fbpx

School closures: when the VLE comes into its own

Perhaps the most obvious difference between classroom based and online learning is the latter’s availability from any location at any time.

One particular benefit of a VLE in this regard is the ability to use it to support teaching and learning if the school is forced to close, whether that’s due to extreme weather, security risks or an outbreak of illness.

Your VLE can be a vital tool in these instances, allowing lessons and exam preparation to continue, even if the closure lasts weeks or months.

To take advantage of this however, you need to be prepared well in advance. Assuming you already have a VLE in place (if not, that’s the crucial first step) it’s time to look at how it’s being used currently.

  • Do staff, students and parents know how to find and access the VLE? Is there support in place for users who have forgotten their login details?
  • Do all departments have sufficient courses, activities and resources within the VLE to support learning over an extended period of closure?
  • Can the courses be used independently of the classroom – are they self contained?
  • Are staff and students able to communicate via the VLE, via messaging, web chat or similar?

If you find any issues in these areas, now’s the time to tackle them, whether that be via arranging extra training, communicating best practice across departments, or implementing policy changes.

It may seem like a daunting task, but it’s much easier to address these problems now, so your VLE is well set up when you need it most.

Once you’ve established that the platform is fit for purpose should the worst happen, you’ll need to draw up an emergency plan so that staff, students and parents know what’s expected in the event of a closure.

Within the plan you may want to include specific instructions on accessing the VLE, communicating with teachers, where updates to the situation will be posted, how often users will be expected to log in, and where to turn for help if there are problems with accessing or using the platform.

You’ll need to assign responsibility for providing this support, and also monitoring that the platform is being used correctly during the closure, perhaps to the most experienced VLE users within each department.

If the worst happens, and it’s necessary to implement your plan, make the time to note down the positive and negative aspects of using the VLE in place of the classroom. These notes will be invaluable in refining your planning for next time, and could also be used to improve your e-learning strategy generally.

Once the school reopens, and it’s business as usual, don’t forget to gather representatives from each user group, staff, students and parents for a retrospective on how successful the plan was in maintaining effective teaching and learning, and how it could be improved in future.

Looking on the bright side, some of the schools we’ve spoken to have found unexpected benefits from being “forced” into relying on their VLE as the main hub for teaching and learning, including renewed interest in the system, better home-school communication and parental support, empowerment of students to take responsibility for their own learning and more personalised and detailed interactions between teachers and students.

We’d be interested to hear from any school who has successfully implemented such an emergency plan, or if you’re looking for advice on how to prepare your e-learning provision for such an event, we’d be happy to share our advice.

Read more:

Share:

Empower your
learners & improve
performance

We specialise in providing innovative eLearning services for workplace learning, education providers and training companies around the world.

Shopping Basket

Grab a copy of our free ebook

The Little Book of Free Learning Resources

Content curation is a powerful L&D strategy if you can find the right sources of learning content. Our ebook’s full of great free resources for you to tap into.

Phuong Nguyen Hong

Marketing Assistant

Super talented, unflappable and very funny, Phuong supports the whole marketing team in her role as Marketing Assistant. Phuong holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and recently completed a master’s degree in Management and Marketing. Originally from Hanoi in Vietnam, Phuong is now based in the UK and climatising brilliantly to our weather and food.

Phuong owns a food review Instagram page as travelling and food are her passion. She also has a cute little french bulldog.

Ellie Sharkey

Head of Marketing

Ellie was the first woman to join Titus and has paved the way for many more since then. After studying for a degree in Fashion and Marketing, Ellie was lucky to find herself at fashion weeks and photoshoots.

Now she’s switched from talk of the front row to front end design and has brought loads of transferable knowledge to Titus. Ellie has also found a real passion for tech, especially in the learning sector, helping clients create positive change for their organisations.

Callum Barrett

Marketing Executive

As one of the youngest people at Titus but at the same time one of the oldest serving members of the team, Callum has graced Titus with his broad smile and positive attitude for over 5 years now. As a key member of the marketing team, Callum works across all areas, both on and offline, to ensure that all Titus brands and communication are on point.

After missing out on the opportunity to go to University the first time around, management encouraged him to enrol in our course alongside his work. He is now studying to achieve his Level 6 Diploma in Professional Digital Marketing.

Dec Connolly

Digital Marketing & Web Manager

Always bringing innovation and new ideas, Dec studied a degree in Journalism but found his passion in digital marketing. Dec has also worked in marketing for one of the countries biggest retailers and within the property sector.

Outside work, Dec Co-founded a news publication where he collaborated with global brands like Uber, Amazon, BooHoo and countless SMEs.

How can we help?