College tutors move to online assessments during social distancing

Monday 6th of April 2020 10:13 AM

Paul Barnsley

With UK government measures to establish social distancing during the coronavirus crisis sending people online like never before, North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) is re-directing many of its tutors into online assessment roles to cope with the increased demand for distance learning.

The college offers free* online and distance learning courses that lead to fully accredited, nationally recognised Level 2 qualifications in a range of subjects from health and wellbeing to business and management. NWSLC is gearing up for higher numbers of online students by utilising the skills of its tutors in different ways to ensure that there is plenty of support for those who choose to study online while they are at home.

Sally Denning, Director of Adult Learning at NWSLC said, “It is especially important for everyone currently practising social distancing to maintain a routine and keep their minds active.

Our distance learning offer is ideal for people based at home at this time who want to continue their studies, improve their skills and secure future career opportunities. These courses are a great way for employers to upskill current staff and are especially relevant for those who are currently on furlough or unable to work for any reason.

“Some of our most popular online courses help people to explore mental health issues including how these affect children and young people. We also offer qualifications in understanding specific conditions such as autism, and courses covering safeguarding and the Prevent agenda. You might prefer to focus on nutrition and managing specific health conditions such as diabetes. Our portfolio of business and management courses includes understanding the GDPR regulations around privacy as well as team leadership and customer service.”

Following government advice concerning measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, NWSLC has closed its campuses to the majority of students and staff. The college remains partially open at its Nuneaton Campus to support the children of keyworkers and vulnerable students including those who would normally attend one of the Midland Academies Trust (MAT) schools which are sponsored by NWSLC. Students who are not attending college, including adults studying for qualifications, have been provided with study packs and their tutors are keeping in touch to check on their progress.

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC said, “The college is working hard to ensure that its teaching staff are most usefully deployed in the areas where they are needed most. Our priority is to help current students and apprentices to complete their current qualifications by the end of the summer term. Where there is capacity, we are asking tutors to focus on online assessments to bolster our distance learning provision.”

Warwickshire Police Inspector Paul Barnsley has already completed eight distance learning courses with the college and has been shortlisted for a national award as part of the Learning and Work Institute’s national Festival of Learning.

Paul started by exploring mental health awareness and was so impressed with what he learnt that he encouraged more than 30 of his colleagues to sign up for the training. He went on to study challenging behaviour, children and young people’s mental health, learning disabilities, and understanding autism, and has brought what he learnt back to the workplace. Paul has successfully helped Warwickshire Police to promote diversity and gain acceptance for learning difficulties and disabilities and mental health issues through a number of workplace schemes.

The college’s distance learning courses can be followed on any device, including smartphones and tablets, and can be studied at your own pace. For more details on the courses available and how to enrol, visit the NWSLC website.

*Terms and conditions apply