Virtual learning comes to Weston College

Virtual learning is taking a bold leap forward at Weston College with the introduction of online lessons in some departments

The College’s Learning Technology Team decided to trial Functional Skills lessons online, focusing on an English Language module.

Lead learning technologist Amy Palmer and the team used Adobe Captivate to create the lessons, which are now being used by a number of students. An appeal for other curriculum areas to become involved has been very successful, with 10 areas showing interest.

Palmer said: “Education is moving increasingly towards online learning and it’s vital the College follows this trend. What we’ve produced is easy to use and doesn’t take long to get through, so it keeps the user’s attention.

“Once they’ve finished, the student’s grade is updated to Moodle (Weston College’s e-learning platform) and so their progression can be monitored over the year. There’s been a great response so far and we hope it will grow from here.”

The learning technology team has also been busy mentoring teaching staff and improving their confidence when using IT. The ‘Evolution’ programme, a four-stage guide to assist staff in the classroom and on a one-to-one basis, has proved very successful. 

Staff on the programme have their own personal learning technologist who will provide one-to-one training and accompany the member of staff into the classroom so new ways of teaching via technology can be explored with confidence.

Palmer added: “We piloted this with A-level teaching staff; it proved very popular and we’ve had a lot of sign-ups for it since then.”