eCollege, the national online learning service operated by SOLAS, has awarded two major four-year contracts worth €7.5M to indigenous Irish companies, Cenit College and Enovation Solutions following a comprehensive tendering process.
Under the new contracts for eCollege, Cenit College will be responsible for the management of eTutoring and related support services and Enovation Solutions for monitoring and reporting services. eCollege’s partnership with both providers will ensure that the provision of online education and training meets the personal, social and economic needs of learners, and that such provision is responsive, flexible, innovative and of high quality.
SOLAS CEO, Paul O’Toole said: “SOLAS is very pleased that eCollege will be partnering with Cenit College and Enovation Solutions. eCollege is a brilliant online learning tool that supports both unemployed and employed learners to upskill in a convenient and efficient way. The partnerships with Cenit College and Enovation Solutions will allow SOLAS to grow eCollege at a time when Ireland’s economic recovery is apace.”
36 online training programmes are currently delivered by eCollege to both employed and unemployed learners. In 2014, more than 10,000 unemployed learners and 700 employed learners availed of eCollege courses. The respective partnerships with Cenit College and Enovation Solutions will allow eCollege to significantly increase participation numbers.
In the most recent Follow-up Survey of Course Participants (2013), it was reported that the placement rate for unemployed learners undertaking eCollege courses was over 45%.
Vaeni MacDonnell, Managing Director of Cenit College said: “We are delighted to be working with SOLAS’ eCollege. The aim of Cenit College is to provide educational opportunities that highlight the skills and knowledge that will allow learners to grow through a lifetime of social and technological change. We recognise that education is essential in promoting a learners sense of worth, values and ethical standards. The college is committed to offering quality education that meets the needs of its learners and assisting them in the pursuit of their personal, professional and educational goals.”
Gary Mahon, Director of Enovation solutions said: “Enovation Solutions is very pleased to be one of eCollege’s strategic partners for the next four years. As a leading provider of learning, compliance, talent and document management solutions based on integrated open source software, we believe that we are an excellent fit for eCollege and looking forward to working with the SOLAS team”
eCollege courses are available on a continuous intake basis with no waiting lists. Department of Social Protection staff refer unemployed learners for a course at any time and those in employment can register online. All eCollege courses are supported by eTutors who assist learners in activating their account and in progressing through their course materials, including setting and correcting assignments. When an individual learner completes their course, their eTutor identifies an Approved Test Centre where they can complete their certification and the eTutor then assists them in progressing to further education, training or employment.
eCollege courses are delivered through “Moodle”, a Learning Management System that contains communication and collaboration tools. In 2014 this platform was updated to the latest version including increased functionality for learner interaction and support. Virtual Classrooms were also introduced where increased access to broadband services facilitated live video conferencing type interaction between tutors and learners, including the facility for learners to view previously recorded training sessions.
Courses contain eLearning content including Online Tutorials, Simulations, Videos, Animations, eBooks, Virtual Labs and assessments and assignments. Learners are also provided with software where required, for example learners on Microsoft Office courses are provided with a free copy of Microsoft Office Professional.
Contact: Nikki Gallagher at 01-5332396 or 087-6490092
Note to Editor:
- SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority, was established under primary legislation and is responsible for funding, planning and co-ordinating training and further education programmes.
- Cenit College, based in Maynooth, Co. Kildare, employs 51 fulltime staff. The College engages with a wide variety of IT and business related background in Cloud Computing, Software Engineering/Programming, Networking, Platform Administration, Office Applications and Database Administration, Accounting, Business and Management and is accredited by numerous professional bodies, including ACCA, CPA Ireland, Microsoft, Pearson Vue, Prodigy and HP. The organisation uses a sophisticated QA system to manage and measure its business performance using Lean and Performance Management Principles. The College has delivered eLearning programmes on behalf of other high profiles clients, including ECDL, Microsoft, Accounting Technicians Ireland and FETAC.Based in Dublin and employing 44 staff, Enovation Solutions provides a full range of eLearning related services to a large client base in Ireland and abroad. These services include eLearning consultancy, training, portal development, eLearning compliance management and instructional design and are delivered using open source software; specifically Moodle and Drupal. We offer fully managed hosting and application support with custom software and content development, integration and training. In addition, Enovation Solutions is the main Moodle Partner in Ireland.