First online access programme up and running at Perth College
 <perth_online.jpg> Callum McCormick, SWAP tutor at Perth, reflects on their experience of delivering the new on-line programme for the first time.

''This year is the first year that we have sought applications to our online Access to Humanities course at Perth College from students across Scotland. Students can engage with the course from their oen home, removing barriers to students unable to access a physical college campus. This is particularly valuable to us as an institution working in the Highlands and Islands. The course is designed to be flexible, with recording of classes, online materials and resources and ongoing communication between students and lecturers. This mode of delivery is particularly valuable to students who are very often juggling family, work and care commitments alongside their studies. 

There are challenges we have had to manage. Reliable access to physical resources - digital technology, books, physical handouts - is more difficult to achieve. The sense of mutual support and fraternity that a student group can develop from face-to-face interaction is perhaps harder to achieve in an online setiing. However, there are ways of mitigating the above challenges with creative use of the video conferencing and virtual learning technology. And we always stress to our students that they have as much right to access to the resources, services and facilities at our physical campus as any other student at our College. All in all, the move online has been a success for our students and staff and will continue to benefit future SWAP students at Perth''.
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