For many, COVID presented problems for the start, with organisations making the difficult decision to make some employees redundant, enable working from home and implement practices that would allow for remote working. For some, COVID had less of effect as practices were already in place that meant organisations could continue almost ‘as normal’. Thankfully, our eportfolio is cloud-based, meaning Smart Assessor has helped our users through COVID with very few changes.

Technology has become a necessity to enable organisations to continue working, with meetings now held on Teams, Zoom or similar, office phone calls replaced with emails and many relying on the ability to remote work (especially those who have required to self-isolate). According to one report, 74% of businesses surveyed intend to move to remote working permanently, making implementing the right technology solutions essential.

Education over recent months has taken a huge hit, however, schools and colleges were able to re-open in September with social distancing in place, these precautions meant many chose to continue to deliver some of the curriculum virtually. Apprentices have suffered too, with some apprentices unable to visit the workplace and some unfortunately being made furloughed. So how can Smart Assessor help those who need it during not online throughout COVID, but for the future?

Smart Apprentices works with several large apprenticeship providing colleges who have managed to continue delivering apprenticeships without much change, thanks to our eportfolio Smart Assessor.

Remote communication

Whilst teaching and assessing has moved to remote learning, one advantage of Smart Assessor is that Smart Rooms are part of the package, meaning each college already had the tools in place to meet virtually and continue to engage with their learners.

Smart Rooms are ideal for those who need additional support and guidance as the room is accessible any time and can also be joined via phone or tablet – perfect for those learners who spend countless hours on their smartphone. In addition, Smart Rooms can be recorded to use as evidence or to refer back to at a later date, which is perfect for both learners and assessors as well as a college for use in future audits.

Electronic enrolment

As September rolled around, many colleges were worried about the prospect of having to enrol fewer apprentices each day – a timely activity, which with social distancing in place, may have taken even longer. Smart Assessor makes remote enrolment easy. Smart Assessors enrolment forms can be pre-populated with fields to make completion times quicker and this information can then feed into other aspects of the eportfolio eliminating the risk of duplicated or incorrect data entry.

“Smart Assessor has given us far more opportunities to streamline our processes and increased efficiency across the team with aspects such as enrolment, paperless form filling etc. Some of these functions were available in alternative eportfolios but we could never make them work. We now have a number of paperless forms and a process that integrates with PICS to create the learner portfolio and link into initial assessment results in the SVLE.” – Heart of Worcestershire College

Monitoring progress

Apprentices are less likely to be engaged in their learning without regular face-to-face check-ins and teaching, which is why monitoring their progress closely has become even more important during COVID. Progress bars within Smart Assessor are clearly coloured to enable access to important information at a quick glance.

Apprentices who are off-track on their learning can easily be identified by the assessor and given the extra support they may need or provided with additional guidance on how to get back on track for a timely completion.

“Smart Assessor is great for big organisations we work with such as Swansea Bay NHS, as it enables us to access information on all our staff and review the progress they are making on their qualifications.” – Gower College Swansea

“Smart Assessor has transformed our apprenticeship provision, it has enabled me to be accountable to the governing board and for my team to be accountable to me. At the click of a button, I can see how long it takes us to provide feedback to apprentices, when their next appointment is, how many off the job hours have been logged, what the overall progress is for apprentices, the list goes on.” – North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC)

Assessing learners knowledge and understanding

Like many of us, the reality of ‘Zoom Fatigue’ is beginning to settle in after months of learning, meeting and socialising remotely through zoom rooms or similar. Imagine having to remotely learn all the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for your apprenticeship entirely remotely, this is the challenge many apprentices are now facing. The struggle for colleges is how to monitor and assess a learners knowledge and understanding remotely.

Smart VLE is used by several of our college clients to assess their learners, with many building bespoke assessments to assign at the end of each unit to test the learning level of their apprentice. Multiple-choice assessments with as few as 10 questions are used by NWSLC to understand their learning before the assessor can move the learner onto their next unit. Similar assessments can also be put in place to see if a learner is gateway ready or if there is a need for some additional learning resources required.

Smart Assessor can help colleges throughout COVID and beyond with several innovative features and processes, if you think we could be an ideal strategic partner for your organisation, why not get in touch today?

You can call us on 0845 460 4440 or book a demo

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