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Teacher Writing

15 January 2021, Newbury, Berkshire – Adult students enrolled in drawing and painting classes at Newbury College (@newburycollege) have been enjoying the benefits of their class even with the shift to online delivery via Microsoft Teams, the platform chosen by the College to deliver online sessions.

Art Tutor, Jeanette Cole commented:

“My students and I are thoroughly enjoying the many benefits of using Microsoft Teams which is excellent for facilitating teaching and learning. There is plenty of social interaction during each ‘live’ lesson which continues in the Teams online forum throughout the week.”

Utilising online platforms for teaching has made it easy for people to catch up if they have missed lessons by accessing the chat for a record of what occurred in each lesson. Students can add their artwork to the group as well as accessing additional resources uploaded from the tutor and the group chat provides a forum for feedback from tutors and peers.

One of the participants, Maria Muir said:

“I was surprised at how successful it was to engage in an art class online. Once I had established my working area at home and became familiar with the platform, I found that I could easily engage with the teaching and benefit from interaction with other course participants. It has been really enjoyable to continue with art classes during this difficult time and restrictions of the pandemic – I would recommend it!”

Another student, Helen Paler commented:

“Using Teams for the art course has made the classes accessible for me. I was working away from home at the start of the course so I’m grateful I could still attend. We still manage to interact with one another during classes and in the chat and it feels like a warm and supportive environment.”

Newbury College switched to an online and blended learning offer in March last year by taking a proactive approach to supporting staff and students with dedicated training and developing the infrastructure required to support a rapid transition.

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