CASE STUDY: Future Learning

“The project has given us the assessment instrument we needed.”

Peter Lahiff, Future Learning’s Academic Director

Project Duration: August 2020 - March 2021

Soft Skills

About the Future Learning project

Future Learning sought research services from the Learnovate Centre in Trinity College Dublin to identify, create and validate a practical framework for the effective assessment of 21st century skills development in language learners.

About Future Learning

Future Learning is a language school that aims to be different, innovative and exciting. They use an academic approach that combines English language learning with the acquisition of 21st century skills – specifically, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and information management skills. Future Learning is known internationally as a pioneer of project-based, technology enhanced language learning.


The Problem

In order to award accreditation to its adult learners, the school needed a framework to assess the acquisition of 21st Century skills over the course of their learning programme. This posed a particular challenge as it required the design of an assessment instrument that measured the students progress over time and not just their skill level at one particular moment.

On the back of receiving partial Agile Innovation Funding, Future Learning sought guidance from the Learnovate team on how such an evidence-based assessment tool could be designed but also tested as a ‘proof of concept’.

The Research 

The Learnovate team carried out an extensive search of the literature on existing assessment frameworks for 21st century skills with a view to identifying the best solution for Future Learning.

The Result

Based on the research, the Learnovate team were able to propose a prototype assessment framework that Future Learning were able to trial and validate with their students.

Following the trial, Learnovate analysed the results, extracted key findings and made recommendations on how the framework could best be deployed at scale.

In the words of Peter Lahiff, Future Learning’s Academic Director: “The project has given us the assessment instrument we needed.”

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