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Customised Learning Platform and Mobile App Make Anytime, Anywhere Learning a Reality

Setting the Scene

Scottish Waterways Trust Canal College (SWT) is an independent registered charity that helps young people gain the skills and confidence to find work; bring vibrancy, life and opportunities to some of the nation’s most disadvantaged communities; encourage people to get active and improve their health and mental wellbeing; safeguard and improve the rich heritage and environments of Scotland’s canals. SWT undertakes innovative canal-based projects that create a brighter future for the people, communities and wildlife of Scotland. canal college® is Scottish Waterways Trust’s flagship employability and training initiative aimed at getting disadvantaged 16-30-year-olds into work.

Scottish Waterways Trust (canal college®) Customised Learning Platform on a Mobile Device

The Challenge

As canal college® offers almost exclusively outdoor, hands-on learning along the Forth & Clyde, Union and Caledonian Canals, students require accessible technologies that facilitate learning anywhere, wherever their skills development activities are taking place. canal college® opted to underpin the learning with a technology solution their students’ find visually appealing and is accessible on-demand across a mobile learning app and desktop application. They also wanted to make it easy for tutors and assessors to carry out their tasks and for administration to be straightforward.

The Solution

eCom is working with Scottish Waterways Trust to understand the evolving requirements of their ideal learning solution. It quickly became clear that, with the requirement for learning to take place anywhere, an offline mobile solution was important so eCom is helping canal college® to develop their online and offline mobile digital learning strategy.

eCom is providing a customised learning platform and mobile app, to deliver the canal college® qualification. The app provides students with access to their course planner, task list, a workbook with questions and activities linked to corresponding content screens and show their progress through the course. Each of the workbook sections relates to an SQA unit learning objective. The app has built-in functionality enabling students to upload evidence of their learning in multiple formats i.e., documents, email, audio, and video and to submit this for an assessor to mark, as well as viewing feedback from the assessor.

The mobile learning platform provides one central place to store each individual’s learning evidence and tutors are able to use the app to view evidence and award an appropriate grade. We are currently halfway through a three-year programme.

Scottish Waterways Trust (canal college®) Customised Learning Platform on a Mobile Device
Scottish Waterways Trust (canal college®) Customised Learning Platform on a Mobile Device

The Benefits

Having a truly online and offline third sector mobile learning solution will enable canal college® to realise their vision of learning completed almost entirely outdoors. The mobile app makes any time, anywhere learning a reality for canal college® students and help them take charge of their own learning to develop new skills, earn CV-boosting certificates and awards, and build their confidence for a brighter future.

This self-directed approach to learning will help participants work towards a Saltire Award, John Muir Award, Heritage Heroes Award and SQA Level 5 Unit in Working Safely. These will be provided as digital badges via the app. The customised learning platform and the app will demonstrate how effective mobile technologies can be for delivering learning in any environment and help position canal college® favourably with their target demographic. The conservation projects canal college® students undertake as part of their learning are also helping to bring Scotland’s canal network to life.

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