Author: Laura Ridings – TELT

Back before the Pandemic hit us Kelly Stewart, Senior Lecturer in Initial Teacher Training approached the TELT team looking for a solution in creating a central online resource that could be used across the North West region by those involved with the UCLan Teacher Education Partnership. This partnership brings together 11 Colleges where the ITT programmes are designed to provide you with real-life teaching experience working in the FE and Skills Sector.

I spent a few hours with Kelly looking over what the ITE Team had already created and discussing her ideas, not just the essential but also the desirable features she would like. It’s really important to me as a developer to understand exactly what people want and to understand their vision. Of course, some ideas can be a little challenging – sometimes impossible to create, but it’s crucial to be able to open up the creative dialogue between myself and the academic in the planning process.

The best solution for Kelly’s request was to create a WordPress website.  I am a huge fan of WordPress for several reasons.  For me, it’s hugely adaptable to create any type of website and will scale up or down easy for a variety of devices. The other reason I like WordPress is that for adding and updating content is easy, so even the most technology shy can add text and multimedia content without a steep learning curve and can take ownership of the site without relying on developers for future content.

Some feedback from Kelly Stewart highlights this:

“Laura enabled the smooth transition of information from our old website to the new one, creating the new site’s email address and logo, and took the time to patiently explain how to create new content and modify it to benefit our trainees and partners at our 13 partner colleges. As you know UClan’s Initial Teacher Education partnership is UClan’s biggest UK partnership and the new site will tremendously benefit our partners, our trainees and former trainees. This will also allow us to share good practice more easily and also demonstrate to Ofsted (amongst other governing and quality assurance institutions) how we provide ongoing support both during and after trainees have completing their teacher training.”

The website itself covers a range of topics broken down into several main pages with subpages. This is exemplified in the subject specialisms pages where it worked the accessible features include  areas where the user can upload resources to share examples of good practice.

The site also holds content that is password-protected.  The password will be given to trainees when they are offered a place on the course and this will be provided by the partner colleges they are enrolled with Password protecting part of the site allows for content that is classed as commercially sensitive to remain confidential and only viewed by trainees at an appropriate time.

The site has been received really well by the Partner College Teacher Educators and Tutors, Trainee Teachers and Mentors and will continue to grow and evolve with the continuing changes in ITT.

View the site here at: https://teachereducation.uclan.ac.uk/



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