Performing Arts lecturer Kieran gets creative to support students during coronavirus closure

With remote teaching now becoming part of everyday college life due the coronavirus pandemic, Fife College lecturers have been busy utilising a number of innovative resources to ensure students still have the opportunity to learn during this unprecedented situation.

Kieran McLoughlin, a Performing Arts lecturer usually based at the College’s Dunfermline Campus, has been describing some of the apps and tools he has been using to engage with learners. 

Kieran, like many others, has been using Microsoft Teams as a primary learning platform.  Kieran said: “I have been communicating with my students through group video tutorials using the Meet Now function or a scheduled meeting.

“Teams, probably like the other conference call providers, are experiencing a bit of video or audio lag at points during a call right now so it's not totally perfect but it allows me to record the chat and save to our group page in case some of the class can't make the tutorial or if they want to watch back later.

“The recording function is really helpful when it comes to assessment too as we are being able to share screens so that means that a group can talk through individual research and show them to their assessor.”

Kieran and other lecturers in the Creative Industries department have also been using tools such as Screencastify and Screencast-O-Matic to support online delivery while Sharepoint and Spark have been also utilised to send unit overviews and lesson activities to students. 

Despite some of the challenges of delivering courses in this way, Kieran explained how the current situation is actually offering his students an opportunity to get experience in something which is becoming more common practice in the film and theatre industries.  He said:

“It’s a real challenge us in how far we can push working online in the performing arts area. Most of the assessment criteria state that the work needs to be live and should have an audience for the actor to respond but video is the way forward for their work in the current situation.  

“The interesting thing about this is that video recording of auditions is becoming the standard way forward for casting auditions for film and is becoming a growing trend for theatre.”

“Although SQA criteria hasn’t quite caught up to reflect this yet, this is a real positive that in this current situation we are able to prepare students for changes in the industry and secure future employment in a very competitive environment.”

For the latest information and advice about the coronavirus outbreak for Fife College students and staff visit our coronavirus update page.