Digital Apprenticeship Community Event – 10th July 2018 – AMRC, Sheffield

Factory 2050

Following our successful community event in London, we are running another community event at the AMRC Factory 2050 in Sheffield on the 10th July 2018. 

AMRC Factory 2050 is located on Shef eld Business Park just off junction 33 of the M1, and clearly signed from the A630 Shef eld Parkway.

The event runs from from 10:00 to 4:00 and lunch will be provided.

If you’re working in the area of apprenticeships and are interested in how digital can improve the whole apprenticeship journey, we’d like to invite you to join this digital apprenticeships community event, the focus of which will be degree apprenticeships.

Our event will give you an opportunity to network, share practice and hear what Jisc – and various organisations – are doing in this space.

Richard de Blacquiere-Clarkson  from the University of Leeds will deliver a session on how he is integrating a digital literacy framework into their degree apprenticeship programme, both to help develop students’ digital skills and support effective assessment and feedback practices.

There will be a presentation from the University of Sheffield about the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, where the event is hosted. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to discover more about the Jisc digital apprenticeships project and emerging toolkits in this area.

Who should attend – Staff in colleges and universities working in the area of apprenticeships and those who are interested in how digital can improve the whole apprenticeship journey.

Book now.

Update: Venue has changed from KTC to Factory 2050

Write a case study


Case studies are a useful tool to describe how others across the sector are embedding digital into the apprenticeship journey. Though not always instantly transferable from one situation to another, they can be used to see what experiences, problems and issues others have faced and importantly how they overcame them.

We would like to invite you to write case studies, which may then be published here on the blog. In order to give you a starting point, we have created a template that asks a series of questions.

Overall the expected length of the case study would be 500-1500 words.

This template is designed to encourage you reflect on how you have embedded for used digital in response to particular challenges in the apprenticeship space and then to share the outcomes with other practitioners.

Case study title

Institution name

Background [Give brief details of institution, type of apprentices and learning (or work) environment in which the activity/ies took place]

Intended outcome(s) [Describe the objective(s) behind the practice outlined here]

The challenge [Identify the issues that required attention or which prompted you to re-assess your previous practice]

Established practice [Identify features of the practice previously in use – this may include any aspects which were subsequently amended]

The digital advantage [Describe the benefits of the addition of digital, as experienced by apprentices, practitioners and/or the institution as a whole]

Key points for effective practice [Briefly identify the most important points in the case study for other practitioners – these may include risks as well as benefits]

Conclusions and recommendations [A summary of how and why the practice outlined here has been effective]

Additional information [Use this optional section to add related materials or content e.g. a lesson plan or a set of data, or to supply your email address]

Please send completed case studies to

The apprenticeship toolkit is now live

Tools, Repair, Construction, Work, Screwdriver, Home

The Apprenticeship toolkit shows how effective application of digital technologies can support the planning, design, delivery and assessment of apprenticeships.

The step-by-step toolkit shows the actions to cover at each stage together with potential opportunities and pitfalls.  it also clearly highlights specific examples where technology can be positively exploited.

Apprentices have slightly diff rent needs to other learners, particularly because they are also employees spending most of their time on the job learning.  its important they are not left isolated but feel the benefits of a supportive and inclusive processes in their learning environment.

Technology can play a huge role in improving motivation and keeping them connected to their teachers and peers.

This version of the toolkit is aimed at colleges and training providers (including employer-providers), and organisations delivering end point assessment (EPA) in England, but much of the content has relevance and applicability across nations.

Developed in collaboration with providers and employers we hope you enjoy using the toolkit, and welcome any feedback.

Coming soon……. Degree apprenticeships and Delivering apprenticeships in Wales.  Please keep an eye on this space for further news.


Higher and degree apprenticeships survey outcomes

We recently ran a survey intended to support preparation of a forthcoming Jisc guide to the use of technology in delivering higher and degree apprenticeships. The survey was launched in October 2017 and closed in January 2018.

We received 49 responses from 37 different organisations. The breakdown of respondents by background was:

  • 42 higher education providers
  • 5 HE in FE providers
  • 2 other (government department & independent training provider)

Most of the respondents were in senior management positions relating to academic development or having specific responsibility for apprenticeships/vocational education so we can be confident that the results paint a realistic picture of the state of play.

You can find a summary of the outcomes attached.

