It’s business as (un)usual at West Herts College

Like so many of us, West Herts College has moved its operations entirely online following the lockdown for social distancing. This new ‘virtual campus’ is proving very popular, with teachers running a full timetable of classes and support services. No mean feat when you consider that in total the college operates across three towns and serves more than 6,000 full-time students aged 16-18, plus some 8,000 adult learners.

Online lesson-attendance is high and the IT system is holding up well thanks to the diligence of college techies overseeing matters remotely. As a result, all students are continuing to work towards completing courses and achieving qualifications, with their plans in place for next steps and intended futures.

Laptops have been loaned to all that need them, with the usual additional support continuing for vulnerable students at this difficult time. Apprentices are also being assisted to ensure their development can progress. Meanwhile, college staff are available throughout the lockdown and can be contacted in the usual ways.

Being digital natives, the students are more than able to adjust to this new life. But what of older members of college staff who – again, like many of us – had perhaps never heard of Zoom or Teams? By all accounts there was a digital amnesty and anyone who knew nothing of these now indispensable systems had tutors on hand to get them up to speed.

Truly a shared learning experience! And one that will continue into the summer term.

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