VocTech Impact 2019 Projects | Ufi VocTech Trust

VocTech Impact 2019 Projects

Below are the projects we have funded as part of the Impact funding round which took place in 2019.




Autolive – North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College


North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College and Coventry University Enterprises have combined their vocational training and technology advancement expertise to develop the AutoLive Training Solution.  The project builds on the AutoLive prototype training module.

AutoLive will be further developed by utilising Unreal Engine 4 to create immersive 3D virtual reality that provides realistic, interactive and engaging experiences of a production line.  Individual learners will develop environment and task familiarisation, dexterity control, safe working practices and error reduction.  Groups of learners will be able to work together to develop co-operative working practices, communication, digital connectivity, situation awareness and to experience the pace and urgency associated with working on a modern production line. 

Autolive will provide real time reporting and feedback, allowing teachers and learners to analyse choices and measure progress against assessment requirements.  Representatives from automotive sector organisations, will participate in the project by providing apprentices and trainees who will participate in the project trials to assess its effectiveness and value as a training tool.
The AutoLive tool shall support the training delivery of the Level 2 Lean Manufacturing Operative Apprenticeship Standard for apprentices and other relevant trainees and will align with the vocational learning modules for core automotive manufacturing techniques, including assembly sequencing and procedures with lean manufacturing principles, work place organisation, health & safety, quality assurance, continuous improvement, problem solving and communication.  A complete AutoLive training programme will be developed, which integrates and maximises the use of the AutoLive training tool.

Contact:  Belinda Lowe Belinda.lowe@nwslc.ac.uk
Website:  https://www.nwslc.ac.uk/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/nwslc_official
Linked In:  https://www.linkedin.com/school/north-warwickshire-and-south-leicestersh...
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/nwslc.official/



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Cognify – Pembrokeshire College


The use of voice-controlled devices continues to increase at a rapid rate and voice will overtake typing as the main search input method by 2022. 

Pembrokeshire College has developed the Cognify app that enables learners and teachers to listen to a document, dictate comments & notes and answer questions by utilising text to voice and vice versa within the same document. The app supports multiple content types within a single document including formatted text, figures and videos.  Teachers can use it for worksheets; learners can use it for dictating notes into their course materials.

Cognify is already a working app but Pembrokeshire College have identified that it requires further development to increase its perceived value to both learners and teachers.  The development of an authoring and sharing platform, an integrated e-commerce engine and integration with recognised tools such as Moodle, MS OneDrive, Google Drive and Blackboard are key steps to creating a commercially viable platform that could be used by learners for studying, especially those with additional needs, and by teachers to create Cognify based worksheets to share with their learners or to be sold to others. 

The project will be developed at Pembrokeshire College, where there is access to over 3000 work-based learners, and then a wider roll-out to the 126-member colleges of the Blended Learning Consortium. The focus on longer term sustainability is built into the project development and potential future partners have already been identified. 

Contact:  Geoff Elliott g.elliott@pembrokeshire.ac.uk
Website:  https://congify.app
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Cognify2
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/cognify-voice-assisted-tech

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Communities of Practice – Association of Learning Technology


ALT leads one of the longest self-sustaining communities of practice in the UK, active for over 25 years. The aim of this project is to establish a successful ‘community of practice’ (CoP) where vocational teaching staff can acquire, develop and share the digital, and digital pedagogical skills they need to thrive in vocational education.  ALT will provide an independent, long-term, trusted home for the network, enabling professionals from across the sector to engage with the VTE marketplace and its partner’s activities, independent of wider funding or policy changes. 

Via a comprehensive audit of existing networks, the project will examine why the Vocational/FE sector has not successfully built any long-term network(s) and has suffered from many short-term initiatives that have left professionals unable to share their expertise & resources and to engage impactfully with policy-makers consistently. The audit will help identify if there is, currently, a lack of opportunity for sector leaders to accurately track changing needs outside commercial, and company-specific interests.

This project will be part of, and support, the VTE digital marketplace that will aggregate resources, and review/rate them to refine the way technology is used in vocational learning institutions. The aim will be to develop a self-sustaining community, with minimal ongoing financial requirements, that is valued by the sector.  The sustainability of the network will be further ensured by its value to all stakeholders involved. 


