What makes a good learning resource?

What makes a good learning resource?

Good interactive learning resources have three distinct stages: the tutorial, practice questions and summative assessment. This applies to all qualification routes, be it functional skills, GCSE or ESOL.

The tutorial is the key first stage of the process – the learner has a skills gap and the resource needs to address it. The resource needs to engage the learner, explaining concepts in a simple, concise style with plenty of examples to support understanding.

The best resources meet a range of learning styles which is why ForSkills’ video tutorials, available free on ForskillsGo, have proven so popular. They’re visually appealing with a professionally recorded audio soundtrack which allows the explanation of ideas that would not be possible in a paper resource, for example, the pronunciation of vowels sounds. ForSkills have also introduced an interactive, kinaesthetic element to their videos by setting learners a challenge based around the concepts they have learnt.

The second stage is all about practice to enforce the learning. Questions should be based on the ideas covered in the tutorial, and it should be possible for the learner to refer back to the tutorial if needs be. Learners should be given instant feedback on their answers. ForSkills’ practice skills mark a learner’s work and, where appropriate, also provide hints for them to have a second attempt at the questions.

The summative assessment is the final part of the learning process. This is where the learner has to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts learnt. ForSkills have set a 70% pass mark on their summative assessments, a proven benchmark of competency.

Learners should receive feedback on whether they have passed the summative assessment. If they haven’t passed, they should be able to review their answers to see where mistakes were made.

The 3-stage process should be cyclical, allowing the learners to revisit the tutorials to pick up on information they may have missed and then practice the concepts again until learning is consolidated. The learner journey should be tracked automatically on an individual skills plan (ISP), and topics signed off as a learner completes them.

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