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Research on lifelong guidance policy and practice in the EU just published

compassLifelong guidance policies and practices are viewed as crucial parts of current EU policy initiatives around validation of learning and the Pillar of Social Rights.

The aim of the research, undertaken by Dr Sally-Anne Barnes together with colleagues at the IER and the Finnish Institute for Educational Research at the University of Jyväskylä, was to examine lifelong guidance policies and practices and to provide an evidence base for priority-setting, as well as supporting dialogue with stakeholders on lifelong guidance and, more widely, skills strategies.

The final report presents findings from the research identifying 11 key features of lifelong guidance systems in the EU, lifelong guidance actors and innovations in practice. It concludes with some recommendations for the Commission and those in working in the careers field. Read the press release here.

Wed 08 Apr 2020, 12:59 | Tags: learning, careers guidance

Online learning at the workplace

Research has shown that providing participants with high-quality learning material is not sufficient to help them profit most from online education. The level of interaction among participants is another key determinant for learning outcomes. However, merely proposing interaction does not automatically lead to fruitful discussion and collaboration. Specifically, social presence and facilitation activities add value to online discussions.

In this paper, co-authored by Professor Alan Brown with colleagues from the EmployID project, a framework for analysing online asynchronous discussions was applied in a workplace learning context and generated deeper insights into the dynamics of online discussions.

Read the journal article here.

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Tue 01 May 2018, 14:43 | Tags: learning

Sally-Anne Barnes presented at Access to HE conference 2018

learningSally-Anne Barnes contributed to the recent Access to HE conference 'Supporting the transition to higher study' held at the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre on 5 April. Sally-Anne ran a workshop on 'Developing aspiration - overcoming barriers to lifelong learning' for those delivering the Access to HE course and working in adult education. She drew on findings from recent research on lifelong guidance and learning, education and employment programmes for young people, and adult education.

Sat 07 Apr 2018, 10:47 | Tags: higher education, learning

Researching the needs of adult learners

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Adult Education has commissioned the University of Warwick’s Institute for Employment Research (IER) to undertake research which will provide insight into the needs of adult learners. It will also consider how policy and practice should adapt in the next five to ten years to increase participation and attainment. There is a particular focus on disadvantaged adults and those who may find education challenging. The research is being supported by the Group of Specialist Designated Institutions (of which WEA is one). The research findings will be shared with the All Party Parliamentary Group for Adult Education in July.

Interested in contributing?

Call For Evidence – IER are looking for contributions from interested individuals and institutions to build a view on the current state of policy and practice in adult education as well as looking ahead to what may need to change in the near future.

Adult Students’ Survey – IER are also looking for responses from current and recent adult students through an online survey aimed at gaining an understanding of what works and what needs improvement in current practice.

If you have any questions about either please contact

Investment in Adult Learning

IER’s Terence Hogarth made a presentation at the Adult Learning: Spotlight on Investment conference organised jointly by Cedefop and DG Education and Culture in December. The conference website has now been updated with conference papers and photographs from the event (

Terence’s presentation on the Benefits of Training for Companies highlighted findings from recent quantitative and qualitative research carried out by IER, focusing on: the rationales which guide employer provision of training; the extent to which this satisfies employee expectations and aspirations; effects on job satisfaction and worker motivation; implications for organisational performance; and consideration of how the economic environment affects approaches to training.

Tue 29 Jan 2013, 16:14 | Tags: employer investment, training, learning, work

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