On the 17th March Futureworks moved all teaching online, one week ahead of the national lockdown. So how is it going? We asked Head of Sound & Music Production, Rob Magoolagan.
“Moving all of our teaching online was a safety first approach with the welfare of our students and staff at the heart of the decision. We had the technology and the ability to do this so the key question was, how quickly could we implement it. We learned a lot in a very short space of time and with the help of our students we were able to regroup online 24 hours later. We created virtual classroom spaces (servers) and tutors set about contacting every student individually to establish lines of communication and offer support. The most important thing was for our students to be able to continue learning with the least possible disruption.
“We have excellent studio facilities at Futureworks, so when full lock-down arrived that was a blow. It certainly made the studio focused modules challenging but with some creative thinking from the team plus a massive effort from our students we were able to navigate a path through it.
“Has it been successful? We’ll have to ask the students that, because it’s their opinions that count, but from a Head of School’s perspective, I’d say yes. It’s given us new ways to engage with our students. Our tutors and programme leaders have been amazing and as a result student uptake has been great. In fact, everyone has stepped up to the plate including our industry partners who have been brilliant in supporting students with software licenses and access to some of the tools they’d normally only be using inside uni.
“I am extremely proud of Futureworks Sound & Music Production students. They have proven to be adaptable and resilient – very employable skills under any circumstances. Also I’d like to let industry and employers know that under these extraordinary circumstances, our standards haven’t dropped, rather our students have risen to the challenge.
“For next year’s crop, online degrees compared to the more traditional ones, must look really attractive right now and I completely get that – it makes sense, but I believe they need to consider somewhere that can offer both options and we’ve proven we can do that.”