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Northern Regional College embraces online learning amid pandemic

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Northern Regional College has embraced a wide range of technology and digital platforms to deliver online learning to its students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the power of technology, around 4,000 of the College’s students who normally attend classes at its campuses in Newtownabbey, Magherafelt, Ballymena, Ballymoney and Coleraine are now learning from home.

Figures released today by the College show that during the past few weeks its Canvas e-learning platform, currently being used by students at home, has received hundreds of thousands of views (696,417). Students have logged into the College’s Learning Assistant platform almost 13,000 times, uploading 5,775 pieces of work, and have viewed 1,912 videos via LinkedIn Learning. Lecturing staff have also embraced technology and are staying in touch with their students by email and phone using Zoom and Skype to carry out online assessments to ensure that students can complete their studies.

Professor Terri Scott, Principal and Chief Executive Professor of the College said the figures showed a strong appetite among Northern Regional College students and staff to use e-learning to adopt to the ‘new normal’ as the pandemic continues to evolve.

“Most of our students are very technically minded and have been able to adapt quickly to use different platforms to continue their education,” she said.

“Regular communication is crucial during this period and, alongside fulfilling our teaching requirements as usual, the use of digital solutions such as Canvas and LinkedIn Learning is enabling us to engage regularly with our students – providing guidance and support, and allaying any concerns they may have about their studies during these unprecedented times.”

Professor Scott said the College had acted quickly to minimise disruption to students.

“Very early on in the COVID-19 crisis we recognised the need to transition more of our courses from traditional classroom-based teaching to e-learning and quickly set about developing practical courses and providing support and training for our lecturing staff so they could deliver their classes virtually,” she continued.

“As a College we have been doing everything in our power to help our students to complete their courses and finish this academic year and our evolving digital tools and platforms has enabled us to maintain the same high standard of educational delivery to which our students are accustomed.”

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