Learning Online

Learning Online Screenshot

Since 19th March 2020, both of the INOU’s Local Training Initiatives (LTI),Building Futures and Shaping Futures, coordinators and external tutors have been working extremely hard on developing two online platforms to ensure that all the learners are able to continue with their learning, with as little disruption as possible.

The INOU appreciates the work undertaken by the LTI staff and external tutors to find alternative ways of delivering the classes, and the support from CDETB to acquire the software which has really helped them to include the interactive and experiential elements of these training programmes. In this article, Laura Pierce, Building Futures LTI Coordinator, describes the work that was undertaken.

For the staff it has been a challenge and a huge learning curve. We had to learn how to build a website; link it to a domain ensuring DNS settings were right; set up and learn how to Zoom; create quizzes / activities / flashcards / videos with voiceover; and then once that was figured out, try and teach it to the external tutors.  Most of this was like a foreign language to us before we started, but we have worked really well together as a team to get all this done in a very short period of time.

While the new technology and software was a challenge, a bigger one was not sharing a workspace with the rest of the team as we work so closely, constantly bouncing ideas off each other. So, we do try to keep in contact with each other as much as possible, just to make sure everyone is okay, to keep each other motivated and keep the team spirit up. We have also had to replace some of our exams, which means we are designing alternative assessments.  The support we have seen from people in the CDETB and Colleges of Further Education, some of whom we had never even heard of, has been second to none. They have offered to share materials, review and give feedback on alternative assessments, offered to collaborate on different elements and just offered support in general.

We have now moved all of our LTI classes online and the learners are interacting daily in their classes which are facilitated on Zoom with the support of the online platform for the activities and resources. 

The learners on both Building Futures and Shaping Futures have been fantastic in bearing with us while we moved to the online method of delivering the classes.  Since we got up and running on Monday 30th March they have fully immersed themselves, adapted to this new and alternative way of learning and they have really embraced it.  It shows just how committed each and every one of them are in achieving their major award which they are hoping will help them progress to apprenticeships, employment, further education & training, self-employment and/or third level education.  So for that, all the LTI staff would like to say a huge thank you and well done to all the learners, as all our work would have been for nothing if they did not engage, which they could have easily done.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also meant that the recruitment for the 11th year of Building Futures and the 2nd year of Shaping Futures has been put on the back burner for the moment.  While both programmes are advertised on Fetch Courses and Activelink, we have not been able to get out to meet all our referrers as planned, but are hoping to be able to reschedule once it is safe to do so.