FE Sussex’s Digital Transformation for Employability with the Local Skills Improvement Fund

 Georgia Read , Marketing Executive at Bodyswaps
June 11th 2024

FE Sussex and LSIF

FE Sussex is a consortium of the seven Sussex FE and Sixth Form colleges. When it came to LSIF funding, the group had clear priorities surrounding enhancing employability across the colleges and sixth forms, with a focus on the soft skills so in-demand by employers. 

img_5900

They also focused on how digital skills related to virtual and augmented reality could help students, such as the fundamentals of software like Unity and Unreal Engine, and how these skills could be integrated into the current curriculum. Alongside skill improvement, FE Sussex wanted to utilise their funding to create a different experience for both educators and students that differed from traditional chalk and talk methods. 

To achieve these priorities, they scoped out three main projects.

Cross-campus immersive classrooms

One aspect of this project involved utilising the BT immersive classrooms to create engaging 360° experiences with active walls and floors.

Another aspect of this was adding large screens, PCs and a suite of VR headsets to create high tech classrooms to facilitate shared teaching and learning and careers activity.

Employability app

To ensure essential connections between businesses and students take place easily, and employers can access the talent they need quickly, FE Sussex is creating its own job-app to be used across the county. 

They envision this being especially useful for apprenticeships, work placements, and work experience. 

Bodyswaps

As a way of enhancing those soft skills so essential to employability, FE Sussex turned to Bodyswaps. Having seen the effectiveness of Bodyswaps at some of the colleges in the group who had already piloted the technology, they focused some LSIF funding on making immersive learning available to all of their institutions.


FE Sussex and Bodyswaps

Goals

With two main goals in mind, FE Sussex began rolling out Bodyswaps modules across the 16 colleges and sixth forms in the group, supported by two of our dedicated Customer Success team members: Elyse and Rosie.

FE Sussex’s goals with Bodyswaps were to assist teaching staff and increase overall engagement to enhance employability.


Assist Teaching Staff

With Bodyswaps’ cross-platform flexibility allowing for the modules to be assigned for students to complete either on campus in class or at home in their own time, students could become more responsible for their own learning.

We can struggle sometimes in colleges with employability, being limited in the teams we have that can support us with apprenticeships and pairing out for placements. To have a tool like Bodyswaps helps take the work outside of the classroom. And the fact that it's an immersive experience means it’s something that students and learners can engage with.
Georgina McLeod
Georgina McLeod
FE Sussex Project Manager
 
Engagement

In their previous pilots, colleges had found that both students and educators were motivated by Bodyswaps’ immersive learning, especially when using VR. With this discovery, the FE Sussex LSIF team are using Bodyswaps to support T-Level students who need to engage in a work placement in their second year. Bodyswaps is helping to motivate them with essential interview and other employability skills. 

I put about four students into the Bodyswaps app to do the presentation. I've never seen them so quiet. They really fully engaged with it and they reported back saying This is such a great platform, can we please use this in our T-Level course moving forward?
Georgina McLeod
Georgina McLeod
FE Sussex Project Manager

 

Progress

As part of their ongoing monitoring of the Bodyswaps project’s success, the FE Sussex team are collecting feedback data through online forms and feedback interviews with key members of staff. They’re also taking photos and videos and writing their own blog posts.

Furthermore, to ensure successful adoption of Bodyswaps:

  • College leads must ensure at least 220 learners (students, teachers, employers) are trained at each campus through Georgina’s Bodyswaps training or their own training.

FE Sussex Blog Post

Advice for LSIF

“Not one solution fits everybody.” Georgina McLeod, FE Sussex Project Manager

Based on learnings so far the FE Sussex team is determined to ensure that the technology installed with this funding is integrated into the curriculum so that as many learners as possible can benefit after the project comes to an end in March 2025. 

Here at Bodyswaps we’re thrilled to be embarking on FE Sussex’s immersive learning with them, thanks in part to LSIF funding. We can’t wait to see how their students engage and enhance their employability. 

Interested in reading more about FE Sussex's LSIF project? Take a look at their in-depth report here.

 

Give Bodyswaps a Try

Try Bodyswaps

Get instant access to our 10-minute demo or browse our module library in full with a 14-day free trial.