The study at the centre of this project set out to explore the use of the Internet within Self-Organised Learning Environments (SOLEs) in vocational education and training and to investigate whether it could replace traditional teaching and learning. A mixed methods design, including classroom observations, design experiments, interviews and questionnaires was adopted. To date 5 curriculum areas across 3 colleges (2 in England and 1 in India) and a total of 150 students have taken part in the experiment cycle and a further phase will extend the cohort to an additional 3 colleges. At this mid-point a number of observations can be made about the process of conducting research within Further Education (FE) colleges. Whilst traditionally the pursuit of research is not a priority within many FE colleges, this study has encouraged teachers to trial a research-based approach to curriculum development. They have worked as co-researchers in the study from the conceptual phase to implementation. This paper outlines the process of conducting research in partnership with FE subject teachers at College A. It identifies the stages of activity over a 12 month period and is co-authored by the two teachers involved in the project.
Cathy Ellis, Alec Dyer, Dominic Thompson