Students reflect on challenges and success of online learning

Lowestoft Sixth Form College student Amy Adamson. Photo: Amy Adamson

Lowestoft Sixth Form College student Amy Adamson. Photo: Amy Adamson - Credit: Amy Adamson

Lowestoft Sixth Form pupil Amy Adamson is studying A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and English Literature.

“As it has been with many of my peers, the lockdowns became progressively difficult, each holding their own stresses.

"However, Lowestoft Sixth Form College has shown such adaptability and compassion to our individual circumstances and has kept our safety and wellbeing as their paramount concern.

"The first lockdown was a huge shift and felt incredibly lonely, and our previous plans for working towards our future careers seemed to be turned on their heads.

"However, the college ran many online UCAS information sessions and arranged mock interviews to best prepare us for the first ever ‘fully virtual’ interview season.

Lowestoft Sixth Form College student Amy Adamson. Photo: Amy Adamson

Lowestoft Sixth Form College student Amy Adamson. Photo: Amy Adamson - Credit: Amy Adamson

"All my teachers encouraged us to speak when we could and get involved in lessons, which helped make the situation feel less surreal.

"The support staff kept in regular contact and offered a sense of reassuring normality when the world seemed so bizarre, which I know was well received by myself and my fellow students.”

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Lucy Cook is studying a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Travel and Tourism at East Coast College’s Lowestoft campus.

East Coast College student Lucy Cook. Photo: Lucy Cook

East Coast College student Lucy Cook. Photo: Lucy Cook - Credit: Lucy Cook

“My lockdown experience has been very positive.

"I have found that online learning isn't as bad as it sounds, in fact I find I that I am completing my assignments quicker and enjoy managing my time.

"I really look forward to our Microsoft Teams calls as I am given lots of opportunities to interact with the class and it's nice to see familiar faces.

"I think the main reason I have enjoyed it is due to my tutor. She spends a lot of her own time making recorded lessons for us, using new digital technology.

"We even went on a virtual globetrotting day!

"We have had workshops with guest speakers from travel counsellors who have helped me focus my learning and meet my personal goals.

"We are also now involved in a virtual campaign called ‘The best time to study travel’ and we are meeting professionals online as a group for various sessions that are inspiring us and providing evidence and their professional opinions that the industry is recovering and will be bigger and better than ever.”

Callum King is studying a Level 2 Creative Media course at East Coast College’s Great Yarmouth campus.

East Coast College's Great Yarmouth campus.

East Coast College's Great Yarmouth campus. Photo: East Coast College - Credit: East Coast College

“Online learning was a new experience and at times I have struggled with motivation but I have not given up, and the support provided by East Coast College has helped me to keep going.

"My online experience has been good, with people regularly offering support and help both with the course and also with mental health, this is especially important in times like these.

"Having to adapt to learning online, there were some technical issues, but these are now resolved.

"Overall, I have enjoyed the course, with the best part being 3D rendering using software called Blender.

"I am looking forward to continuing my learning and progressing to Level 3 whether that is online or not.”

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