Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logosColeg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logos

The Grŵp ensures the digital entitlement of learners and staff during the pandemic

The Grŵp has made huge strides in supporting learners with their digital needs. We have worked tirelessly over the past two years to ensure the online learning environment and remote support services for students is as engaging and accessible as possible.

Our newly launched Learner and Staff Digital Entitlement Statement outlines our commitment to ensuring that both learners and staff have access to the digital resources required to reach their potential whilst studying or working with us. The statement outlines the Grŵp’s approach to learner digital entitlement which is about having the access, skills and motivation to confidently go online to achieve in education. The statement details a range of initiatives that the college has utilised to digitally support both learners undertaking their studies and staff delivering programmes and services.

More strands of college life are becoming ‘digital by default’ in the expectation that learners will increasingly go online to communicate, to access information about their courses, and access support. This transformation offers learners a more intuitive, accessible and responsive service delivery. However, successful delivery of online courses and support services relies on the ability of learners to access and interact with them in ways that suit their needs. The increasing reliance on digital technology not only requires learners to be able to connect to the internet and have access to appropriate devices, but also means that they need to utilise specific digital skills in order to get online and take part in their courses.

The Grŵp’s e-resource usage has increased from just under 20,000 in 2015-16 to 204,000 in 2020/21. It is not only the highest user of e-books out of all the Further Education colleges in Wales, but is also amongst the highest in the UK.

The Grŵp has benefitted from Welsh Government funding to make digital devices and MiFis available to learners to enable remote learning and self-study (MiFis allow the sharing of mobile broadband connections with multiple devices simultaneously). Over 1,000 chromebooks have been lent to learners in each of the last two academic years.

The provision of digital IT support for staff and learners by the library teams, as well as guaranteeing access to e-resources and study skills, has been recognised recently: Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Library & Learning Technology team were awarded joint second place at the Welsh Libraries Team of the Year awards in November 2021. The award is made by Chartered institute of Library & information Professionals and sponsored by the Welsh Government.

Dafydd Evans, CEO of Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, said: “I'm very pleased that Grŵp Llandrillo Menai is now able to launch its new digital entitlement strategy for learners and staff. In a time where Covid has changed the way in which we deliver education, this document outlines clearly how the Grŵp will support its learners and staff to develop their skills and knowledge digitally in order to facilitate career progression.”