The very first fully-online distance learning course for Middlesbrough College

With the NHS aiming to recruit an extra 40,000 nurses over the next five years, the Access To Higher Education: Diploma In Health programme creates a pathway for anyone with a passion for care to return to education and gain a valuable qualification.

Since moving into their £100m campus in 2008, Middlesbrough College has gone from strength to strength. With over 14,000 students, the college can boast results placing them in the top 10% for vocational courses, top 25% for apprenticeship achievement, and a 100% pass rate in 19 A Level subjects.

When planning their new distance learning course, they identified that they needed to meet the following criteria:

  • Accessible to people who work full-time; including those already working in the NHS who aspire to progress through a nursing degree or similar.
  • Bespoke, and designed to be interactive and engaging.
  • Focused on the future of the NHS with an acute awareness of its history and values.

Middlesbrough College decided to work with Discover eLearning having been let down in the past by offers from ‘large scale’ agencies lacking personality, or with no interest in making the course truly unique.

Discover eLearning’s flexibility and imagination was just what they were looking for.

Our Solution

Developing a solid relationship with the expert team at Middlesbrough College

The college’s subject matter experts and Discover eLearning worked together to decide that the course should offer a variety of digital learning methods and styles, including video, exercises and games, and live Skype sessions with tutors to cement key topics of learning and to acknowledge progress made throughout the year. These needed to be engaging to achieve retention targets, so were planned to be as fun and engaging as possible.

The use of a design framework and a clear focus on digital pedagogy ensured that the programme was delivered on time and in line with Middlesbrough College’s requirements and expectations on quality. This was imperative, as each module of the programme needed to be prepared and ready to welcome students on a bi-monthly basis.

learning technology awards discover elearning middlesbrough college
Chris Hodgson from Discover eLearning alongside Angela Ferguson, Rachel Lacey, Stephanie Roberts and Ian Evans from Middlesbrough College
Our Solution

A consistently fresh and ever-evolving distance learning programme

The finished project reflected the excitement of starting a new course by taking students on a journey down ‘Access Street’; a virtual, animated 2D street containing interactive course materials, seminars and help areas all built inside of the college’s own virtual learning environment, Canvas LMS. The course also included elements of humour in response to previous access courses the college had seen, which they believed to be dry and disengaging for learners.

The tutors featured throughout the course threw themselves into the part of acting and presenting in many of the course videos. They became recognisable faces to the learners following their group and one-to-one Skype calls, and seeing the tutors in these videos provided more opportunities to build engagement and a learner-tutor relationship.

The Access To Higher Education Distance Learning Programme delivered by Middlesbrough College became a critical success. The first year of the course had an excellent take-up. Out of the initial 27 students participating, 70% of the initial intake progressed to university in order to embark on a health-related career. This is above the national average for non-distance learning.

Discover eLearning and Middlesbrough College were delighted to be announced as runners-up in two categories at the 2019 Learning Technologies Awards, held at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London.


What The Clients Had To Say…

Watch our interview with James Wells, Head of Digital Curriculum at Middlesbrough College.

What The Students Had To Say…

It’s helped me to get into get into university – I’m going to have the career I’ve always wanted!

Access To HE ProgrammeStudent Feedback

It’s really helped me to think critically when writing assignments, there’s a lot I was taking for granted.

Access To HE ProgrammeStudent Feedback

I would definitely recommend the course. It was really interesting, the content was engaging.

Access To He ProgrammeStudent Feedback
We Work With Organisation Of All Sizes And Backgrounds

Does This Challenge Sound Similar To Your Own?

Contact the team at Discover eLearning today and let's turn your ideas into reality!