National Networks for Collaborative Outreach Project (NNCO)

National Networks for Collaborative Outreach Project (NNCO)

As part of Adult Learners Week 2016 and ongoing development opportunities the Open University have initiated and will be leading the National Networks for Collaborative Outreach (NNCOproject. Below are the main details and contacts for those in the know.  

The focus of the national NNCO is specifically to support adults looking for part-time, flexible study opportunities to improve their long term life/career prospects. All the resources being developed will be free, online and in the public domain. If you have a focus on adult learners or are working with younger learners where the full-time undergraduate option doesn’t seem feasible (i.e. grades below those required or the need to work and learn at the same time) we would be more than happy to discuss how we can support your work.

A reminder of the 3 areas of our work follows:-

Development of a project website:
The project is now well into the delivery phase. Our web development team are working to produce a website that will aim to simplify the complex world of adult education. The main focus will be to serve adults looking for advice and guidance on non-traditional routes to and through higher education and will include all types of learning opportunities e.g. apprenticeships, HE, FE, work-based learning, recognition of prior learning, informal to formal journeys, accredited/non-accredited provision.

Over the next 5 months the project team will ensure that all necessary content is included in the website, as well as ensuring that accessibility and user testing is carried out before the final version of the website is ready to go live by end of July 2016.

Development of a suite of free online courses:
The course teams for the 6 free online courses have now been established. More details of the target audiences for the courses are below:

  • Teaching assistants and other low paid, unqualified school staff.
  • Healthcare assistants and the wider health sector workers (bands 1-4 primarily).
  • A generic ‘planning a better future’ course aimed at a wide section of low paid workers, e.g. those in retail, hospitality, service industries.
  • A social care course to support those in low paid or voluntary work in home, residential, community or family care settings.
  • A course for those who want to set up, develop and sustain a Micro-Small Enterprise.
  • A course for those interested in being involved with the Voluntary Sector.

Learners will be able to collect online, downloadable badges (between 3-5 per course) and an end of course statement of participation. So although these courses won’t carry any credit, they do offer learners something to show as recognition of their completion. All courses are due to go live by the end of July 2016.

Research and Evaluation:
The project is exploring ways to embed robust tracking and monitoring mechanisms into the website development and the free online courses to enable exploration of the use and impact of the learning assets. The assets will be evaluated using a mixture of analytics (to monitor user engagement, navigation and journeys), evaluative surveys (to gather feedback after use of the resources) and, specifically for the courses, a measure of self-regulated learning .

If you would like further information please contact one of the team below:-

Julie Gowen (SPoC and Lead) – Head of External Development
Evaghn DeSouza – Project Manager
Jen Goff – Evaluation Officer

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