Learning takes on a whole new meaning as classes are delivered from Germany

Students receiving their lessons from Germany

Students receiving their lessons from Germany: Paula - top left, Lisa - top middle, Flora top right, Bethany - bottom left, Gemma - bottom middle, Jana - bottom right

The new academic year is well underway at Borders College and the way in which courses are being delivered online has created a new and flexible approach to learning.

This was highlighted by the recent delivery of the HND Childhood Practice class, all the way from Germany – something which wouldn’t have been contemplated a few months ago.

Lecturer Jana Chandler took advantage of the new online learning/teaching methods, adopted by the College in light of the recent Covid outbreak, by teaching her class whilst visiting family in Germany.

This proved that this type of learning approach really can take place anywhere and at any time, offering students and teachers the flexibility that allows them to work around their family and work commitments in their daily lives.

Such was the success of the session, Jana has committed to delivering more of her lessons while she visits family members in other countries – an exciting prospect for herself and her students.

Asked how her students were enjoying the online delivery, Jana Commented:

“The positive aspect is the flexibility it provides, especially as students have other work and family commitments. Yet, at the same time working or studying from home can also prove to be a challenge.

“One of the other challenging aspects is not having the opportunity to meet their peers and having that buzz of the classroom environment that often allowed for rich discussion to happen and essentially for some having that protected learning/teaching but also social space.

“I think the students thoroughly enjoyed the experience overall and they all seem enthusiastic about the future delivery of their subject.”

Jana plans to make the course even more enjoyable in the coming months, adding:

“Making the course engaging is essential and as such utilising visual materials and virtual group activities, including interactive elements, and keeping the students focused.

“Importantly, I also provide students with opportunities to share their views and feedback on online delivery. At the college within the education department, we regularly reflect and share teaching tools or strategies we can utilise, which is great. This is so we can provide students with the best possible online learning experience."

Jana has almost 20 years of experience working in early years within the private and voluntary sector, both in the UK and abroad, as far as South East Asia. More recently, in the last few years, she has been working in further and higher education, whilst also continuing her own studies.

She is passionate about early childhood and providing children with the best start in life and promoting their human rights, and very much enjoys teaching.

She continued, saying:

“I feel privileged to make the impact on students and their future as they begin their careers in early childhood education or go to further education, making a difference in the lives of the children.”

Some comments from various students, who attended Jana’s classes included:

“I was at first worried about online learning as I like to meet other students, but breakout rooms still allow me to get to know them more individually, which I appreciate.”

“Having lessons recorded is the handiest thing, as once I put my children to bed the lessons are still accessible. It is also helpful if I was to miss a class for whatever reason.”

“I really enjoy the online delivery and it allows us to work in our own speed and fit the learning around our commitments.”

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