Remote learning: Training Station

TrainingStation: keeping learners motivated and progressing from home

How have you guys found the transition to home working and teaching?

We have risen to the challenge working closely with apprentices, employers, awarding bodies and EPAOs to ensure we meet the needs of our learners and fully support them during these unprecedented times.

At TrainingStation we continue our flexible, varied approach to learning, however in this current climate we have had to develop more interactive remote courses. These have replaced planned face-to-face teaching sessions to enable us to adapt individuals’ teaching and learning delivery plans, to ensure our learners continue to develop new knowledge, skills and behaviours.

We immediately replaced our planned face-to-face visits with remote contact, via video conferencing, telephone contact etc. Our main priority was to continue to support our apprentices and ensure their development was not impacted in any way.

OneFile has most definitely helped us be proactive in refreshing resources and generating up-to-date teaching plans and courses.

Home working is proving more efficient for us – no travel or delayed appointments due to traffic or public transport delays. We certainly will deliver more remote sessions in our future delivery plans, however we do miss face-to-face interaction with our learners and cannot wait to be doing what we do best.

During these unprecedented times, TrainingStation has remotely managed to support learners in preparation for Travel EPA. We are so proud of our learners’ drive and commitment which has led to 100% achievement rates for all EPA activity during March, April and May 2020. We are extremely proud and amazed that our EPA 100% achievement rate has not been affected by the current climate.

Did you face any challenges as a tutor and how did you overcome them?

I honestly felt the biggest challenge was keeping our learners motivated and committed to developing their skills when they were professionally and personally at their most vulnerable during the start of lockdown. To their credit, they approached life at home incredibly and we were there to encourage and support them. These times are new to us all and we really wanted to ensure they felt they had our support. We’ve changed the way we contact our learners to ensure we cover all communication channels: email, phone, text, OneFile etc. I also feel we’ve started approaching them in a more informal manner, as we are now communicating with learners from our home to theirs, and this approach has certainly worked for us. We have motivated, engaged and driven apprentices that cannot wait to get back to their roles in the many employers’ businesses we work with.

How have you used OneFile to support your remote working?

OneFile has been critical to us developing interactive, engaging online courses that will aid progression and development of our learners. OneFile's courses platform is a real game changer for us. Previously as a small provider we haven’t had the time or resource to develop more courses. However now, as we are all working from home, it has allowed us time to brainstorm and transfer what would have been classroom sessions to remote learning with challenges set throughout the courses to ensure the learners put their knowledge learnt into practice. We have also developed courses to check learners’ knowledge and recap their learning journey so far. We have found this to be a great refresher tool that’s proved to be brilliant for checking learners’ knowledge, filling gaps and starting the preparation for their EPA. Feedback from our learners has been positive and all actions set have been achieved by agreed deadlines.

The announcements feature on OneFile has really benefitted our ability to reach out to all learners, tutors and other users accessing OneFile. With the announcements feature we can signpost to useful and relevant updates about Covid-19, and provide links with information about supporting mental health and wellbeing.

In addition to our apprenticeship courses, we have developed modules for safeguarding, wellbeing and mindfulness, and are looking at developing our health and safety modules further. We’re also looking at the potential for business support in terms of social distancing and operational safety as workplaces look to return to offices and buildings.

Are there any features in particular that have helped? 

With OneFile, planning and reviews have still been able to be completed and accessed by learners and employers for feedback and comment.

How are you tracking engagement?

We have used the “at a glance” reports on the OneFile homepage. We've also set up reports to track learner logins, timely reviews, if learners are on target and also to monitor learner journals. We have also linked a Survey Monkey questionnaire in our centre announcements on OneFile and tracked the responses.

What advice would you give to other centres to help them adapt to remote working?

Flexibility is key and of course supporting them through these unprecedented times is critical to their motivation and development. I believe the training provider is key during the changing times, so think a little more broadly, put yourself in the shoes of a learner who may be working from home or furloughed and have other things going on at home.

Adapt delivery plans already agreed to ensure delivery is not affected but enhanced by more remote contact and support online. Discuss your plans and how adapted delivery plans sit in line with previous delivery plans. Reassure learners and employers that they are progressing and will be prepared for their EPA in good time, once our new normal emerges.

Will OneFile help you continue to deliver apprenticeships when we get back to a ‘new normal’?

We will continue to diversify with the help of OneFile and build more courses and resources to aid progression with our learners. We’re also planning to utilise and move to more remote delivery to support learners to develop our Safeguarding, Equality & Diversity, British Values and Welfare modules to assign to learners in the future.

Just before lockdown, we found out that we had been awarded a contract to deliver in Scotland, so the development of the remote learning material and practices will be integral for the delivery of the Scottish contract’s delivery plans. OneFile makes delivery a lot more cost effective, so that will be beneficial for us as this current situation unfolds.

Lisa Whiteoak, director | TrainingStation


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This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.