Argyll College comes highly commended

Photo shows Finlay MacDonald, Susannah Wilson, Elaine Munro (Depute Principal), Elaine Smith, Vanessa Hafezi, (Digital Marketing Officer).

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Argyll College received not one but two ‘highly commended’ awards at the College Development Network (CDN) annual awards ceremony.

Held on Thursday November 21 at Radisson Blu, Glasgow, the awards recognise the talent, skills and achievements of colleges, their staff and their learners.

They provide a valuable opportunity to celebrate the innovation taking place in colleges across the country and showcase the impact the sector is having – every day – for learners, communities and the wider economy.

In the Innovation category, hairdressing tutor Elaine Smith and former Oban High School pupil Finlay MacDonald collected a Highly Commended award for a computer game used to teach how colour neutralisation works – a fundamental concept within hairdressing curriculum, affectionately
named Game of Tones.

Finlay is one of the college’s newest employees having recently taken up
the post of IT modern apprentice.

‘I was ecstatic to hear that our project was Highly Commended at the awards,’ he said.

‘I think it was an amazing series of events leading up to the award, such as the original idea pitch and the project’s inclusion in The Oban Times.

‘I had never been to an event similar to the CDN awards. I spoke to many new people about their awards as well as ours, and discussed what it meant to receive something like this.’

Finlay’s game is now complete and is available to download for Android devices on the Google Play Store while he is currently working on making it available on iPhones and iPads.

‘I am looking into ways to possibly expand the game further, or to work on an entirely new educational product,’ he added. ‘Virtual reality has been brought up.’

In the Digital Learning category, tutor Susannah Wilson collected another Highly Commended prize for a pilot project which utilises screen capture videos to provide personalised, formative feedback to students. This has proven to be a really effective way of improving students’ experience,
enhancing engagement and increasing student satisfaction.

College principal Martin Jones said: ‘We are really delighted to see our efforts in Innovation and Digital Learning being recognised in this way.

‘As a truly digital institution with learning centres located throughout Argyll, it’s important we continually strive to embrace innovative
technology and ensure our students’ experience is second to none.

‘I congratulate all of our staff who have been involved in these projects.’