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College of FE app proves popular

College of FE app proves popular

Wednesday 30 May 2018

College of FE app proves popular

Wednesday 30 May 2018

An internal communications app, used by staff and students at Guernsey's College of Further Education is proving so popular it will be rolled out automatically to new students joining from September onwards.

The college’s Head of Learner Support Services said the app is helping learner groups, cross college initiatives and the progress coaching team.

GCFE Connect was introduced by Guernsey College of Further Education last September and since then has gained approximately 650 users and has logged over 19,000 direct messages.

The private social media application was developed by Wambiz (since acquired by Tribal Group) and is described as "a customisable social networking platform allowing staff and students to connect, communicate and collaborate with each other safely and securely."

Guernsey College of Further Education is the first education establishment in the island to introduce this type of platform, working with The Tribal Group; which supplies communications platforms to more than 300 further education and skills providers in the UK and is the number one education information systems provider in New Zealand, Australia and the UK. 

The app - GCFE Connect - operates like other social networks but with added safeguarding features that keep staff’s professional and personal lives separate and enables students to communicate with each other and with staff in a highly secure space.


Pictured: A screen grab of the app

Jeff Stuart, the college’s Head of Learner Support Services said:

“The platform is being used in a variety of ways. Learner groups are sharing discussions on vocational projects, staff are setting reminders and guiding learners towards e-learning activities, cross college initiatives can be communicated and students are sending questions to individuals or groups on study issues which develops peer support networks. It has also helped our Progress Coach team to support learners who may self-refer, choose to contact the team via the application or have been identified as benefitting from the knowledge that they have an open channel of communication direct to a source of support. Students have told us that they are much more comfortable using this platform rather than Facebook or similar because of its privacy and security.

“Communication is often cited as a challenge for any organisation but this is even more of an issue when you are situated on three separate locations as we are at the college. We have had lots of positive feedback from everyone using GCFE Connect and as the application is constantly evolving I am sure that its usage will continue to grow as it becomes even further embedded within the college’s culture.”

Jeff Stuart

Pictured: Jeff Stuart

New students joining the college in September this year will automatically be set up as a user once they have enrolled.

“This will mean that we can send out a welcome message and engage with learners before they step through the door on day one. We have 118 active groups on GCFE Connect, and there have been over 20,000 connection requests. It enables learners to feel part of the wider organisation and develop a sense of identity as a student at GCFE before they arrive on the first day of term”, added Mr Stuart.


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