The efforts of the HEI teams and content creators involved in the Online project are soon to be translated into tangible benefits for students as HEI teams begin the process of piloting their online courses in secondary schools / colleges across London.
On 2 December, St Mary’s University Twickenham, London became the first of the online project members to pilot their course to an audience of secondary school learners. The University noted that the login process was straightforward for the students and the course platform operated without fault. The St Mary’s University course provided students with an insight into the study of Law and feedback suggested that students found the course engaging, without doubt igniting interest in a topic not usually covered at national curriculum level.
The University of Hull was the next HEI to take their course into the classroom. Content creator Dr Mark Lorch (pictured below) visited the school in Harrow in the run up to the pilot to ensure that the software was ready for the piloting students and following this, on 5 December Hull sent their student ambassadors to London to launch the pilot course. The ‘course’, better described as a virtual world that students can explore by using the popular computer game Minecraft to visualise structures of molecules, proved popular among the cohort and without doubt highlights the merits of the further integration of technology into teaching practices.
The University of Greenwich will be the next HEI to pilot its course to a student cohort – it is hoped their ‘Independent Learners’ Toolkit’ will prove just as popular as the aforementioned courses.