The New Normal?… Abbey College Manchester Launches Innovative Learning Initiative

19th October 20

Abbey College Manchester has launched a bespoke and unique timetable scheduling programme, the ‘Learning Continuity Matrix’, designed to safeguard and protect student wellbeing and academic progress throughout times of uncertainty.

The innovative COVID response initiative, developed and currently being piloted at the leading independent college, valuably provides students and staff with a fully flexible solution at what is an unprecedented and worrying period.

Lessons are simultaneously taught both virtually, using Microsoft Teams technology, and face to face, providing students with the invaluable opportunity to experience live tuition either from home or at the college to suit their circumstances. Those international students who remain in their own countries are also able to follow their normal timetable and participate in live classes. If the time difference is too great all classes are recorded and the students can listen back to them at their own convenience.

With safety being of paramount importance, students attending the college physically are benefiting from a 9:40am start to the academic day, allowing for the avoidance of rush hour travel. At 1.20pm, the students then leave the college to travel home and enjoy their lunch, with live online classes commencing again at 3.40pm and finishing at 5.40pm.

A level student and University of Oxford applicant, Sangmin said: ‘I was little worried about the concept of mixing both live and online classes together at first and wondered whether my studies might suffer.  However, it has worked really well and I have really enjoyed the mix of studying in college and from home. The support from the teachers remains fantastic and I feel my learning is going from strength to strength during this vital year for me”

Liz Elam, Principal at Abbey College Manchester commented, “I am exceptionally proud of the way in which our college community has continued to work together during this uncertain time, and as we launch this unique timetabling schedule and learning programme.  As we transitioned to virtual seminars during the college’s temporary closure throughout the nationwide lockdown, online distant learning proved to be highly successful. We are pleased to continue providing this option for students who are unable to physically attend the college as well as being open as usual for those students who can join us in person. Although it is a huge challenge to maintain this blended learning approach the teachers and all the students have risen to it brilliantly.”

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