Survey report i1

CANCELLED – Digital Apprenticeship Community Event – 19th April 2018 – Portsmouth


We are sorry to notify you that we’ve had a limited number of bookings for the Digital Apprenticeship Community Event at Portsmouth on Thursday 19 April and we have therefore decided to cancel the event.

We will be running a future community event later on in the year so please do look for any updates on our website.

Our apologies for any inconvenience caused.


Following the first successful community event in London, we are running a second community event at The University of Portsmouth on the 19th April 2018. The event runs from from 10:30 to 3:30 and lunch will be provided.

If you’re working in the area of apprenticeships and are interested in how digital can improve the whole apprenticeship journey, we’d like to invite you to join this digital apprenticeships community event, the focus of which will be degree apprenticeships.

Our event will give you an opportunity to network, share practice and hear what Jisc – and various organisations – are doing in this space.

You’ll also have the opportunity to discover more about our digital apprenticeships project and emerging toolkits in this area.

Who should attend – Staff in colleges and universities working in the area of apprenticeships and those who are interested in how digital can improve the whole apprenticeship journey.

More information

Book now

Snow didn’t stop play


Last Wednesday 28th February some hardy souls managed a public transport challenged trip to London and gathered in Brettenham House, London for the very first Digital Apprentice Community Event.  Whilst we were down somewhat in expected numbers the quality of discussion and the quantity of refreshments was excellent.

Kicking off with a look at the background to the project and how we had to got this far, we then moved on to look at the prototype and completed the mandatory jisc post-it activity facilitated by Rob Bristow.

DA comm event

Following that Paul Bailey walked us through Learning analytics and the on boarding process

James Clay completed the morning session with a barriers and gaps activity using the bridge metaphor:

What is the solution to the problem that enables the desired outcome:

The problem:   How do I cross the river without getting wet and continue my car journey?

The enabler:  A bridge solves the problem by taking me over the bridge

The solution:   I continue my car journey

As the snow was getting fast and furious we had a short but exceedingly generous lunch before resuming  with an excellent case study from Gilmar Queiros, Apprenticeship Development Manager at Staffordshire University.  Gilmar very kindly shared the lessons learnt by Staffordshire in the hope of saving pain for others and his key takeaway:  focus on what successful delivery looks like for you and then work back from there.

I finished with a tour of our soon to be launched (at Digifest March 2018) apprenticeship toolkit which supports providers to embed technology in planning, preparation, delivery and assessment of apprenticeships, with lots of handy tips, guides and case studies.   Keep an eye on the blog for further news.

Thanks to all our attendees, who kept the questions flowing and contributed to a very vibrant day and I hope you all had safe journeys home, with minimal delays.

Our next event is in Portsmouth on 10th April 2018 more details here.

Slides from the day

As a… When I am… I want to… so that I can…


User stories are an ideal vehicle for understanding the needs of users to inform product and service development.

A user story is an informal, natural language description of one or more features of a software system. User stories are often written from the perspective of an end user or user of a system.
User stories are a few sentences in simple language that outline the desired outcome. They don’t go into detailed requirements.

how we innovate

As we move along the innovation pipeline in the Jisc Digital Apprenticeships project we are not only using user stories to support the development of the project, but also to avoid scope creep and to inform the project team about the different requirements of the different users in the product process.

If we write user stories for the key players, the provider, the apprentice and the employer, we can ensure that the final product is meeting their actual needs and not the needs that we, the project team, think they have. There may be multiple users within those categories, the Apprentice Manager at a provider may have a very different user story compared to an instructor who is training the apprentice. Individual users may have multiple stories as well.

They provide the project team with focus and clarity.

We have a simple structure, that allows to have a shared understanding of the user needs.

As a… When I am… I want to… so that I can…

For example.

  • As an apprentice.
  • When I am undertaking work based training.
  • I want to record what I have done.
  • So that I can share what I have learnt with my college.

We consult and talk to users to check and confirm these stories. Once we have the user stories in place, we can then check the product against them to ensure we are on track with the project.


Getting ready for Digital Apprentice

We are soon going to be starting to recruit institutions to be part of the pilot group for Digital Apprentice, so it seems timely to describe what will be needed to enable an institution to join in.