Contact:  Maren Deepwell ceo@alt.ac.uk 
Website: Project and ALT 
Twitter: @A_L_T and #altc 
Linked In:  ALT on Linked In
Facebook: n/a


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Digital Change Makers - MyBE Awards


The Digital Change Makers project is developing a unique online learning platform providing high quality vocational learning experiences, developed from non-traditional learner perspectives, for criminal justice affected learners underrepresented in higher aspirational learning and careers.
The original proof of concept software will be developed into a dynamic digital platform providing experience-powered attraction and enablement for learners to capitalise on a range of user-centred qualifications and unique learner support and progression tools.  User centred design will enable the online platform to provide learning services more effectively and on learner’s terms, providing strong role modelling in an engaging, peer supported way. 
The project proposes significant innovations that includes a user-designed learning programme utilising a personalised avatar to engage learners with their programme content and progression measurement.  Learner settings with scenario-based content will be supported by digitally constructed motivation and self-assessment tools.  Digital best fit assessment of learner outcomes will be undertaken, and a novel automated peer learner inspired social marketing tool will be available to users.
The digital platform is designed to maximise learner accessibility through all types of devices and will provide a digitised learner pathway from a level 2 qualification, a level 3 qualification, an apprenticeship pathway with relevance to multiple employment sectors and a completely new Access to HE Diploma qualification aimed at widening participation of disadvantaged learners in Higher Education.  

Contact:  Martin Moody  mm@mybe.org.uk  
Website:  http://www.mybe.org.uk
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/mybeawards
Linked In:  https://www.linkedin.com/company/mybeawards/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/mybe.org.uk/ 



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Digital Productivity Factory - Valuechain


Industry 4.0 represents a significant opportunity for organisations to optimise use of resources, implement new value adding products/services and develop a sustainable competitive advantage in the market. However, many organisations and employers lack the required combination of digital and engineering skills to implement the technological changes successfully and seize the Industry 4.0 opportunity. 
Valuechain provides smart manufacturing software to enable Industry 4.0 adoption and create world-class supply chains. This project aims to help organisations develop their digital capabilities by identifying the skills gaps in organisations and then allowing students, and manufacturing workforces alike, the opportunity to develop their digital skills through a personalised development plan in an immersive virtual smart factory environment.
Users will undergo an initial assessment and receive suggested training courses to complete in the environment based on their goals and skills.  To increase depth of knowledge transfer, each course can be completed in a variety of preconfigured factory layouts and be completed either via the web or through an immersive experience.  It is anticipated that this platform will enable people to obtain the right skills to help organisations embrace Industry 4.0.

Contact:  Michael Schraps  mschraps@valuechain.com
Website: https://valuechain.com/digital-productivity-factory
Twitter: https://twitter.com/valuechaincom
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/company/valuechain-com-solutions-ltd
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/valuechaincloud/


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Formative Assessment – Bolton College


Teachers are expected to undertake open-ended formative assessment activities to support and inform teaching, learning and assessment.  The burden of work in this area is high and any means of reducing workloads will be beneficial to both teachers and learners.
Bolton College previously received VocTech seed funding to prove the concept of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyse short and long form answers and to demonstrate that real-time feedback can be offered to vocational learners as they respond to online open-ended formative assessment tasks.  Their FirstPass tool provided an initial introduction to AI cloud computing technologies which are able to support vocational students and their teachers with open-ended formative assessment tasks.
This project will provide further development of FirstPass to ensure that it is effective and robust in use and can demonstrably improve the teaching, learning and assessment experience of vocational learners.  It will provide teachers with a richer medium for assessing students due to its ability to pose open-ended questions that can be automatically analysed and assessed by a computer, giving students real-time feedback and the opportunity to qualify and clarify their responses.
The revised AI Cloud FirstPass tool will be suitable for use by vocational students and teachers in multiple institutions.

Contact:  Aftab Hussain aftab.hussain@boltoncc.ac.uk 
Website: https://www.boltoncollege.ac.uk/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BoltonCollege/ 
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/school/bolton-college/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BoltonCollege/ 



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LayupRITE 101- Augmented learning for high dexterity applications – National Composites Centre


This project is a continuation of the preceding Ufi funded project ‘Augmented Learning for High Dexterity Manufacturing’, which sought to utilise advances in technology and learning design as well as a wealth of composites layup understanding to improve and digitise composites training.  
Composite materials are used increasingly across many industries because of their beneficial properties, with hand layup being one of their most common forms of manufacture.  Existing skills development for composite layup processes relies on a combination of job shadowing and experience gained with time on the job.  The project seeks to change fundamentally how composites training is developed and delivered, reducing timescales and costs by employing novel augmented reality and digital methods alongside e-learning training content.

