Fife College has brought in an innovative system to live stream lessons to students to make sure that they don’t miss out on their learning experience.
The College is currently using a blended learning approach due to the Coronavirus, with some students carrying out their studies online.
For subjects such as Maths and Biology this has led to classes being split in two, with students rotating who will be in class and who will be studying from home each week.
However this had the potential to limit the amount of face-to-face teaching students received, so the College has introduced a live-stream of lessons, meaning that those studying at home can participate in the class and ask questions of the lecturer throughout.
The classes also include an interactive whiteboard so that students can see what is being written up by the lecturer and interact with it, and it also allows for captions to be included and for an interpreter to appear on screen for those who are hearing impaired.
If students are unable to watch the lesson as it happens, they also have the opportunity to watch a recording of it that is uploaded on to Microsoft Teams afterwards.
Stewart McDonald, Academic Head for Engineering, Science and Mathematics at Fife College, said:
“Given the measures we’ve put in place to ensure the health and safety of staff at Fife College, it’s not been possible to have all students return to class.
“This left some facing a reduction in the amount of face-to-face teaching time that they receive, which could potentially have an impact on their studies.
“The College’s priority during these times is to ensure the best possible learning experience for all students, which is why we developed this system of live streaming lessons to those who aren’t in class.
“Not only does it allow them to follow lessons as they happen, but they can ask questions and take part in class activities as they happen.
“We’ve already had great feedback from students, and we’ll continue to investigate ways that we can enhance their learning experience.”
The online system has proved popular with students, with Alexandra Marjoram, a student studying National 4 Maths at Fife College saying it helped her feel as if she was still in the lesson with her classmates. She said:
“It was good because despite being at home I still felt I was part of the class, I could see what was going on and raise my hand and ask questions if I had any queries.
“I could hear what other students who were studying from home were saying so it felt like we were one big class despite having been separated into different bubbles.
“If you’re needing any help or you’re struggling you can ask questions, go back to previous lectures, or you can communicate with your classmates on the chat function.”
Natalie Fisher, who is also on the National 4 Maths course is hearing impaired, and said the technology helped her understanding of lessons.
“The advantage is I can see live captions at the same time as the interpreter as some English is different from the British Sign Language, and now I have both.
“I and others who are hard of hearing have hearing aids on so we can listen in to the lesson through those which is another advantage.”
Photograph: Fife College lecturer Gillian Docherty is pictured live streaming a class.