Digital Apprentice will be using the same key infrastructure as Jisc’s existing Learning Analytics service, which uses provider data build dashboards for the use of teachers and others to monitor and get predictions of students’ progress and likely attainment.

In the same was a Learning Analytics,  Digital Apprentice works by bringing institutional data into Jisc’s Learning Data Hub, one of the first steps for an institution is to be in a position to sign Jisc’s data sharing agreement. This legal agreement has recently been updated to be fully GDPR compliant and adapted to be explicitly about data sharing about Apprentices.

Essentially the agreement (in amongst the legal stuff) sets out that Jisc and the provider will share the provider data (as defined) for the purposes of delivering the service. The agreement makes it clear that the provider will retain ownership of the data, but grants a licence to Jisc to use the data for the defined purposes. The provider remains the Data Controller, while Jisc is the Data Processor.

Screenshot 2018-02-09 17.48.06

As the Data Processor Jisc is obligated to process the provider data only in connection with the agreed purpose, to be in accordance with applicable law, to do this in a secure manner and to let the provider know of any data breaches. There is also a clause prohibiting disclosure to a third party (except appointed sub-contractors), and to allow the provider to audit compliance of these requirements.

Signing the data processing agreement is the crucial first step to taking part in the project, as Jisc cannot touch your data without it.

Once these legal formalities are out of the way the process of coming on board the project is:

  1. Extraction of data from institutional systems. This involves setting up an SFTP link, devising “recipes” to extract data from student record systems, the VLE, attendance data, etc.
  2. Data validation and quality check before that data then enters the data warehouse (Jisc’s Learning Data Hub).

From there the next steps will be to pull the data through to the Digital Apprentice dashboard, and work with the institution to fine tune that to be ready for the employers.

The whole on-boarding process is well covered on the Learning Analytics Blog:

To find out more about Jisc’s Digital Apprentice activity, come to the Community Event on the 28th February at Jisc’s central London offices.

To keep in touch with our Digital Apprentice work follow this blog and join our mailing list:


Digital Apprenticeship Community Event 28th February 2018


If you are working in the area of apprenticeships and are interested in how digital can improve the whole apprenticeship journey then we would like to invite you to attend the first of our community events.

The community of practice gives people an opportunity to network, share practice, hear what various institutions are doing and what Jisc is doing in this space.

The first of these events is taking place at the Jisc London offices on the 28th February 2018 from 10:30 to 3:30 and lunch will be provided.

You will have the opportunity to discover more about the Jisc project that is being undertaken about apprenticeships, as well as our new toolkits in this area.

Find out more about the event.

Book onto the event.

Apprenticeship requirements


We’re working on ways to improve the apprentice experience by capturing and analysing the many kinds of data that can be collected through the apprenticeship journey.

This research is developing alongside our effective learning analytics project. At the core of the learning analytics service is the learning data hub (formerly called the learning records warehouse) where academic and engagement data is collected, stored and processed. We are planning extend the learning data hub to enable data to be gathered from all aspects of the apprenticeship journey. In a previous blog post we listed some of the possible sources that we can gather data from.

By analysing progress of apprenticeships will be able to make timely and appropriate interventions and enhance and improve the apprenticeship journey.

student-849825_1920 (1)

Apprenticeships is a growth area undergoing massive reform, with a government target of three million starts by 2020 and the implementation of the post-16 skills plan. This is a tenfold increase from the current level of 300,000 apprentices.

This increase means for many employers (as well as providers) that having timely and accurate information about their apprentices is critical and to ensure the successful outcome for those apprentices.


There are a range of requirements that employers will need some, are merely information about progress, other aspects will be based on the analysis of various data sets.

These requirements could include:

• Recruitment
• Induction
• Attendance
• Progress
• Topic coverage
• Optional modules choices
• Skills coverage
• Academic plan
• Timetabling
• Resources
• Assessment plan
• EPA Information
• Highlights report
• Risks
• Personal profiles
• Provider profiles
• Subject profiles

Similarly providers may have similar requirements and may wish to bring in data from employers and the apprentices themselves, to combine with their internal data sources.

• Attendance
• Progress
• Topic coverage
• Assessment plan
• Library Usage
• Retention
• Achievement

We can separate out the requirements, from those that are derived direct from the data and those that are dependent on some aspect of processing and analysis.

We also need to consider what data requirements we’re missing but we hope to discover as we start to gather data and feedback.