About the project

GMC HQ site hosts our GMCG Projects. Our Steering Group members, from across all our colleges in Greater Manchester, direct and guide the project with a clear focus on improving the quality of digital and blended learning. Our GM Quality Forum also meets half-termly for colleagues to share approaches to quality assurance and quality improvement of digital and blended learning.

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A Greater Manchester Colleges Group project made possible by the Department for Education’s College Collaboration Fund.

GMC HQ is brought to you by:

Barry Atkins – The Manchester College,  Mark Burgoyne – Bolton College,  Roger Clegg – Oldham College,  Nicola Costello – Salford College,  Liz Duncan – Hopwood Hall College,  Adrian Emmerson – Bury College,  Michelle Fletcher – The Manchester College, Teresa Farran – Tameside College,  Claire Foreman – Wigan and Leigh College, Gemma Hawkley-Holt – Trafford College Group,  Becki Lee – Hopwood Hall College, Andrea Murphy – Hopwood Hall College, Jim Parker – Wigan and Leigh College, Kim Sheldon – Tameside College

Our project

Our collaborative “communities of practice” approach is supported by designated Digital and Blended Learning Champions in each partner college, who work with colleagues within their own college and collaboratively across our wider GM community.

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Adrian Emerson

Adrian Emmerson

Digital Learning Manager • Bury College

I’m responsible for all aspects of distance, remote and blended learning across FE and HE curriculum provision. As a digital team, myself and 3 digital learning coaches have been promoting the effective use of Canvas as our main virtual learning environment (LMS), Office 365 as a range of tools to effect impactful teaching, learning and assessment in remote sessions and how blended learning can focus tutors to ensure learners are progressing and achieving on their study programmes. In addition, we have introduced Planet eStream as a fully integrated and interactive media tool designed to enhance teaching, learning and assessment across multiple platforms. We are currently developing resources to help and support staff and students in implementing Planet eStream into their digital toolkit.


Beth Derbyshire

Beth Derbyshire

Digital and Blended Learning Champion • Bolton College

I am an experienced lecturer and I specialise in English and ESOL. I have spent the last few years also working as an advanced practitioner in ILT, and now working on this project on digital and blended learning for Bolton College. I studied digital and distance learning within my degree many years ago and I have had a passion for EdTech throughout my teaching career. I enjoy looking at new and emerging technologies in education and how they can enhance student learning and engagement, whilst also saving the teachers time. I have spent time on this project improving the skills and competencies of teachers within our college with a focus on how to deliver outstanding online lessons, and how to incorporate blended learning within their courses to improve teaching, learning and assessment.


Eve Sheppard

Eve Sheppard

Advanced Practitioner and Programme Tutor in ESOL • Oldham College

I am a teacher of ESOL and maths and have been working as an Advanced Practitioner at The Oldham College since 2019. I am interested in assessment and feedback, and how these can be done effectively online. I have been working on developing hands-on CPD and self-access ‘how to’ videos to support teachers who want to try out different tools for online teaching and assessment. I’m also keen to develop digital literacy for Entry Level and ESOL students and to improve accessibility of online resources. I have been working with Stacey Salt to produce the Let’s Get Digital podcast in which we share good practice from tutors across Oldham College


Kate Woods

Digital Learning Advisor • The Manchester College

I help teachers to enhance the quality of students’ learning experience through use of Microsoft Teams and other digital platforms and technologies for teaching, learning, and assessment. My specialist skills are in developing accessibility and interactive online learning resources, and I am interested in digital skills and learning technologies.


Helen Green

Helen Green

Digital and Blended Learning Champion • Hopwood Hall College

I have worked for many years within the FE and HE sector; spending much of this time working within Learning Resource Centres; supporting learners and staff with accessing resources, study skills and eLearning materials. I also have a keen interest in teaching, learning and assessment and am qualified in this area, holding a Post-graduate certificate in Education studies. Most recently, at Hopwood Hall College, I have worked with learners, planning, supporting and facilitating our blended learning model, as well as being involved with the administration of key systems, including our VLE. I have also developed training and CPD for staff across the college to build their digital skills. In my role as Digital and Blended Learning Champion, I have been keen to continue my work with upskilling and training across all areas of the college. I am currently involved with the development of a new Quality Framework and Digital Strategy and as part of this have been assessing the quality of our digital and blended learning provision. As part of this, I have needed to investigate innovative ways of supporting teaching, learning and assessment and I am keen to continue to find new tools and methods to continue this.


