The Covid-19 outbreak caused a seismic shift in the education and training sector. Overnight, social distancing requirements meant that many training courses, qualifications and assessments couldn't carry on as normal. Many training organisations, including RSPH centres have found it tricky to adapt class-based learning and in-person assessments to ensure people are at least 2 metres apart. Even centres and courses that have been able to adjust to the lockdown restrictions easing, have continued to face challenges, including maintaining social distancing of 1 metre and learners being understandably nervous about a return to a classroom.
Many RSPH training centres have been tirelessly working on ways to continue to deliver vital public health qualifications, whilst maintaining the safety of their learners. As the UK office workforce moved meetings online, centres have also adopted video conferencing as a way of teaching their course material.
We recently conducted a survey across our centres to find out what teaching and assessment methods are being considered for the future. The responses revealed that nearly 9 out of 10 centres (88%) were considering remote or blended learning in the future.
Although most centres agree that face to face training is preferable to remote or distance learning, online training does have its virtues. Travel and overnight stay costs don't need to be factored in, saving companies money on training. Courses also have the potential to be taught virtually to an ever-expanding number of keen learners, not limited by classroom or centre size and also enables centres to reach learners from overseas (or the other end of the UK).
When it comes to assessing learners so they can achieve those all-important accredited qualifications, social distancing has meant that traditional, in-person examinations have been put on hold. Instead, eAssessments conducted online by an invigilator could take their place. The appetite for a move towards eAssessment from our centres was high - 87% of centres would consider using eAssessment.
The full eAssessment and eLearning survey results were:
- 91% of centres would prefer live remote invigilation of online assessments and only 9% a system of record and review (where recordings of the candidates taking the exam are looked at after the exam has taken place)
- 78% of centres would prefer to be able to remotely invigilate their candidates by systems such as Zoom if this was available.
- Most centres thought that booking exam slots for their learners 7 – 14 days in advance was reasonable.
- 42% of respondents thought that their candidates would be unable to access on-line assessments due to a lack of access to the internet and Google chrome.
We're currently working on our eAssessment offering and expanding our eLearning course roster. If you are interested in using or finding out more about eLearning and eAssessment for RSPH qualifications in the future then please do get in touch.