Digital and Blended Learning Project

Greater Manchester Colleges Group (2020 – 2021)

Written by Claire Collins

This project brought together all nine colleges that serve the ten boroughs of the Greater Manchester City Region. Managed by a small central team at LTE Group and The Manchester College, the project was steered by senior leaders from GMCG and further supported by specialists in the field of digital and blended learning in Further Education (FE). The project took place between August 2020 and March 2021 through the Department for Education’s ‘College Collaboration Fund’ (CCF).

The overall objective of the project was to bring together subject experts in a ‘Communities of Practice’ model to identify, evaluate, develop and deploy the most impactful digital content and resources for FE students through the recruitment and development of Digital and Blended Learning Champions (DBLCs) in each college. The project also had ambition to work at a strategic level to influence, inform and shape the mid to longer-term development of digital and blended learning strategies of colleges across the partnership.

As well as a vibrant community of DBLCs, who have continued to work collaboratively and support colleagues across their organisations to become ‘digitally confident’, a key output from the project was the development and co-creation of an online Digital and Blended Learning Teacher Toolkit, to support FE teachers’ CPD and to share resources and emergent effective practices across the community. You can access the Toolkit here – it provides a wealth of freely-accessible CPD and resources. The project’s final evaluation report may also be of interest as it shares lessons learnt from a year of developing digital and blended learning approaches in FE during the pandemic – and what a year it has been!