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News: Learn­ing in lock­down — Steve’s story

Please note: This news story may contain information that is no longer current or up to date.
Student stood outside and walking into the high pavement sixth form
Student stood outside and walking into the high pavement sixth form

Live online lectures, virtual classroom chats, and recorded lessons and videos, are just some of the ways Nottingham College teaching staff are adapting during lockdown.

A Lev­el Physics Lec­tur­er, Steve Good­ings, is one of the team of ded­i­cat­ed teach­ers at Col­lege, sup­port­ing stu­dents as they rise to the chal­lenge of work­ing remote­ly from home. We caught up with him to find out how it’s going.

My stu­dents have adapt­ed extreme­ly well under the cir­cum­stances and have con­tin­ued to work real­ly hard. At High Pave­ment we encour­age inde­pen­dent learn­ing, because it’s real­ly impor­tant that they are pre­pared for the tran­si­tion to uni­ver­si­ty. Stu­dents nat­u­ral­ly want to learn, and it’s mine and my col­leagues’ job to teach, guide and sup­port them along the way. 

As teach­ers, we’re all hav­ing to adapt too. Like many oth­ers, I’m man­ag­ing my lessons along­side hav­ing my part­ner and baby daugh­ter at home with me. In fact, a few times, mid­way through a lec­ture, I’ve had to explain to my stu­dents that’s my daugh­ter you can hear in the back­ground’. In these unprece­dent­ed times, we’re all just hav­ing to try our best. 

Steve And Daughter

How's remote learning going?

For­tu­nate­ly, I’ve always embed­ded online learn­ing into my prac­tice, so it’s been a rel­a­tive­ly sim­ple tran­si­tion for me and my stu­dents. The only dif­fer­ence now is, instead of look­ing at me in front of a board in the class­room, they are look­ing at a record­ing of me. And this is work­ing quite well, because stu­dents can pause me as they go along and revis­it a top­ic when they need to. I encour­age my stu­dents to work at their own pace, and I find that it works well. 

How are you all communicating?

Stu­dents may feel iso­lat­ed with­out the bustling atmos­phere of Col­lege, and peers around, but I try to encour­age good com­mu­ni­ca­tion between stu­dents in the class, and they all know that they can con­tact me if they need any extra help. 

I can write the answers out on my tablet and upload as a pdf. I am able to anno­tate this as if I was right next to them in the class­room, and record a video of the screen and my voice if necessary. 

My stu­dents are able to com­ment on our class wall’ which is like a flow of con­tent, pub­licly on some class mate­r­i­al, or to me pri­vate­ly on an assign­ment I’ve set. I can then answer any ques­tions they have, and if need­ed I can upload a video/​personalised answer sheet, that only that stu­dent can see. 

How are you motivating your students to stay positive and not give up? 

I have fos­tered this approach to study­ing since the stu­dents first set foot in my class­room. I don’t spoon feed them and they work very hard. Physics is a dif­fi­cult sub­ject and stu­dents need a high lev­el of resilience to study it. One of my favourite say­ings is: If you are not get­ting some­thing wrong, you are not try­ing hard enough.’ 

We’ll be hear­ing from Petru-Mihai, one of Steve’s stu­dents, next week, to see how he’s find­ing study­ing from home.

Published on:
  • 28th May 2020 (11:06 AM)
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