Almost 100 Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB) Further Education and Training (FET) students undertaking FET courses around the county attended a regional focus group of the national Learner Forum in Letterkenny on Tuesday, 28 November.
The event was organised by quality assurance staff in Donegal ETB’s FET Service in partnership with AONTAS, Ireland’s National Adult Learning Organisation. It is one of a series of focus groups taking place around the country.
The focus group is designed to provide a platform for students to share their experience in FET while meeting other students.
Participants included full and part-time students from Levels 1-6 as well as apprentices.
At the event they explored what is working well and what is not working well and discussed changes that could be made to improve their course for others. They also completed surveys on demographics; recruitment, registration, and induction; course and programme; teaching and learning; resources, facilities and services and supports.
Speaking about the event, Joanne Whitelock, Donegal ETB FET Quality Assurance Support Officer, said, “We were delighted to have this opportunity to meet with so many students from across the FET Service, to capture their views and opinions of their learning journey with us. We look forward to hearing the results of their lively discussions to help shape future learning opportunities within our Service.”
Director of FET with Donegal ETB, Ciaran O’Brien, noted that, “The AONTAS Learner Forum is an important addition to Donegal ETB’s self-evaluation, monitoring and review processes; any event that allows us to work in partnership with other organisations and hear our students’ voice is welcomed. As a FET Service and an ETB, we carefully consider all feedback – it is crucial that our students know their views matter.”
The results of the event will be written up by AONTAS and returned to Donegal ETB’s FET Service for consideration.