Barriers to learning, and how to overcome them

The importance of perpetual education is universally accepted. We live in a fast-paced world that requires unceasing efforts to learn about the systems, processes, methodologies, and legislation that evolve around us on a daily basis.

Despite the clear benefits of being on such a journey of continuous personal growth and development, many individuals face barriers to learning that prohibit them from embracing the abundance of available opportunities to acquire new skills, knowledge, and confidence in a particular field. These barriers are completely unrelated to the individual’s inherent cognitive abilities, and can often undermine one’s propensity for education despite a high level of competence and capability.

A common barrier, which is especially prevalent amongst adult learners, is the inability to be physically present in a classroom due to nonnegotiable commitments – such as looking after children or pets, financial strain from the cost of commuting, or health concerns amidst an ongoing pandemic, particularly for those whose health condition makes them more vulnerable. Additionally, individuals with physical or learning disabilities who require a support worker to accompany them, as well as young learners that are dependant on a parent or guardian for transport, may not be able to coordinate the attendance of all parties due to logistical or financial limitations.

Other factors that could make physical attendance impractical or impossible include long or unpredictable work hours, train delays, traffic jams, and various other time constraints. Lastly, some individuals may be unwilling to reorganise or reduce the leisure activities in their lives to accommodate the fixed schedule of a course or qualification, as they deem these important for their mental health and wellbeing.

Another barrier which affects countless individuals, is the lack of confidence. For those who have not partaken in classroom-based learning for many years, doubts about one’s ability to perform tasks under pressure and scrutiny may exist, along with fear of being judged when speaking publicly (e.g. when asking potentially embarrassing questions or seeking assistance with tasks that others have found easy). Even amongst younger learners, such feelings could arise due to a previous unpleasant experience.

Finally, extrinsic factors present in the traditional classroom setting could play a role, for instance, noise levels, room temperature and other social or environmental distractions.

So, what is the solution?

Here at Laser Learning, our team delivers both full qualifications as well as short courses in a multitude of subject areas, via our award-winning online learning platforms. These include professionally filmed video tutorials and interactive learning resources to support your qualification delivery. Our ePortfolio allows you to easily upload work and communicate with your assessor with confidence.

Most importantly, this can all be done from the comfort of your own home, on a desktop PC, laptop, mobile phone or tablet, at a time that suits you, when there are no distractions or conflicting tasks to be done.

Apprenticeship Week 2020 (Interview)

As part of Apprenticeship Week 2020, we interviewed Shazia, an apprentice who has experienced Laser’s various products and services. Here is what she had to say:

What apprenticeship are you currently doing, and when are you due to complete this?

I am currently doing a Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship and my estimated end date is 17th August 2020.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I wanted to gain a qualification and get work experience at the same time. So, doing an apprenticeship was the right choice for me.

How are you finding the Laser E-Portfolio system?

The E-Portfolio is easy to use and very user friendly. I am able to upload work with ease, check for feedback, sign off my assessment plans and contact my assessor, all on the same platform. 

You mentioned that it’s used friendly. Please elaborate.

All the sections in the E-Portfolio are clearly labeled which makes it easier to navigate. The user interface is also very simple which makes it clear and straightforward to use.       

What are the benefits of the Laser E-Portfolio to you as an Apprentice? 

Firstly, the e-portfolio is easily accessible. I am able to log in and access my portfolio on various devices. 

Secondly, when working on assignments, I am able go back and view the resources at any time.

And thirdly, I am able to log and keep an entry of all the off-the-job training that I’ve carried out, which can be seen by my employer and my training provider.

What benefits can you see the E-Portfolio having to your employer and training provider?

My training provider and my employer are able to track my progress, and see my work plans and progress reviews. 

How beneficial are the Laser Lessons to your Apprenticeship?

The Laser Lessons have played a big role in my apprenticeship as I have used them a lot for my assignments. The lessons include all the information that I need to pass my units. 

What do you like most about them?

