Learning at College in 2021

Outside shot of Edinburgh College Sighthill campus.

This year has been very different to what we have been used to. If you are thinking of coming to college in 2021, you might be curious to see how we’re getting on. Below are stories from some of our lecturers and students about how they are finding our new learning formats, so you know what to expect.

Online learning

Carole Paterson, our Curriculum Manager for Travel, Tourism, International and Commercial has been teaching our professional courses this year.

“Live classes take place using Microsoft Teams and are scheduled weekly or fortnightly depending on the course. We use break-out rooms during the workshops to make discussions and tasks more accessible. We also have regular one-to-one meetings using Microsoft Teams. One of our CIPD students says, “I enjoy the mixing up of students in the breakout rooms, everyone demonstrates a great deal of active listening and it creates a really inclusive study environment”.”

Michelle Caie, our Curriculum Leader for Health, has been teaching her courses online this year.

“For health care courses all our study is currently online and delivered through Microsoft Teams, this means that we still have ‘live’ classes on the timetable as you would expect in the classroom environment where lecturers and students come together to learn.”

David Hiddleston, our Curriculum Leader for Core Skills, has been teaching classes using a variety of apps.

“I use Microsoft Teams for interactive group work and use a range of apps such as Kahoot, Mural and Wooclap for active participation in quizzes, mind mapping and polls. We use Moodle for submitting formal assessment work”.

Claire Waugh, lecturer for Enterprise & Commerce, maintains personal interaction with her students.

“In Enterprise & Commerce we operate live virtual classrooms via web conferencing, team projects, and personal interaction with lecturers during virtual office hours. Each course has been designed for those interested in taking their current careers to new heights or exploring an entirely different profession.”

Laptop on a desk surrounded by stationery and a plant.

Learning on campus

Anita Baggs, Curriculum Manager for Access & Continuing Education (ACE) is adhering to government guidance and all students in ACE classes are learning on campus, safely.

“All our ACE courses are taught in person at one of our campuses. When our students come to college, they need to follow the guidance which helps to keep everyone safe. This includes sanitising hands on arrival, maintaining a two-metre social distance and wearing a face covering. Class sizes are small and desks are set up two metres apart. When in the classroom students have their own desk which they sit at all the time. Hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes are available.

We also have a Teams group where students can ask questions and chat to each other outside of the classroom which helps to build relationships.”

Two male students at college sitting two metres apart and wearing a face covering.

Students studying ACE courses have said:

“Thinks it’s good that not all students are back. Gives us a chance to get used to the campus. I wasn’t so nervous to come back knowing it was only certain groups of students that were learning in college.”

“I feel safe.”

“The campus is pretty relaxed.”

“You have to wash your hands all the time.”

“It’s becoming a routine sanitising and wiping down your desks.”

“Really enjoying seeing friends & making new ones after being in lockdown for so long.”

“Campus is a lot quieter making it a bit easier to get around!”

Whether you study at home or on campus, one thing is certain, we are still here for you. Courses are open for applications and we are here to provide the skills and knowledge you are looking for through a range of qualifications. Let’s work together to adapt, learn and grow. Let’s do this!

Text on a peach coloured background, text reads "January courses are now open"