An independent school for girls in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, UK, who provide an all-round education for girls aged 7-18. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, school closures meant many students were out of the classroom leading to a shift in the way the school and its teachers wanted to deliver learning to students.
When the school were unable to bring their students back to the classroom they recognised the need to leverage e-learning platforms, but could not find a suitable solution that worked for them. Previously the school had used popular video conferencing platforms they didn’t offer the features they wanted and there was a risk that teaching effectiveness could be impacted when going online. Because younger students would need to join virtual classes as well, accessibility was a major consideration.
Babl provided the Bristol-based school with their own instance of the ‘educate’ solution giving them a virtual learning environment that could be accessed by students behind a simple, secure login. The portal was white labelled with the school’s own branding and a URL link for the learning environment was embedded on the school’s website for easy access for all students.
The Headteacher of the School said, “One of our challenges whilst in lockdown was to be able to support our students and teachers alike, bringing them together in a frictionless manner, where the focus could be on the teacher and avoid any distractions from the students.”
The solution would enable the delivery of classroom-style teaching virtually, several rooms were created for each year group and each room had unique naming conventions indicative of the subject, teacher and set-level. Because having control was important, each virtual classroom was configured to ensure that only the presenter (teachers) could share content. Student interaction was enabled by a chat feature for asking questions and for engaging in live polls based on the learning delivered.
The Headteacher continued, “Babl allowed us to provide instructor-led sessions, with the presenter only locked control. We used the ability to record, supply sessions for missed attendees and use these to moderate the quality of our remote teaching. The simple and intuitive interface facilitated all levels of users to access the platform without any issues or frustrations”
A live view feature was a big part of the solution as it gave teachers full visibility of students in each session and smart features such as taking name recordings as students joined the virtual classroom allowed for easy verification that each student was in the correct class. Absentees could be easily identified by exporting attendee lists and high-quality audio recordings were made available immediately after each session providing absentees with the ability to revisit and catch up on missed sessions. Recordings also enabled the school to achieve one of its core goals of maintaining its high teaching standards because it could be used to moderate what was being done.
- The school were able to effectively deliver high-quality, engaging teaching sessions online while students were at home
- The school adopted a new way of working/delivering education that could be used beyond the lockdown period including during half-terms and summer holidays.
- The school have reduced the impact of missed school with the audio recordings