Stakeholder Perceptions Regarding Level 3 `Digital Skills' Teaching: A Qualitative Case Study of Colleges in South West England

Allison, Jordan ORCID: 0000-0001-8513-4646 (2022) Stakeholder Perceptions Regarding Level 3 `Digital Skills' Teaching: A Qualitative Case Study of Colleges in South West England. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/EK19YB32

Text (Final PhD thesis)
11847 Jordan Allison (2022) Stakeholder_perceptions_regarding_level_3_digital_skills_teaching_a_qualitative_case_study_of_colleges_in_south_west_England.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (6MB) | Preview


This case study of colleges (n=13) in the South West of England explores the experiences and perceptions of senior leadership (n=8), heads of computing departments (n=10), and lecturers (n=14) in relation to the teaching of digital skills related courses at level 3. Existing literature reveals that there is a ‘digital skills gap’, with colleges identified as key in addressing this issue. However, they are suffering from a multitude of challenges and have historically been neglected politically and in research. Furthermore, the breadth of level 3 ‘digital skills’ qualifications available only exacerbates the issue of identifying what is good practice in this complex and ever-changing environment. Through conducting semi-structured interviews, this thesis presents the voices from those on the ‘front line’ of digital skills delivery and provides key contributions to knowledge and implications for practice. First, this thesis addresses a key knowledge gap in how curriculum decisions are made, both regarding who makes this decision, and what curricula decisions are based upon. From these findings, a model of curriculum choice has been established which educational institutions can use to ensure curriculum decisions are made more systematically. Second, this thesis augments current literature which has typically focused on schools with regards to the challenges that influence the teaching of digital skills courses, but within a college setting. Thirdly, this thesis outlines what practices are being employed to overcome the challenges identified, which include the three main areas of working together, pedagogical approaches, and knowledge development, with the latter culminating in the creation of a continuing professional development framework. These findings should serve useful for practitioners in learning what practices are effective so they can adopt them into their own practice, while policy makers could utilise these findings to aid the formulation of future policy initiatives regarding the further education sector. Additionally, these findings are of particular significance to organisations involved in the advancement of college education or computing education such as the Association of Colleges, the National Centre for Computing Education, the Institute of Coding, and the British Computer Society.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Stakeholder Perceptions: Level 3; Digital Skills Teaching; Qualitative Case Study; Colleges; South West England
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Kate Greenaway
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2022 16:06
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2023 14:55

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.