Source: AoC Learning Technology Survey Report, September 2012
The AoC has published a broad and interesting Learning Technology Survey report, based on responses from mainly 3rd tier managers in about one third of AoC's 294 further education and sixth form college members in England. Here is an archived copy of the report [2MB PDF].
The report would have benefited from a discussion about the extent to which responses came from large or small colleges (what proportion of the sector was actually covered by the responses?); and it struck me as being a bit too focused on specific named technologies, and disappointingly silent on, say, e-books or open educational resources, approaches to innovation, or on collaborative provision to achieve really big scale-economies.
However the report gives very useful insights into, say, the market share of different systems (VLEs - Moodle 81%, Blackboard/WebCT 15%; Student Record Systems - Tribal EBS 36%, Capita 28%, Agresso in 15%); and it contains interesting tabulations of respondents' self-assessments of, for example, how well their college is getting on with system integration, or how confident they are that their college is able to use technology to meet policy objectives such as personalisation.
If I were a college - and in a sense, as college Governor, I am one - would I want to benchmark the college against this data? The short answer is "yes, but with caution". This is because I am left with a nagging doubt about the meaning of some of the data. For example, picking up on personalisation, 81.6% of respondent colleges are "confident" or "very confident" that their college is able to use its current technology base to meet the personalisation policy objective (whatever that is). The old cynic in me thinks that hardly any colleges in the country can be doing a good job on personalisation, because it is objectively a very hard not to say nebulous thing to achieve, and that therefore if so many respondents think that their college is managing personalisation properly, there must be something wrong with their collective judgement.
But this kind of criticism is not intended to negate the considerable value of AoC's report. It deserves to be widely used, and kudos to Matt Dean and colleagues for getting it done.