23rd March 2020 was possibly the strangest day our generation has ever seen. It saw the introduction of lockdown life in the UK. One day everyone was going about their normal daily business and the next they were instructed to stay at home for the foreseeable future. For VLUK learners this lockdown meant that their usual routine of getting to their study centre for 8:30am, meeting with their tutor and studying for their BTECs all morning and spending the afternoon focusing on their Sport and Performing Art in the afternoon was going to have to change.
Very quickly VLUK worked with all their delivery campuses to introduce online learning for all learners and innovatively put in place systems to support the continuation of all courses. Through regular monitoring and feedback from learners throughout, we have been able to tailor online delivery to successfully support learners needs. This has been borne out by the most recent set of destination and exit interviews from leaving learners. It is evident that VLUK have certainly been successful as a result of their lockdown procedures.
The feedback from all 504, Y2 learners expressed that 95% agreed that the change to online delivery enabled them to continue their learning whilst 99% proudly confirmed that VLUK’s tutors supported them well during the delivery to ensure they could complete their work.
Some positive comments directly from the learners included:
“Although the learning was different and we had to adapt to using different methods, I was still able to grasp full understanding with tutor support”.
“Appreciated the time and effort from the tutor during lockdown to support me whilst working from home. Lessons still really helped to understand and complete work”.
“Online learning was much better than originally anticipated and actually worked better on occasions when working from home. Felt more supported working from home and was able to have much more 1-to-1 tutor engagement when struggling with work”.
Adam Trathan, Dorking Wanderers learner, proudly stated “The virtual learning is still as good as if we were in the classroom and I feel we are still learning the same amount and getting the same information that we would if we were learning in normal conditions in the classroom. Our tutors from VLUK, Jordan Clark and Kat Browne, are available at many different times so it makes it a lot easier for us as learners to be able to contact them. We are still interactive within the lessons like as if we were in the classrooms like face to face with the tutors even though we are using online learning which is good, like they ask us to read out in class to make sure we’re paying attention and give us differentiated tasks to complete which are similar to ones we would do in the classroom, and we are always questioned to enhance our understanding and to think deeper into the subject area. Overall, I feel like Jordan and Kat are working really hard to make sure that our learning is as good as it can possibly be and online”.
VLUK’s Chief Operating Officer, Dominic Anderson, exclaimed “At first we were unsure about the huge challenge facing us but with the support from our senior leadership team and our amazing tutors I’m proud of what has been achieved in the past few months. And on top of this, I’m delighted that the students are so happy with the backing they’ve had and that they’re also proud of their own achievements”.
This year’s VLUK leavers have great plans for the future with over 62% continuing with their studies and 23% moving into the workplace with the remainder looking at options to travel and source further study in 2021/22 through VLUK’s bespoke IAG service, ‘The Quadrant’ IAG service.
VLUK are planning to build on the success of online learning with 1-2 sessions a week for all learners, ensuring that we are meeting their preferred learning styles, whilst also preferring for anything that may come our way in the future.