I like how the lessons are separated into different sections, which allows me to go through each section at my own pace. I also don’t have to spend a lot of time researching for information, as good reading links have been provided in the “Reading” and “Extended Learning” section. Lastly, I like how the information in the presentation is easy to understand, informative and the way examples have been used to help us understand. 

Have you completed any short courses with us? If yes, please state the course titles. 

I have completed the following short courses:

  • Time management 
  • Conflict management skills
  • Communication skills
  • Equality and diversity
  • Health and safety
  • Handling problems and complaints
  • Customer service skills
  • Digital skills
  • Health and safety: ICT

Who identified the need for you to complete the short courses?

My employer. I did most of these short courses during my induction which helped me focus and put my mind back into learning mode.

How have they benefited you during your Apprenticeship?

I have been able to learn a lot from doing short courses. They have helped me develop in my role and the way I manage my tasks. 

Do you feel what you have learnt from the Laser Lessons and Short Courses, will benefit you outside of your Apprenticeship?

Yes, everything that I have learnt as a part of my qualification and whilst doing the short courses has played a big role in my understanding of working in a business environment. 

And lastly, what was your experience of using the full Laser range?

Overall, I have had a great experience with the Laser products. I didn’t have any difficulties or problems whatsoever during the time that I used them, and the customer support was also excellent. 

Thank you for your time Shazia, and best of luck with the remainder of your Apprenticeship!

To find out more about our E-Portfolio, Lessons, and CPD Short Courses please give us a call on +44 (0)1753 584 112 or email info@lasersys.co.uk

Laser Learning Learners are at the Heart of what we do

Putting Learners at the Heart of what we do

It was a pleasure to be guests at the e-Assessment Awards dinner on Wednesday in London. We were delighted to find out Laser Learning had been selected as a finalist in the Export to Excellence category last month and now had the chance to celebrate the best of innovation in the sector with other e-assessment champions.

Laser Learning e-Assessment Awards 2019 Finalists

Chairman, Matt Wingfield commented that this year had seen a much stronger focus on the needs of the learner alongside using e-assessment to improve outcomes for learners. This has been at the heart of what we do since the very beginning, and it was an honour to be one of the businesses included in this statement.

In 2019 we have further developments to share, all of which we have created to fully support learners and staff using the Laser, but also to ensure the best possible learning journey for each individual learner.

If you would like to know more about our Laser e-portfolio and virtual learning environment, as well as our range of digital learning resources please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

A group of apprentices with their Laser Learning goody bags and balloons

Celebrating Apprenticeships

We were delighted to welcome Slough MP, Tan Dhesi to our offices on Friday to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2019.

He joined our directors alongside childcare apprentices completing their qualification using the Laser e-portfolio and online learning resources from Chiltern Training.

The apprentices took part in a short training session using the Laser and then headed back to their work placement with a Laser Learning goody bag. During the session, our team highlighted how their Laser lesson resources were there to support them throughout their learning journey. Each apprentice can access their learning online at a time to suit them, and being able to work through lessons at their own pace also gives them to ability to revisit learning any time.

Laser Lessons allow apprentices to work their way through tutorial videos, reading, good practice example videos, quizzes, evidence opportunities, and case studies. Each lesson gives consistent learning to each apprentice with a virtual learning environment and e-portfolio to provide both blended learning and audit trail.

It is with great pride we celebrated National Apprenticeship Week 2019 as we continue to be ambassadors for vocational lifelong long learning, adult education, and professional development training.

If you would like to find out more about the Laser e-portfolio or Laser Lessons, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

National Apprenticeship Week 2019 Laser Learning Early Years Childcare

National Apprenticeship Week 2019 – Choosing an apprenticeship in Childcare

National Apprenticeship Week runs from 4 – 8 March and is a time to celebrate the legacy of apprenticeships, while also taking the opportunity to inform young people and businesses about the positive impacts apprenticeships could have for them.