James Brabin

James Brabin

Digital and Blended Learning Champion • Wigan & Leigh College

Jonny Evans and I have been working on developing and documenting a comprehensive “top-down” strategy for ensuring large-scale cross-institutional change for transforming the quality of online lessons (although the strategy will work face to face also). We focused on the use of online presentation software “Nearpod”, chosen for its user-friendly interface and transformative abilities for significantly improving the quality of online sessions.  The number of lessons launched from September-January was 70K+. Our project provides a “how to” guide for institutions wishing to replicate the impact.


Alison Magee

Learning Technology Lead and DBLC for Trafford College Group

I have worked in FE for over 30 years and I have a creative design background and initially spent years working with teachers to design learning materials. The last 10 years I have worked in Learning Technology with my key focus to develop and deliver CPD and offer bespoke support to practitioner’s to enrich and enhance their TLA practice with digital technologies.
I joined TCG in 2017 with a strategic role to develop the vision to improve the quality of TLA with a more ‘Blended’ learning approach. We now have our Digital and TLA Strategies and Student Success Framework in place and working together to enrich, enhance and add value to the learner experience, everyday.
I have a Level 5 Teaching and Training Qualification and work closely with curriculum to support and enable the best possible experience for our learners. I support tutors with the implementation of our VLE Platform, Microsoft Class Teams, and the integration of the 365 suite and associated apps to embed essential digital skills relevant for life and the workplace.





Paul Mather

Paul Mather

Lecturer in Computing • Tameside College

I’ve taught computing for almost thirty years and have always been keen to develop online learning and assessment. As part of this project I’m attempting to marry the tools and technology that is developing as part of working online and marrying this to sound pedagogical principles. I’m hoping to show that teaching and learning can be just as effective online as when face to face.


Stacey-Ann Foy

Digital and Blended Learning Champion • The Manchester College

My role is the Digital and Blended Learning Champion at The Manchester College. Prior to this role I spent three and a half years as Department Team Leader of English and mathematics for the Business, Computing and Creative Industries department, where I still deliver Functional Skills English sessions weekly.

I received my short M.A. qualification (2018) from the University of Sunderland where I performed action research on the use of flipped learning and EdTech tools to support grammar. I received my English specialism (2017) from the University of Huddersfield, my BA (Hons) in Education and Professional Development (2016) and CertEd (2014) from the University of Huddersfield in conjunction with The Manchester College.

I began my teaching career in 2012 as a tutor of hairdressing before shifting my focus solely to Functional Skills English. Having taught students on study programmes and apprenticeships, I have always had a keen interest in using EdTech to enhance the creativity of sessions.

I am a short-listed nominee for the Educate North Innovation Award 2020 and Keynote speaker for our Assess for Success conference.


Stacey Salt

Stacey Salt

Advanced Practitioner & Business Tutor * Oldham College

We are a G-Suite college and I work with staff and students at Oldham College supporting them with TLA in a blended learning model. In my role as an AP and Digital Champion I have identified digital strategies, tools and techniques that are working well and evaluated why different approaches are effective in different areas.. Being part of the project has allowed me to share these findings, be an agent for change in a dynamic culture and support staff further in their own development. I co-produce and co-host the Let’s Get Digital podcast series which has been amplified throughout the FE sector.


Julian Regan

Learning Technologist • The Manchester College

My main role is to support staff from all subject areas with training and troubleshooting in EdTech, as well as to write or adapt materials for blended learning. My background is in English Language teaching, especially teaching academic English and study skills to international students who are preparing to study at British universities. I think that being a language teacher has informed my approach to using EdTech, as I’m most interested in tools, resources or methodologies that maximise student communication and engagement, and which aim to prompt discussions. Another area I’m interested in is promoting student independence and autonomy. Like everyone in the industry, I’m fascinated to see how education is adapting to more and more remote, online or hybrid learning.


Ashley Newall

Head of Quality Assurance •  Salford City College

I am supporting our College’s Digital Learning Strategy and following the completion of Edtech course last year, looking to coordinate and consolidate our approaches to Blended Learning.  In my role as Head of Quality Assurance, I am looking to collaborate with the GM College group and, through supported experiments, coordinate with curriculum staff their critical evaluation of approaches to Blended Learning. In addition, share and promote good Blended Learning practice at Salford City College and within the GM project. I am working with a number of different curriculum teams and staff to review and assess the impact of various tools in curriculum design, delivery, resources and assessment.