How Football Industry College is using CENTURY to engage students

Posted on 3rd December 2021

Posted by CENTURY

Football Industry College offers 16- to 19-year-old school leavers a combination of academic study, practical hands-on learning, player development and work experience within the exciting environment of the football and sports industry.

In addition to pursuing their passion for sport, learners have the opportunity to enhance their maths and English skills at the college. We caught up with Assistant Director of Education Rich Clarke to find out how CENTURY is being used to engage and support students resitting their GCSEs or taking Functional Skills courses. 

What were your initial impressions of CENTURY?

We're an independent training provider, and we work with different funding colleges and providers, and East Coast College recommended CENTURY to us. So we did a little bit of research, arranged a call to find out more about the platform, and were really impressed with what we heard. 

In terms of getting set up initially, we had a lot of good support from the people at CENTURY, who really helped us to develop our initial plan and get training for our staff and so on. We had a variety of training calls with different members of the team and with our staff as well. 

The onboarding process was extremely simple. It was just a case of getting information from our management information system, putting it on a spreadsheet and sending it across, and that was it. So that was a really easy process.

How do you incorporate CENTURY into the teaching and learning at your college?

We give students one hour per day to use the platform. That's in a classroom setting, so there is a teacher there as well to support with anything that they might not understand or that they're struggling with.

In total, we use it for one hour, four times a week. So they're all getting four hours of CENTURY time per week, and then there’s one or two students who are really striving to get their English and maths grades sorted who choose to spend more time on it at home. 

So how have you found the ongoing support?

It’s fantastic. Our Account Manager is always just an email away if we do need anything, although we've not really had any issues that we've needed help solving. But whenever there's been anything we’ve needed to be done, it’s been really quick and straightforward to sort out. The monthly usage reports that we get sent across so that we can see things like how learners are doing in comparison to previous months, where the positives are and what we need to improve on are really good as well. So the support has been brilliant.

What do teachers think of the platform?

Everyone’s loving it. It's so easy to use, it identifies the gaps in knowledge for the learners and then pushes forward the work that they need to do. It's just working really well, and the teachers are really enjoying having it as a platform to use.

It allows teachers to quickly identify where the gaps in knowledge are for individual learners or for a group of learners, which is really good and saves them time. It’s making things a lot easier for the tutors to look into, and then to set the work appropriately and accordingly. The fact that the nuggets are like short lessons in themselves also saves the tutors from having to sit with the learners and introduce every topic manually.

Have you found the AI recommendations helpful so far?

Yes, definitely. The differentiated approach is really good. It’s making sure that the work is of the right level for each learner, so they're not only doing the things that they're already strong at. It's giving them the belief that they can do things that they might not necessarily think they can, and it’s enabling them to look back and see what they’re not so good at, but also what they're strong at. 

It's easy for them to get bogged down and say, “I don't know what I'm doing. I'm not good at maths or English”, but with CENTURY, we can actually easily highlight the areas that they are good at, which is encouraging. 

What part of the platform do you enjoy using the most?

I think it's the Leadership Dashboard. We like how easy it is to use, and being able to look back and see things like when usage is happening. So we can pick a specific date range to look at and see week by week what the learners are doing and how much work is being done. 

For example, we sometimes go back to the previous day just to check if there wasn’t as much work done as possibly should have been, and if that’s the case then we can then identify it really quickly. We can then go to the students and say, “Well, you actually only did two nuggets yesterday, or you only answered 12 questions, whereas you should be doing this many, so what’s happened there?”.

How do the students find it? What aspects of the platform are they liking the most?

I think its appearance is one of the main things that draws them to it. When they go on it, it looks interesting to them; it looks modern and like something they want to be involved with. Previous platforms that we've used weren’t necessarily the most visually appealing, but having this one look so good with a very user-friendly interface helps a lot. It's very simple to navigate and easy to get around.

They’re engaging with it really well, and our usage throughout the Winter Cup results demonstrates that. They're 100% spending more time using it and working through the nuggets then they would have done with platforms we’ve had previously. 

What are your plans going forward with CENTURY?

For the most part, we’re just going to stick with what we're doing because it seems to be working well at the moment, but there are a couple of things we might try out. 

I think we're going to start utilising the planner function a little bit more when we get to Christmas, because by that point the students should have completed a high number of nuggets, and we’ll be able to identify which areas they're strong at and where their weaknesses are. Using that information, we’ll be able to start pushing certain nuggets to further support the learning. 

I think we might also start to use the assessments, and start assigning some of them to hopefully encourage a little bit of use of CENTURY outside of college time as well. 

Would you recommend CENTURY to other colleges?

Yes, 100%. We’ve actually already spoken about it with some people that we work with and told them that it’s a great platform, and that we hope that they'll consider it for themselves.

Find out more about how CENTURY can support apprenticeships and training providers.