Our team of educators and writers believe strongly in the importance of lifelong learning and apprenticeships. This is why we work hard to create the best possible online learning resources for colleges and training providers to use as part of their blended teaching and learning approach for their learners.

Why choose an apprenticeship in Childcare?

Many of our staff at Laser Systems have a background in early years childcare. Therefore, as a team we are passionate about delivering the best possible training to those who want to begin a career in childcare, and an apprenticeship is a fantastic first step for anyone considering working with children.

Working with children is an incredibly rewarding career path, and it’s also a lot of hard work! As an early years practitioner, you are responsible for the daily care of babies and children, which also means you have a impact on each individual child’s development.

You might consider starting and apprenticeship in childcare if you enjoy looking after children, have experience taking care of young children, and want to learn about how to provide the best possible environment for children to grow, learn, and develop.

What will you learn?

An example of a qualification you might complete as part of an apprenticeship is the NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator), though our learning resources are relevant to the standards for a wide variety of awarding organisations.

Throughout your apprenticeship, your on the job learning will help you develop the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively care for babies and children while taking into consideration their individual needs. You will develop the skills to support each child’s health and well-being, gain a knowledge and understanding of legislation, frameworks and professional practice, and build the skills to promote play, development and learning for school readiness.

How will you learn?

As an apprentice you learn ‘on the job’ which means you gain hands-on experience from day one. This gives you the advantage of gaining invaluable experience from colleagues and managers in a real work environment. It also means you earn a salary while working towards achieving your qualification, and in most cases your apprenticeship costs are covered by Government funding.

To achieve your qualification you will need to produce work to show you are competent in each of the qualification criteria, which means you will successfully pass each unit. You will also need to successfully complete a longitudinal study, and show you are competent in your work environment.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you are asked to produced a written piece of work for each of the criteria as there are many different ways to collect evidence for your portfolio. You may also take part in a professional discussion with your trainer, produce reflective accounts, take part in group discussions, produce videos to show your competence, and be assessed via observation in the workplace.

If you are completing a qualification with a training provider or college who use our Laser e-portfolio and/or Laser Lessons resources, you will be supported by a trainer who will guide you through your qualification, set your workplans, and mark your work. They are the person you can contact whenever you have a question about your coursework or need advice about your learning journey.

Your trainer will conduct teaching sessions with you and you can then use the Laser Lessons resources to continue your study during your allocated learning time.

Here’s an example of a good practice example video included with Laser Lessons resources and filmed specifically for this qualification:

As our resources are online you can access them with an internet connection anywhere and at any time. If you are using the Laser e-portfolio you can also upload work, read feedback comments, and email your trainer at any time.

What roles can you go on to work in?

You can go on to work with children aged 0 -5 in a variety of environments including nurseries, pre-schools, reception class, and children’s centres. You can also go on to specialise in specific areas of childcare such as training to support children with special educational needs, or to set up your own childcare service.

There are also higher levels of qualification you can achieve at levels 4, 5, and 6 which can aid you to move into manager positions or to further specialise your knowledge and skills to work with children in your desired environment.

More about our Laser Lessons resources

Laser Lessons resources are written by subject specialists with vocational experience in their chosen area. Each lesson follows our unique Laser format, giving each learner:

  • A filmed tutorial with a professional presenter and accompanying text for those with hearing difficulties
  • Selected reading available in PDF format and also from trusted websites
  • A presentation to give further explanation of a specific topic
  • Good practice example videos, including videos scripted by Laser Systems for Canal Wharf Studios to cover specific criteria
  • An interactive quiz to test knowledge gained
  • Evidence opportunities which allow the learner to produce work towards their course
  • Extended learning materials for those who want to develop their skills and knowledge even further
  • A think and challenge activity which asks the learner to put the knowledge they have gained towards a real-life scenario

If you’re considering applying for an apprenticeship, look for local apprenticeship vacancies on the Find an Apprenticeship website.

If you are a training provider, college, or business who would like to more about using the Laser e-portfolio and Laser Lessons resources to deliver apprenticeship teaching and learning, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.