Posted on behalf of Mette & Zascha
Wednesday last weekend, Jayne Heath of ASMS organized a visit to Open Access College in Adelaide which specializes in distance learning. Since our school also has a lot of distance learning – more than 5000 students a year from across the world and a resource center campus in Gram, Denmark – we quickly went for the opportunity. At Open access we were greeted by principal Julie Taylor and Robyn Cane who showed us around their resource center and we talked about how distance learning works here.
Many of Open Access’ features are quite similar to those of VUC Syd’s distance learning. Our student body is very similar; people with health issues, anxiety, travelers, prison inmates, citizens living abroad, young moms and geographically isolated people – and we deal with the same difficulties with engaging students in a virtual classroom and the workload of an on-going enrollment into classes.
So on the one hand there are many similarities between Open Access College and VUC Syd, but we both thought coming out of the meeting that there are several things that both schools would benefit from in a future cooperation which is why we’re going to pitch the idea of a dual Australian exchange program. Later this week, we will also be taking part in a virtual classroom session with one of their teachers.
One of the things that Open Access seemed to have somewhat overcome better is the engaging of students in the virtual classroom. This a very difficult process when taking our student body into consideration, especially the ones with anxiety issues. We continue to try different methods at our school and accordingly sharing the process of finding best practice and discussing new ideas would prove beneficial to our distance learning teachers.
There were many more ideas discussed and shared while at the meeting and we’ve dully noted them down for future purpose, however, if any of you want more info on this, you’re more than welcome to contact us.