‘As the next phase of Coronavirus hits the UK, educational establishments are faced with a dilemma. Do they close their institutions, move all resources online and adopt a remote working model for all?’
New City College is more than prepared to revert to such measures. During the recent lockdown, the College adopted this new approach to learning and quickly implemented the digital shift to working remotely. Our virtual learning environment (VLE), Moodle, was used by both teachers and students as a platform to engage and access online learning materials.
Before the pandemic, staff were already using Microsoft Office 365, so it was the natural step to roll out Microsoft Teams, the unified communications and collaboration platform. The pandemic has accelerated the rate of adoption of this software and it is now being used by all departments and courses throughout our campuses to keep staff, tutors and students in touch and able to engage with online teaching and learning as and when required. As a College we are not compromising on covering the practical content of the qualification and that these competencies will be met through face-to-face delivery as part of ensuring standards.
As lockdown restrictions change, we as a College will change with the Government guidelines so that learning can continue in a safe way.
The College continues to provide face-to-face teaching which currently is at 95%, the college is only reverting to on-line teaching if there is a department that has a positive case impacting on other programmes. Where students and staff are expected to wear face masks within confined spaces. Those students and teachers exempt from face masks are provided with a special exemption pin for their lanyard. Each workspace and classroom is socially distanced to meet guidelines and has the appropriate sanitation stations, with hand sanitizer placed at entrances, exits and at various points in communal areas.
The College will continue to monitor the situation. We realise the importance in welcoming students back on campus in a safe way and being able to offer a blended learning model for everyone. Communication between teachers and students has become paramount during this challenging period.