Blend of in-person and online (Annonymous)

Number and mix of 16-18, 14-16 and adult learners

  • 16-18 study programmes - 4,691
  • 14-16 - 29
  • Adults learners (AEB), 4,119
  • Apprenticeships (all aes), 2,719
  • Higher Education, 414
  • A-Levels - 195

What have been your key considerations around the mix of in-person and online delivery within your college context?

The first priority when planning the re-opening of the college has been to ensure the safety of both our staff and our students. The risk assessment process has determined how many students can safely attend each College campus at any one time, which in turn has informed timetabling decisions relating to the amount of in-person delivery which can be offered to each student ‘bubble’.

Within these parameters, individual Faculties have determined which groups of students have the highest need for in-person delivery, and have timetabled accordingly.

For example, new students have been given more time in college compared to returning students, and students with additional needs which require one-to-one support have been prioritised. Students with higher levels of personal or social need have also been allocated more in-person delivery to ensure that they can build the essential relationships, with both tutors and peers, which they need to be successful.

Meeting the needs of individual employers has also been an important consideration when planning levels of in-person and online delivery, especially when their employees are released for vocational training. Flexible delivery models have been developed with each employer to ensure that learning can continue in a way which meets their specific requirements, often using a mixed model of in-person and online delivery.

As always, we need to ensure when planning curriculum delivery, both in-person and online, that we are aligned to the current Education Inspection Framework, and enable students to make continual progress over the course of their programme of study.

What is the mix and balance of in-person and online learning, how will this be reviewed?

The mix and balance of in-person and online learning is determined by the needs of students in each individual Faculty. The College has recognised that students on highly practical courses, such as Hair and Beauty, Bricklaying, and Plumbing, will need to attend college more often than students on academic courses, the majority of which can be delivered online. It is also recognised that higher level learners, for example, those on university level courses, have a long-standing expectation that significant levels of teaching and learning will be delivered online. As the College already has an excellent track record in providing these opportunities, the balance next year will be a significant increase in the use of online platforms to deliver these programmes.

Monitoring engagement with online learning will be a vital part of the College’s work in the next academic year, as it has been since lockdown in March. All new students will be given a full induction into the use of the College’s online learning platform, and will be provided with the relevant hardware to ensure that they can all participate from home. Course Tutors and Tutorial Mentors will be allocated to each ‘bubble’, and engagement with all types of planned, online delivery will be closely monitored and supported.

The quality of online learning opportunities will also be assessed as part of the College’s Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy. This will ensure that there is a clear process for assessing the quality of online learning, be this tutor-led delivery, supported study, or the provision of materials for independent learning.