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itslearning appoints Hopwood Hall College as its first eLearning Centre of Excellence

Milton Keynes-based itslearning, global provider of cloud-based learning platforms for teachers and students, has appointed FE vocational college Hopwood Hall College, which has campuses in Rochdale and Middleton, near Manchester as its first UK eLearning Centre of Excellence.

The College, which has a strong track record on innovation and development, was shortlisted in 2015 for a prestigious AoC Beacon Award in the JISC sponsored category for the effective use of Technology in FE. An investment programme in excess of £30 million over the last few years has seen the complete remodelling of the Rochdale site and a new Technology Centre at Middleton.

The collaboration between the two will help to deliver Hopwood Hall College’s commitments on eLearning which it describes as being ‘at the heart of the learner experience’. A dedicated eLearning team now delivers a full programme which includes the College induction, delivered to all learners through an interactive online module, the use of virtual common rooms and a full online learning and assessment facility.

The relationship with itslearning has produced a number of significant performance benefits, including savings calculated at £1.4 million over the last three years, particularly welcome at a time when FE sector budgets have been severely curtailed.

“Even more important,” says the Principal, Derek O’Toole, “working with the itslearning system has helped to drive up learner success rates by a full 10 percentage points, propelling the College into the top quartile of the UK FE sector.

By May 2015 we were established as having the strongest performance in the Greater Manchester area and we now sit in third place nationally for vocational performance at Key Stage 5 across our range of courses. Our learners have shown commendable ambition and achieved high standards accordingly.”

Hopwood Hall College, as an eLearning Centre of Excellence, will now take on additional responsibility for proliferating the system and its benefits, and is set to host three events during 2016 which will introduce other colleges and private sector providers to the range of services offered by itslearning.

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