25 Feb 2022 | Case Studies
Achieving consistency across 11 colleges, from Oxford to Saudi Arabia
Find out why Sally Dicketts, CBE, President of the English Association of Colleges and CEO of Activate Learning and The Oxford Partnership Groups of Colleges, implemented the HOW2 app across Activate Learning's distributed network of colleges.
Individual access supports a personalised approach to professional learning
Active learning techniques that engage and motivate students
Improved student results
How Activate Learning Group Uses the HOW2 Instructional Coaching Platform to Achieve Consistency Delivering High Quality Teaching and Learning and Improved Outcomes
For an organisation the size and scale of Activate Learning, ensuring consistency and continually improving teaching and learning standards is always going to be a challenge.
In 2013 Sally Dicketts, Activate Learning’s chief executive and president of the English Association of Colleges (AOC) chose to implement the HOW2 Instructional Coaching Platform across the organisation’s distributed network of colleges.
Not only was she confident that the HOW2 platform was the right fit for Activate’s dispersed and diverse organisation she was also confident that the solution would support the organisation’s award-winning learning philosophy which focuses on developing confident, motivated learners and recognises the importance of enhancing and improving the quality of learning through better teaching.
A flexible, individualised solution
An innovative solution that brings teaching and learning research directly to the classroom, the HOW2 app facilitates quick and easy learning for Activate’s workforce regardless of their level of experience. Anne Haigh Smith, Director of the Applied Learning Foundation at Activate Learning, said;
Commenting on his early experiences using the HOW2 platform, Activate Learning teacher Nicolas Quentin said:
“I remember my first reaction when seeing them. It was wow! Where was this when I did my PGCE? What’s nice about the HOW2s is, it’s there, as-and-when I need it. So, whenever I have the time, I can go into the HOW2s and find something that I can try. It’s very individualised to my needs as a teacher.”
Positive student outcomes
Covering all aspects of learning in the classroom, the HOW2s have resulted in visible, positive outcomes for Activate’s students. Sally Dicketts explains;.
“The prompts and questions that come with using the HOW2s in the classroom, change the way the classroom works and make students feel more confident. They become more motivated and engaged. You can almost see them responding to the techniques as their brains kick into action.” She added;
“The step-by-step level of detail offered by the HOW2s ultimately helps students to feel comfortable, confident and motivated. The HOW2s have really helped students to feel more secure, particularly in subjects like Maths and English.”
Support for Faculty Managers
Since implementing the platform, Activate’s SLT has been particularly impressed by the support that the platform provides for its faculty managers who are responsible not only for line management but for the development of their teaching staff. Sally explains;
“The HOW2s give our faculty managers and coaches a way of introducing and discussing teaching and learning, which is not threatening. We use the HOW2s at all levels from level one qualifications through to our university-level qualifications”.
The HOW2 app allows Activate managers to see where and how staff are engaging with the HOW2s. Sally explains;
“The HOW2 app allows leaders to quickly check-in and see if people are doing what they say they’re doing. It just gives our SLT a way of finding out what’s going on without any judgement.”
Invigorating mature staff and supporting new teachers.
The HOW2 platform has enabled Activate’s management team to support new teachers and reinvigorate its more mature staff. Sally explains;
“When it comes to CPD, it’s not just about supporting new teachers. Often people teach for three or four years and become quite stale and there’s very little out there that reinvigorates. The HOW2s have enabled us to look at learning in a slightly different way and through a slightly different lens; more effectively.”
A product that grows with your organisation
When asked whether or not she would recommend the HOW2s to other colleges, Sally said