Remote Education Offer
The Covid-19 pandemic posed considerable challenges for education providers during the academic years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. Together Training acted swiftly to adapt its approach to teaching, learning and assessment between full onsite delivery to fully remote teaching and learning. In many cases, a blended approach has been used, especially when localised outbreaks have resulted in whole classes being required to self-isolate.
In order to provide transparency and clarity, Together Training (TT) has published details of their remote education offer, as detailed in the following section.
Remote Education for Apprentices
Apprentices will continue to meet the 20% ‘off the job’ element by a range of flexible models already in place by their Learning Coach. For example, Career Development Professional apprentices have weekly sessions via Microsoft Teams with a blended approach to learning. Together Training staff are on hand to support apprentices with their End Point Assessment and setting up external meetings for professional discussions . All reviews are currently conducted remotely with employers and apprentices to ensure knowledge, skills and behaviours continue to be developed. Targets and actions will be set accordingly and progress reviewed with performance monitored against planned expected end dates. Owner Colleges can offer IT support for apprentices who may have problems accessing ICT.
In line with guidance around social distancing we are delivering a fully remote and online service. We have replaced face-to-face training, workshops and coaching sessions with a variety of distance learning alternatives, including:
Virtual classrooms to enable remote teaching
Adapted delivery materials and use of good remote teaching practices (e.g. questioning, screen swap/share, research, discussion, review of work and feedback)
Live and pre-recorded Microsoft Team sessions on specific topics of difficulty
Use of videoconferencing to facilitate remote group exercises and peer support
Access to a wide range of e-learning resources
Our remote delivery model also takes into consideration the health and wellbeing of our apprentices as they adapt to a very different learning experience. With this is mind we will be incorporating:
Bitesize teaching and learning to minimise screen time
Use of activity-based learning to punctuate trainer-led sessions
Additional 1-2-1 support for learners when needed
Flexibility in relation to learning to take into account personal circumstances (e.g. childcare commitments)
TT expects assessment processes to continue including internal progress assessments and externally set assessments ensuring that Covid safety guidelines are followed for any external examinations.
The VLE is well-established and provides all students and staff with access to resources, learning, CPD and IAG. The college owners learning resources team will support both staff and Apprentices with queries and upskilling to ensure all can access and use the VLE confidently. The digital skills strategy assures developments will keep pace with change. Apprentices will connect with teaching staff remotely through the VLE and Teams to facilitate continued support for education.
Pastoral support will be delivered remotely using classes on Microsoft Teams. Apprentices will be given guidance on this and instructed on access to pastoral resources, information and guidance. The safeguarding Team will maintain contact with Apprentices who are working remotely to provide support and monitor concerns that arise e.g. mental health issues through email, telephone and online using Teams. Resources will be available for Apprentices to access additional online support for pastoral issues such as homelessness, mental wellbeing and domestic violence.
Expectations of Apprentices
Remote learning expectations have been shared with Apprentices including how to keep safe on line. Apprentices are expected to participate in all remote learning opportunities provided to ensure progress is maintained. Where students are unable to participate due to illness or other issue, protocols for reporting absence remain in force and registers will be marked accordingly. Teaching staff will raise concerns about student participation with Apprenticeship Delivery manager who will take appropriate action using company policy and procedure.
Support for Students Without Devices, Connectivity or a Suitable Environment for Learning
TT provides devices to Apprentices in receipt of 16-19 discretionary bursary where they do not have access to a device. TT will decide what support a student needs based on individual assessment, in line with bursary fund rules that all support must be based on individual circumstances and needs. If an extended period of remote learning occurs, we will aim to provide devices to all students in need.
Recent Apprentices satisfaction levels
As most of the apprentices we surveyed didn’t choose to study online, it was important to quickly identify areas for improvements and collect feedback in order to continue to deliver high quality training. We spoke with 107 apprentices and Initial feedback found overwhelmingly positive results about the move from classroom to online learning.
The main questions we asked were:
Is the Covid-19 outbreak having an impact on your apprenticeship?
How satisfied are you with the extra delivery/support that is being delivered during Covid-19
As far as you can tell, how satisfied are you that in your apprenticeship you have learned/are learning up-to-date knowledge, skills and behaviours?
The feedback collected identified that apprentices were extremely positive about their learning coaches and how they have delivered training sessions in order for apprentices to continue to work from home effectively .89% of apprentices have said that Covid -19 has not affected their apprenticeship ,but from the comments box, apprentices indicated that they are missing the interaction from other students who attend the monthly Masterclass in the Business Lounge .90% of apprentices indicated that the extra support of increased reviews ,weekly catch up and well-being sessions were well recieved.78% of apprentices are satisfied that they are learning up to date knowledge, skills and behaviours.
Whilst its pleasing to see that the apprentices are enjoying this new way of learning, it’s important to note that this cohort of apprentices signed up to monthly face to face classroom sessions and are missing that interaction. TT will continue to monitor government advice regarding face to face delivery