldwork and ethnography, focus group/workshop facilitation, usability, accessibility and UAT.
  • Rachel Smith – currently user experience manager heading up a UX/UI project team. Rachel has more than 20 years design and usability experience from the early days of the web, working on the Houses of Parliament website to working with a wide range of learning platforms and digital products for public and private sector clients.
  • John Casey – currently senior learning technologist at City College Glasgow, with 20 years' experience of implementing technology in education.

Sign up to the workshop

Exploring the Challenge workshop 3: 21st July 12-1pm

Designing for your learners 

Panel members: 

  • Rachel Smith – currently user experience manager heading up a UX/UI project team. Rachel has more than 20 years design and usability experience from the early days of the web working on the Houses of Parliament website, to working with a wide range of learning platforms and digital products
  • Patrick Dunn- independent learning consultant with more than 30 years experience. Patrick’s specialism is learning design methodologies for new technologies, and is a specialist in blended learning design. He also designs visuals, videos and animations for a wide range of uses both within the learning field and for communications and entertainment. Patrick manages a number of projects for Ufi.
  • Third panel member - to be confirmed

Sign up to the workshop

We look forward to seeing you there.

The VocTech Challenge

Read more about the VocTech Challenge Grant Fund.

Alternatively, you can download the detailed fund guidance as a pdf.