Encouraging both independence and collaboration
Steven Hope, Leeds City College’s Head of Independent Learning, is overseeing an evolution in the college’s approach to teaching. “To go beyond the traditional classroom, we set up independent learning zones where students can work on their own,” he explains. As of mid-2019 there are 16 independent learning zones, with more being added every year in spaces across campuses.
Leeds City College students were already using G Suite and Chromebooks to work independently or on group projects. Hope wanted to encourage even more independent learning and collaboration within these spaces as well as in the college’s classrooms.
“Over the years, we’ve seen the value of this approach,” says Hope. “We’re keen to help teachers to enable students to lead their own learning.”
To drive even more student-led learning at the college, Hope sought out tools that fostered easy collaboration among students and teachers. “There’s a big discussion to be had about how digital tools have changed the skills needed for learning,” he says. “We have the 4 Cs—creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. As it’s such a big part of what students need now, I see curation of content as the fifth ‘C.’ It’s our job to give students tools to enable that curation.”