Discover eLearning are delighted to have again collaborated with Middlesbrough College; this time on the ‘Construct’ platform – a collective project between several further education institutions towards the overall goal of improving the quality of students’ education and chances of employment.
The Construct platform was devised following the Government-funded College Collaboration Fund (CCF) initiative through the Department for Education. As well as Middlesbrough College, the other colleges involved in the project were Darlington College, Education Training Collective, Hartlepool College, and the Northern School of Art.
Each college focused on a different area of education, with Middlesbrough College deciding on the construction sector. The overall aims of the project were to ensure that all teaching staff possess good digital teaching skills, all learners have access to digital learning, all learners have skills to engage in remote learning, attendance rates increase for remote learning, and student satisfaction rates are maintained.
In order to achieve these aims, the College enlisted the skills of Chris Hodgson from Discover eLearning as digital consultant. Together, they decided to focus on the ‘Human Centred Principle’; that students and staff should be at the heart of the project, be aware of their role relating to the project’s success, they should take ownership and pride in their work, and to review the project regularly to ensure it is delivering value.
Through an extensive storyboarding and design stage, a web platform named The Construct was released containing several innovative features, including:
- The Student Visual Profile-Builder Interface – a reinvention of the CV to get students noticed in the competitive world of work.
- ‘Ready to Fly’ drone piloting course – a skill expected to become more in demand in upcoming years.
- Creatabase – A new learning resource intended to help students become better content creators and showcase their skills.
- Gamification Study – An on-going research study into the effects of gamification with a particular focus on Minecraft.
Chris Hodgson, founder and managing director of Discover eLearning said: “It has been a personal pleasure to work with the team at Middlesbrough College once more on this highly exciting and ambitious project. Over the past few years where I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of working groups at the college, I feel I’ve been able to build a strong affinity with many of the college’s team, particularly within the eLearning Team.
“The really exciting part of this project was knowing that the answers were not immediately known to us. We didn’t truly know what was missing from the digital offering to Middlesbrough College students to really drive the engagement and results that we wanted to see happen.
“What we did know, however, was that we didn’t simply want to throw just another eLearning course into the mix. We took this as an opportunity to explore new ideas and initially nothing was off the table! It was the process of speaking to the students themselves about many of our ideas that stemmed from our initial workshops that produced several ‘Eureka’ moments.
“For example, we knew that gamification was a powerful tool for engagement and motivation, particularly for learners aged 16-20. Personally, I had discounted the game Minecraft as being something old and obsolete as a learning tool. However, when speaking to the students we soon realised that the game is still extremely popular, even more so now as a result of lockdown and a resurgence on YouTube and TikTok.
“Many students expressed that being able to implement the game into the curriculum of their course would be a very welcome thing. We then took it upon ourselves to do what we needed to do to make this happen.”
Chris and representatives from the College were able to promote the new platform at a recent Association of Colleges blended learning conference. Many of the delegates provided positive feedback and were extremely interested in the many themes and new services that were being showcased, including the Department for Education who were impressed that almost two-thirds of all attendees were watching the CCF project at any one time.
The Construct platform is the second major collaboration between Discover eLearning and Middlesbrough College following 2019’s successful Access to Higher Education: Diploma in Health programme designed to boost recruitment within the NHS.
The Construct platform is now live at https://construct-mbro.co.uk/, which also includes information and access to all CCF projects.
The Department for Education will also promote the project through their own website at