DN Colleges Group is planning two development projects to benefit Doncaster College and its students, and is seeking investment skills capital funding support from Sheffield City Region to deliver the projects
Investment is required to provide creative and flexible space for construction learning. There is a significant demand to develop skills in modern methods of construction to support industry and the local economy. This requires Doncaster College to create new and innovative teaching and learning space to inspire students and staff to embrace construction learning and to maximise achievements and employment potential within a high-quality learning environment. New and innovative teaching and learning facilities for construction learning will enable Doncaster College to help drive forward the local economy and the demand for construction skills.
This project comprises the reconfiguration of areas of the existing Doncaster College East Block building at its Hub campus to create a Construction T-Level centre totalling c. 1,283m², including some small relocated spaces that will enable the refurbishment. It will create a range of highly flexible teaching facilities to support the Construction T Level provision as well as breakout/employer engagement suite. Specialist facilities will be created including surveying/construction office environment, Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) demonstration workshop, two sustainability demonstration resources focusing on electrical installation and plumbing. The condition and suitability of existing Doncaster east building will be addressed through the improvement to the entrance and circulation to the T-Level areas and the inclusion of glazed screens to showcase specialist T-Level curriculum activity. The refurbishment works will primarily cover internal doors, walls and partitions, internal finishes and mechanical and electrical installations. Refurbishment will provide Construction T Levels with a distinctive new identity, supporting the aim to raise the profile and encourage employer/industry engagement. By locating the T Level Construction area adjacent to existing construction provision, this maintains student access to specialist facilities and ensures spatial efficiency and value for money through lack of duplication.
The COVID-19 pandemic demands an acceleration of the College’s digital strategy, including the move to distance learning and home working identifying a high priority need for mobile devices. Additional project elements focus on Office 365 developments, password tools to facilitate remote connectivity, new teaching software to ensure that a blended teaching model is successfully embedded. All of these digital developments will enable Doncaster College to help drive forward the local economy and the demand for digital skills through an infrastructure that fully enables digital connectivity.
Specific improvement aims include:
- Improvements to increase capability for students to enrol in College systems remotely via web and mobile platforms without needing an initial visit to site
- Increasing the range of online teaching and learning applications to improve the quality of distance learning
- Improvements to our ability to communicate digitally; enhanced telephone and video calling capabilities
- Purchase of tablets, laptops, cameras, microphones and other technologies for staff which will enable them to produce and deliver enriched, high-quality online learning experiences for students
- Video-enablement of on-site classrooms and improvements to the IT infrastructure around these to allow online delivery
- Enhancing the Internet connectivity to Doncaster College to improve resilience for online learning
- Purchase of laptops and portable internet devices to loan to technologically disadvantaged students to ensure that they are not disenfranchised by a learning model which expects some degree of online learning