Remote learning – Putting staff and students first

As the new academic year for universities and colleges gets underway, there are increasing levels of uncertainty regarding a return to some kind of ‘normal’ and what that might look like. We are working collaboratively with our partners to offer support and guidance so that they can provide both staff and students the very best educational experience.  Putting people at the heart of our work, we consider how remote learning impacts on the individual and offer a trained lens on well-being of everyone involved.

  1. Pedagogy

One of the great challenges of digital learning is that people may feel detached and isolated. The reality that we face is that no matter how engaging the pedagogue, if the infrastructure of the learning tool is limiting, then students will inevitably get bored and switch off. When considering a virtual learning experience, we must consider how to deliver interactivity without limits:

  • How do I deliver quality content online?
  • What tools are available for my students to engage with?
  • How will students receive a personalised learning experience?
  • How can I provide regular access to speak with subject matter experts?
  • Will all content be delivered through a live stream? If so, will content be available to access later?
  • What training and support will be offered to staff and students to fully utilise your platform offering?

2. Well-being

The start of any new academic year can often be daunting. Add in a level of change and uncertainty and the psychological impact is profound and must not be underestimated or overlooked. This is true for both students starting a new course but also staff returning to their jobs in a totally new environment.   When putting the well-being of your students and staff first, here are some things to consider:

  • What services are offered to support emotional wellbeing?
  • What is in place to ensure that compassion, understanding, and empathy are provided to everyone?
  • What opportunities are there for staff and students to collaborate?
  • Are there learning opportunities provided that can reduce screen time?
  • What opportunities will there be for staff and students be able to participate in social events?

If any of the above resonates, please do contact us.

We know that the changes which were mandated by the onset of Coronavirus have had a profound impact on education and related institutions. These institutions are just coming to grips with these challenges, recognising the beneficial opportunities that blended learning approaches and smarter working strategies can offer.

In preparation for the new ‘normal’ we have put together a survey which, upon completion, will highlight an overall picture of the current state of the majority of universities and further education providers. When you complete the survey we will provide you with an institution specific perspective, as well as offer helpful advice based on your own unique circumstances.

If you would like assistance with any of the above, please fill in the survey. Contact us directly to hear more about our digital service that delivers increased organisational agility, operational efficiency and digital capability while maintaining the high levels of compliance and quality that is demanded of modern digital and technology service providers. Our well-being impact assessment and tailored plan helps to keep students and staff engaged, connected and healthy when working remotely.

Smarter working – Smarter learning

Is the smarter working revolution confined to the office? Is now the time for change?

As education establishments have returned this autumn there is an innate human desire to return to the ‘routine’ and the comforting familiarity it provides, but looking back on Spring 2020 provides us all with an insight into our ability to provide more opportunities for digital learning.

We know that closing schools and universities is a last resort for government officials but with institutions reporting that they already have whole cohorts of students isolating, the fallback of reverting to some form of remote learning begins to look more and more likely.

Between now and the start of exams, whenever that may be, Covid-19 restrictions will inevitably ebb and flow and various groups of students will be impacted at different times. Some will have their learning heavily disrupted. Others will be in homes where they struggle with online access and where conditions are less conducive for remote learning. There is a rapid need for educators to provide flexible learning options for students, without doubling the workload of staff.

What can we offer?

As we work with clients to optimise their digital workplace strategy can we also work with educators to look at positive lessons learned from Covid-19 and realise some of the benefits of digital learning space strategy.

  • CULTURE: Consumer deliverers in education are used to having every moment of their time accounted for. Lockdown taught us that clunky organisational infrastructures can be a thing of the past. A digital learning space can increase opportunity for flexibility – offering more agility, resilience, reflection points.
  • SYSTEMS: Spring 2020 taught us that nothing is impossible and extraordinary measures were taken to enable effective learning online. We can help to look at systems so that they are streamlined, planned, and organised much more effectively to avoid the need for knee-jerk reactions.
  • COLLABORATION – teaching in a classroom or a lecture theatre can be lonely and the opportunity to talk with other professionals can be limited. A digital learning space provides remote learning opportunities with a significant increase of online networking events. While we recognise this doesn’t replace the importance of a face-to-face conversation, there is a wealth of professional development opportunity to be explored.

Flexibility is a key survival tool for the future of education.

We know that the changes which were mandated by the onset of Coronavirus have had a profound impact on education and related institutions. These institutions are just coming to grips with these challenges, recognising the beneficial opportunities that blended learning approaches and smarter working strategies can offer.

In preparation for the new ‘normal’ we have put together a survey which, upon completion, will highlight an overall picture of the current state of the majority of universities and further education providers. When you complete the survey we will provide you with an institution specific perspective, as well as offer helpful advice based on your own unique circumstances.

If you would like assistance with any of the above, please fill in the survey. Contact us directly to hear more about our digital service that delivers increased organisational agility, operational efficiency and digital capability while maintaining the high levels of compliance and quality that is demanded of modern digital and technology service providers.

A Digital Health Check – Preparing for future of education

Over Spring and Summer 2020, the preparation needed for a virtual learning experience has been exposed and tested to the max. Our rapid response service worked with institutions who scaled up digital resources that were already in place, while others, started almost from scratch. The experience taught us that the quality of IT infrastructure and systems vary and consequently outputs are affected. In some instances, the full capacity of what can be provided, and the security required, may not be fully understood and embedded. We have put together a few key things to consider when creating a healthy digital platform that is designed to further the future of education.

  1. Collaboration

The current array of collaboration tools between staff, lecturers, and students is vast. Whether you have opted for Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Moodle, Aula or other educational providers, consider:

  • Have you carefully considered your choice of platform?
  • Have you evaluated its benefits and challenges?
  • Are all users appropriately licensed?
  • Have you considered the impact of a multi-platform offering?
  • Is your choice cost-effective?

2. Security

Traditionally students and lecturers have had the option to work directly from the college or university network, rather than always remotely. In some instances, there may be a need for additional services to allow secure access to tools that are kept isolated from the public internet. Consider:

  • Are VPN (Virtual Private Network) or Virtual Desktop/Applications services available?
  • Are these services appropriately sized and licensed?
  • Do students and staff know how to access the services?
  • Are all security protocols in place?

3. Accessibility

Between now and the start of this academic year’s assessment window, whenever that may be, various groups of students will have to self-isolate at different points of time. Some will have their learning heavily disrupted. Others will be in homes where they struggle with online access and where conditions are less favourable to remote education. Consider:

  • Does your choice of platform have easy accessibility for all?
  • Does everyone know how to use the tools?
  • Does your choice offer a degree of flexibility from blended to fully remote learning resources?
  • Will lecturers and students need telephone dial–in access to meetings where Internet access over 4G or WiFi is not available?
  • In the instance that students or staff do not have access to computers or the internet, is software optimised for mobile devices?

We know that the changes which were mandated by the onset of Coronavirus have had a profound impact on education and related institutions. These institutions are just coming to grips with these challenges, recognising the beneficial opportunities that blended learning approaches and smarter working strategies can offer.

In preparation for the new ‘normal’ we have put together a survey which, upon completion, will highlight an overall picture of the current state of the majority of universities and further education providers. When you complete the survey we will provide you with an institution specific perspective, as well as offer helpful advice based on your own unique circumstances.

If you would like assistance with any of the above, please fill in the survey. Contact us directly to hear more about our digital service that delivers increased organisational agility, operational efficiency and digital capability while maintaining the high levels of compliance and quality that is demanded of modern digital and technology service providers.