In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, colleges across the dynamic Education Partnership North East group have digitally transformed their higher education delivery model to give their students everything they need to continue their academic year at home while face-to-face learning was suspended.

    The group, which includes Hartlepool Sixth Form, Northumberland College and Sunderland College, moved classes to online virtual learning environments andother digital platforms.

    Performance students are leading and recording their own classes to engage in group activities and encourage feedback, as well as utilising mobile phone app CamScanner to copy their handwritten portfolios so they can be submitted online.

    Elsewhere, engineering tutors are uploading step-by-step videos to YouTube to allow students can view content from their phones and join teams for discussion sessions.

    Business lecturers are using student engagement platform NearPod to share screens for presentations while virtual classes and quizzes are delivered through Microsoft Teams. The sessions are recorded so students who miss the live session due to work or other commitments can watch them back later. Students are also directed to Moodle for the power point sessions and additional resources.

    For staff who have required additional support with the move to remote learning, CPD sessions have been delivered by experts from the Digital Industries, demonstrating how staff are going above and beyond to help each other and in turn their students during these unprecedented times.

    Finally, the Equine team based at the Kirkley Hall Campus in Northumberland are uploading video guides and tutorials so students can complete observation reports rather than participating in practical sessions.

    Forums have been set up to give curriculum staff the opportunity to share their experiences and best practice, as well as discussing the challenges they are facing and provide a support network, creating a real online community.

    Why Education Partnership North East (EPNE)?

    Highly commended - Employer of the Year, Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards 2019

    Engagement with Employers - Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award 2017

    (Sunderland College On-programme Survey 2017)

    Selected by DfE for 2021 T Level pilot to deliver the new high-quality technical qualifications.

    98% overall employer satisfaction - Employer Survey 2018/19