Learning is a step closer

BEST Ltd (Building Engineering Services Training), an HVCA group company, has brought virtual learning a step closer for the Building Services Engineering sector, with the pilot of its video and e-learning teaching system. The trial saw a live lesson from Leeds College of Building being delivered into classrooms at Reading College, City of Westminster College and Southampton College using Internet and video conferencing technology.
Learners, who were sat at individual computers wearing headphones, were able to view students at the other colleges and ask questions of the lecturer, making the whole process completely interactive.

At the City of Westminster College, three students took part. Keith Joscelyne, 16, who is studying the City and Guilds 2330 Electrical Installation course, stated: “This system allows people from all over the country to come together and put their ideas across through computers. It will also make apprenticeship learning more efficient by enabling students to take part in lessons in the workplace, rather than wasting time travelling between work and college.”

Safari Lushombo, 39, is on the same course and said: “It is an excellent idea and will be ideal for people who don’t have time to go to college. The trial lesson we did today was great to see. If you were in the workplace, it would be easy to follow. People are more likely to ask questions as well, without feeling self-conscious. It is the way forward for teaching.”

This new way of teaching will revolutionise the way BEST apprentices are taught, providing a number of benefits to learners. Interactive lessons will mean that students will be able to pool skills, resources and experiences outside of the physical confines of their own college, and the shared lessons will ensure a more uniform standard of teaching. All lessons will be backed up by online learning and assessment and students will also be able to ‘play back’ classes, which will act as a useful revision tool.

Linda Webb, Business Development Manager at BEST, said: “This first pilot is very exciting, paving the way to explore new methods to provide all BEST learners with the benefits of cutting-edge technology and teaching. Although this is early days for the project, it is very encouraging that both learners and colleges welcome the advantages this new technology brings.”

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