That isn’t to say delivering virtual classes for the most part hasn’t worked well.
Great pass rates and student engagement for the most part backed up by really supportive employers has meant that our students have been able to progress in their careers, but to just look at pass rates alone misses such a huge amount of what is great about learning.
School and college isn’t just about tests and results, the process of learning is so much more. In-centre courses allow students to interact with both their student colleagues and their tutors, so what does that matter versus online classes?
Education is about experiences
- The experience of making new friends in a high pressured environment
- The experience of watching how others are finding the course; difficult, easy, boring, exciting (!) and referencing themselves to this
- The experience of a tutor who watches the body language of students to see who is struggling and speaks to them during breaks
- The experience of peer pressure and social competition
- The experience of saying thank you for a course well delivered
- The experience of time management when it means more to get to class than simply getting out of bed
It isn’t just the students that need to be back in-centre, it is the tutors as well. Very few people enter the professional education industry so that they can sit in an empty room and speak to a screen. They join it to engage and share with the next generation, to see their faces when the “penny drops”. Most importantly probably for the tutors is being able to watch the class, to see those that need help but don’t ask for it and carefully build their confidence during breaks and lunchtimes so that no one is left behind.
Comments from the students on their first day back:
“Really glad to be back.”
“It’s more interactive this way, I find it easier to learn in-person.”
“Great to be here.”
“Amazing to see everyone’s faces again. Love being back with my friends.”
And finally …
After the last 500 days of missed classes, school and university now more than ever it is important to bring our future professionals together to re-engage with what it means to learn and prosper in their early careers.
All it takes now therefore is to say welcome back to the class of 2019, and welcome for the first time to classes of 2020 and 2021 to FI classes in-centre – we really hope this is an exciting new step in your development! (And don’t forget to make the most of the free tea, coffee and snacks to keep you focused!)