CoLRiC events


Upcoming events

Watch this space!

Past events


The good, the bad and the ugly of teaching maths in FE – Martin Scott, University of Sunderland (15 May 2024, 12:00-13:00)

The presenter for this special Zoom session was Martin Scott, Senior Lecturer/Full Time Programme Leader PGCE (PCET), University of Sunderland, Faculty of Education and Society.

The issue of maths in FE has dominated the media recently. PM Rishi Sunak’s vision of ‘maths to 18’, maths anxiety, student disengagement and debate on strategies to inspire and overcome ‘number phobia.’ Many of you have numeracy support as an integral part of your learning resources remit, and with this in mind, we invited Martin to present on the issues affecting maths and numeracy across the sector.

Martin writes:

‘A good maths education is the requirement of every modern learner. Mathematics alongside English, Science and a range of other subjects including ICT form a fundamental part of the school-based curriculum in the UK, especially in England. Literacy and Numeracy form the basis of adult or Further Education. Learners who receive an effective maths education have more opportunities available to progress in careers, with employers seeking effective skills in finance, technology, data handling and engineering related job roles. 

Martin explored the real challenges that maths teachers within FE face, discussing potential misconceptions and the valuable insight gained from speaking with maths practitioners. By engaging with the voices of these educators and situating their perspectives within the broader context of research and policy, the findings of his research offer a foundation for informed action and further inquiry. Ultimately, unlocking the potential of FE maths education will require grappling with foundational issues of esteem, equity, and empowerment at learner, educator, and system levels.

Engagement through digital game-making in libraries – Ash Green (21 March 2024, 12:00-13:00)

The presenter for this special Zoom session was Ash Green, Systems Technician, The Library (Directorate of IT, Digital and Library Services), Goldsmiths, University of London.

The seminar explored how libraries can reveal stories held in their collections, and benefit from engagement with users through game-making, using easily accessible code-free tools.

Please contact the Admin team if you like access to the video.

Directions for library technology: Enhancing librarian impact and library value propositions – Ken Chad (7 February 2024, 12:00-13:00)

The presenter for this special Zoom session was Ken Chad of Ken Chad Consulting.

The seminar focused on the direction of technology for FE libraries exploring how Ed Tech can be deployed to enhance the librarian impact on student success and the overall value of the library offer to stakeholders including students, staff, and the wider organisation.

Please contact the Admin team if you would like access to the slide deck or to view the video.

Reading is power – The Reading Agency (30 November 2023)

The presenters for this special Zoom session were Emma Braithwaite, The Reading Agency’s Head of Skills and Engagement and Kelly Baker, The Reading Agency’s Programme Officer for Adult Reading.

Emma Braithwaite leads on reader development programmes for children, young people and adults. These include Reading Ahead, Chatterbooks, and the annual Summer Reading Challenge – the largest summer reading for pleasure programme for children in the UK, delivered in partnership with public libraries. She previously spent twelve years working in education publishing.

Kelly Baker works with organisations and partners to deliver the Reading Ahead programme in prisons, colleges and learning settings across the UK. Kelly supports with the development of The Reading Agency’s adult reading offer, Quick Reads and vital prison work and is also a doctoral student researching prison reading and library provision.

Artificial Intelligence: the impact on education (5 October 2023)

The presenter for this Zoom session was Sue Attewell, Head of AI and Codesign at Jisc.

‘In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, the impact of generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, is being felt in various domains, especially in education.  In this presentation we’ll explore the four main strands of Jisc’s work: pilots, events, information, and community. We will discuss how we have reacted to the unprecedented surge of interest in generative AI, and the challenges and opportunities we are seeing across the education sector in the UK.

We’ll also share insights from our work, including students and their concerns about future employability, and how we are planning to support the strategic adoption of AI in education. Additionally, we will consider how work and employment will be impacted over the next five years. We will examine the issue of digital equality – whether our current actions will address it or exacerbate it.’

If you are a member of CoLRiC and would like to see the video of this, or any other CoLRiC event, please email the Admin team.

Cyber Security: safeguarding our colleges from cyber threats is a matter of education (6 June 2023)

The presenter for this special Zoom session was Sharon Archer, Head of Adult Education at Kirklees College.

February 2023 heralded the annual Safer Internet Day. Library and learning resource teams across CoLRiC are continually grappling with issues of online behaviour and safety awareness as part of the wider digital literacy agenda.

Research from the DfE has highlighted that 88% of the UK’s colleges had identified breaches or attacks in the last twelve months. To combat this growing threat Kirklees College has invested in cyber security education and awareness for both staff and students.

Sharon writes:

‘As educators, it is our duty to prioritise the safety and security of our students and staff and investing in cyber security education is a crucial step for us in achieving this goal. Cyber security is not just a concern for the IT department, but for everyone within the college. From our 16–18-year-old students who spend a significant amount of time online, to our adult students who may be less tech-savvy, we felt it was essential to educate and prepare them for the potential risks they may face. I encourage you all to equip your college community with the necessary skills and knowledge to stay safe online.’

Knowing our place: reflections on thirty (ish) years with FE and libraries (28 April 2023)

The presenter for this special Zoom session was Lis Parcell, Subject Specialist: teaching, learning and assessment and FE Library/LRC community facilitator at Jisc.

