UK Online in Camden: Understanding good practice in engaging learners and their communities

Authors: Patel, U. and Burke, J.

Publisher: Camden LEA

Place of Publication: Camden London


This research is concerned with what makes a UK Online centre successful in engaging non traditional (digitally excluded) learners and their communities. We developed a typology of centres to characterise effective practices in centres which vary widely in locality, stages of development and management structure.

We found there is a critical threshold capacity for a UK Online centre to be viable, and that marketing is about the image of learning and visibility of UK Online physical centres, as well as the ‘learning on offer’. We found that engaging learners involves targeting individual learners, learning groups, community centre users and the local community.

We also found that the most valuable asset for effective practice are the people working with learners, to build confident learning identities, and create new and novel informal learning opportunities. Set against this are limited channels of communication for sharing and building on good practice, pockets of low self esteem, and in some cases a narrowing vision of the social justice agenda.

Source: Manual