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Remote learning: How to keep students motivated

By Scratch Staff | 14 April 2020 | Expert Advice, Feature

Remote Learning Tpc

Sarah Brenton-Sara, lecturer in Level 2 & 3 Nail Services & Beauty Therapy at Truro & Penwith College, shares advice for fellow educators considering a remote way of teaching, & how to keep students motivated during the coronavirus pandemic…

Thank goodness for social media. I have had meetings with my Truro & Penwith College colleagues via FaceTime as well as virtual quizzes, and we have introduced remote learning, which has been so well received.

We have been keeping the students busy by following their normal timetables and sending reminders via calendars. Their lessons have been delivered via Microsoft Teams, and we have set them work to complete with deadlines.

Students are engaging well in all aspects, and it has been humbling to receive images of work they have created, as well as great comments about the support we have given them on their remote educational journey.

Other ways we have been working remotely include getting the students to keep a diary of their ‘lockdown’ experiences. They are handwriting these so this will be great for keeping up their English skills, and the content will be something to keep and look back on in the future.

To keep them on track with maths, there has been mind teasers set, which took me a couple of attempts to get right – so let’s see how the students fare!

A scrapbook by a Level 1 student

Cast your mind back to scrapbooks. I loved doing them and explained to the students that I used to do them to pass the time, so they’ve been completing them too. It’s great to receive their work as not only is it keeping them occupied, but it’s helping them with their creativity, and is great for positivity.

We have had a virtual Easter cake baking competition, the best isolation photograph and an online Easter egg hunt competition. Being competitive, I got a score of 23/25, so let’s see if the students can beat me!

“Although isolation has been challenging at times, support from my college lecturer and peers has helped me make the most of my time and work on my skills. I have been able to experiment and create different designs and my confidence has increased.” – Katie Butler, part-time nail student

Students have been practicing their make-up and nail skills and have been sending me images of what they have achieved.

My family have been getting involved with remote learning with online cooking tutorials for my daughter Sennen, a fringe trim for my sister which she did on herself, and my other daughter Shauna called me via FaceTime and wanted a live step-by-step tutorial of how to cut her partners hair! Ok, now this was taking it a step too far, but with careful manoeuvring of the camera, and a lot of patience we got there. One scissor over comb, and graded clipper haircut completed!

So, here’s to another week, and starting again tomorrow.