From education to employment

New Initiative to Target Adult Learners in Computer Skills Revamp

Cornwall College has announced a new series of part-time degree courses aimed at adult learners in Cornwall.

The courses are designed to be as flexible as possible to suit a wide range of lifestyles, allowing employed adult learners to simultaneously work as well as study. The degrees are delivered through a combination of conventional university teaching methods (lectures and seminars) and via the web otherwise known as the “virtual classroom.”

Virtually There

The “virtual classroom” is a popular method which has already been adopted by many universities for full time and part time courses as well as using conventional teaching methods. Learners are encouraged to use the web to communicate with their tutors, to gain access material and resources, to participate in online discussion boards and to encourage peer-to-peer learning and even access examination results.

Institutions such as the Open University (OU), many distance-learning courses and learndirect offer their courses almost entirely via the web. This method allows learners to access learning and a wealth of courses to choose from without the restriction of their location, and all in the comfort of their home, or wherever they so wish, and at a pace that suits.

Opening Doors

Tessa Counsell, Higher Education Development Manager for Cornwall College, commented: “This is an incredibly exciting initiative, opening new doors to university education in Cornwall.” John Latham, CEO and the Principal at Cornwall College, welcoming the arrival of part-time learning opportunities and said: “Through the partnership with the Combined Universities in Cornwall, everyone in Cornwall will have access to academic courses that meet their precise needs.”

How popular this type of programme will prove to be in practice and how it aims to meet the needs of Cornwall’s entire adult population, namely Cornwall’s large retired community, remains to be seen. However, Cornwall College and its partners have endeavoured to introduce a programme of part-time courses to catch up with other areas of the country that have been offering similar programmes for many years. The scheme will inevitably raise academic success amongst some of the adult community and benefit the area’s social and economic development, all adding to the re-marketing of Cornwall as a place of development and not just a sleepy retirement destination.

Manju Rani

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