Lis provides support to Jisc customers as part of the Advice team and has a particular interest in the role of library and learning resources services to support learning, teaching and the student experience. Her professional expertise and interests include: the development of library and learning resources services to empower learning communities, student and staff engagement with digital resources and library services, digital capabilities of library staff and library users, maximising the value of library and learning resources services, and open educational practice.

Lis says about this session:

The library world has faced many changes since the birth of CoLRiC, not least through the impact of digital technology. Where do library or learning resources services figure in today’s education landscape? What are the biggest challenges we’re seeing? How can we advocate for these services so that they are fit for the next 30 years? 

Embedding Catch Up Provision in Teaching and Learning (8 March 2023)

This online seminar will enable you to consider the opportunities and challenges of tuition funding and delivering catch up provision in support of teaching and learning.

The presenter for this Zoom session is Mirna Peach, Head of Library Services, Leyton Sixth Form College. There will be a 30-minute presentation, with a half hour for questions, answers and discussion. A report of the seminar will be published in an upcoming issue of CoLRiC Impact.

The session explored:

  • Format and models of catch-up provision
  • Resource and staff implications
  • Managing workload, rising expectations and escalating demand for reading, ESOL. digital and study skills
  • The nature of the library and learning resource professional’s role supporting wider employability and life skills
  • Embedding support programmes in teaching and learning
  • Academic staff and student feedback
  • Evidencing value, impact, effectiveness and return on investment to college senior management.

Free Assistive Technology for Students (7 October 2022)

In October 2022 ‘Free Assistive Technology for Students’ addressed the challenges faced by students with Specific Learning Difficulties or Disabilities (SpLDD). It covered freely available software and apps that can assist with studying more effectively, and helped participants to: 

  • Recognise the main challenges students with SpLDD face when learning 
  • Develop an understanding of the software that can be used by students with SpLDD 
  • Identify apps and strategies that make it possible for students with SpLDD to engage with learning 
  • Recommend appropriate Assistive Technologies to students with SpLDD. 

Digital Accessibility: Removing Barriers to Learning (28 February 2022 and 5 August 2022)

The seminar, presented by Andy Eachus, introduced the challenges faced by students when accessing online learning content, covered best practice for making documents, presentations and PDFs accessible and explored built-in features, online accessibility tools and design decisions that affect accessibility.

Creating a Departmental Digital Strategy (27 April 2022)

Mishka Fielding, Library and Study Centre Manager at Loreto Sixth Form College, presented on digital strategy. Digital provision underpins teaching and learning, resource delivery and discoverability, collection development, management and information literacy. A Loreto SFC departmental review in January 2021 assessed key areas of service delivery including digital resources and library systems, ICT infrastructure and proficiency, information, data and media literacies, digital identity and wellbeing, the student experience of the service and organisational leadership and management. Mishka, Chair of Jisc’s FE Learning Resources and Library Services Community of Practice, reflected on the Loreto’s journey and provided thought-provoking insight into working with Jisc on an organisational approach to articulating a digital strategy. She discussed the methods and resources she used to create an action plan to meet student needs and expectations, including her utilisation of Jisc frameworks, team auditing and sharing best practice with other colleges. She also talked about the benefits the strategy has brought to her team and department.

CoLRiC Conference 2019 – The Road Ahead: being stronger together

To hell with being humble! We need to turn whispers into roars.

Liz McGettigan, Director of Digital Library and Cultural Experiences, SOLUS UK and keynote speaker at CoLRiC’s 2019 conference issues a rallying cry to the library and information profession.

Every year, we celebrate the achievements of the CoLRiC community by bringing people together at our annual conference.

The conference programmes feature case studies and presentations from our members and sponsors with networking and conversation opportunities built into the day. After the event, presentations are shared with members in the form of slide decks and articles in CoLRiC Impact. Members can visit our Document Repository to view recent conference presentations and articles.

“The Road Ahead: being stronger together” was held on Friday 21st June 2019 at University College Birmingham. The event acknowledged and celebrated exemplary practice and innovation across the FE and Sixth Form College sector. Keynote presenter Liz McGettigan examined the challenges, barriers and opportunities that we face in an increasingly digital and uncertain environment. “Libraries and learning resource centres are facing chronic underfunding of resources and staffing. How do we revitalise our libraries to deliver a bold new future – an engaging, exciting and collaborative future? How can we harness effective partnerships and support from the intersection of technology, business and people? How can we get better at building a more collaborative and innovative community?”

CoLRiC Conference 2018 – The Road Travelled: surviving and flourishing 25 years on

CILIP’s CEO Nick Poole opened CoLRiC’s 2018 25th anniversary Conference – “The Road Travelled – surviving and flourishing 25 years on” with an inspiring keynote that addressed the changing face of Further Education and the opportunities for LRC and Libraries. “CILIP has members in more than twenty industry sectors. Very few of these have seen more rapid change than that experienced by the Further Education sector in recent years. This has profound implications for Learning Resource Centres and FE libraries.” Drawing on the 2017 CILIP policy inquiry into Libraries in Further Education and the resulting advocacy framework “FE Librarians deliver successful learning journeys”, Nick explored how we can work together across the sector to ensure that librarians and information professionals are positioned not just to survive this transformation in FE provision, but to help guide it so that it delivers the best outcomes for students.

As we move into a “new normal”, CoLRiC will be exploring ways to host and facilitate online learning events and meetings and to encourage the CoLRiC community to find new accessible ways to learn from, support and teach each other.