A series of digital training scenarios will be created and delivered as part of an introductory-level course. The scheme of work, lesson plans, and objectives will then need to be created. Finally, the necessary digital materials for each course will be developed, including e-learning content, simulations and augmented reality programs.  Scenarios for the Introductory training packages are to be embedded in Graduate and Apprentice training materials.

In addition to the training carried out at the NCC there will be real world college trials with trailblazer apprentices in order to assess the performance of the system and material at an example customer location. 

Contact:  James Wither  james.wither@nccuk.com
Website: https://www.nccuk.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nccukinfo?lang=en
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/company/national-composites-centre
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationalCompositesCentre


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Mobiles, Skills & Confidence with Numbers – National Numeracy


National Numeracy is an independent charity established to raise low levels of numeracy among both adults and children and to promote the importance of everyday maths skills. They aim to enable everyone across the UK to be confident and competent in using numbers and data, to be able to make good decisions in their daily life and at work.
The project aims to develop the existing National Numeracy Challenge website so that it provides an engaging experience on mobile devices thereby enabling adult workers to improve their skills without the need to be sat at a PC with wi-fi access.  Content will be developed to support adults with lower maths skills, or a lack of confidence and learners will have the opportunity to demonstrate measurable improvements in proficiency.
The team will partner with Health Education England and The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) to engage health & social care and retail & distribution employees to ensure that solutions are effective in settings where staff lack the maths skills and confidence with numbers necessary for their jobs.

The project will measure the improvement in the skills and/or confidence of 20,000 adults, enabling them to ‘get on with numbers’ and thereby get on at work.

Contact:  Paul Milner  paul@nationalnumeracy.org
Website: https://www.nationalnumeracy.org.uk/ and https://www.nnchallenge.org.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nat_Numeracy
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/company/national-numeracy
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nationalnumeracy

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Princes Trust Online – The Princes Trust


The Prince’s Trust supports young people to develop their soft skills and employability skills, breaking down any barriers personal or otherwise, to enable them to eventually find a job or the opportunity to get into training or education.
Currently The Prince’s Trust get approximately 100,000 enquiries a year, but unfortunately not all of these young people are able to immediately benefit from the programmes of support offered.  The current mechanisms are not as young people friendly as they could be and as a result, there is a fairly high drop-out rate. 
Now more than ever, young people are facing greater barriers to educational attainment and employment.   With nearly 95% of young people owning a smart phone, Prince’s Trust Online will allow more versatility in how and where support can be offered, through both mobile and online learning content.  The next iteration of Prince’s Trust Online will invite young people to become part of a community from the moment they engage and stay connected through a blended face-to-face and digital platform. This digital on boarding means they will remain engaged whilst they are waiting for a programme.   The project will focus on improving the initial customer experience and improving the digital engagement with young people, which will be offered alongside face-to-face support.

Contact:  Vasilia Nicolaou - vasilia.nicolaou@princes-trust.org.uk

Website: www.princes-trust.org.uk
Twitter: @PrincesTrust
Linked In: The Prince’s Trust
Facebook: Prince’s Trust


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Using Tech to embed learning - AELP


AELP in partnership with Gen2 and manufacturing employers tested and piloted the application of low-cost digital technologies to help improve learner engagement, retention and outcomes, in particular in remote settings where cost and connectivity can be barriers to learning.  The phase 1 project successfully developed a suite of learning and development resources that aligned to the manufacturing apprenticeship standards.  Learners had direct access to bite-sized learning on a VLE, via handheld devices.  Content, including instructional videos and interactive sessions, was accessible in the workplace, triggered by QR codes on equipment or smart posters using AR content to enrich the experience. 

The next phase of the project builds on the resources delivered in phase 1 by creating an easy access  platform, available to training providers in the Engineering and Manufacturing sectors, optimised to use low-cost VR technology, such as Google Cardboard, and the creation of 360o immersive videos.  
The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) has over 800 members ranging from Independent Training Providers, Colleges, Universities and End Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs) working with over 360,000 employers across all sectors. The learning from the development of this programme will be used to explore whether the approach may be used in a range of other non-manufacturing and service sectors. 
Gen2 has 900+ apprentices, which gives a solid basis for both evaluation in the testing and rollout phases, and to measure a resulting impact on learning.

Contact:  Cheryl Swales cswales@aelp.org.uk
Website: www.aelp.org.uk
Twitter: @AELPUK / @cheryl_swales
Linked In: @Association of Employment and Learning Providers / @Cheryl Swales
Facebook: n/a

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