How One School Transitioned To Distance Learning Pain-Free
Friday the 13th.
That’s the date in March of 2020 that SFIEC completed their transition to CourseKey for attendance collection in their on-ground programs.
But just two days earlier, the COVID-19 outbreak was classified as a global pandemic, leading to a widespread shutdown of schools with on-ground programs.
In response, schools scrambled to find ways to adequately administer emergency distance learning. Career colleges in particular faced unique challenges in comparison to higher ed institutions, including collecting clock hour attendance and participation in distance learning.
A Step Ahead
SFIEC, however, had a relatively easy transition to distance learning because they had just finished putting CourseKey in place and were already using Microsoft Teams. When SFIEC first implemented CourseKey’s Career Education Platform, they did not anticipate using it in online environments. But due to its flexibility, they were able to collect attendance data remotely just as easily as they would have with their originally planned on-ground deployment.
With Microsoft Teams and CourseKey in place, SFIEC was already a leg up on other schools rapidly switching to emergency distance learning because they didn’t have to adopt new technology. They simply modified how they used both systems and were able to focus on bringing staff and students up to speed with distance learning starting on day one.
After just one week, SFIEC had their distance learning processes figured out and running smoothly. All things considered, their transition to emergency distance learning was fairly pain-free.
Approval For Continued Distance Learning
At the start of the pandemic, state boards and accreditors were lax on their regulations to allow a low barrier to entry for emergency distance learning. As it became more evident that distance learning was here to stay, they tightened their regulations and made schools apply for distance learning approval.
With this, accreditors and state boards specifically mandated that schools prove how they track hours and services remotely.
SFIEC was able to quickly gain approval from NACCAS and the California State Board by demonstrating how they were using CourseKey and Microsoft Teams. They showed how CourseKey enabled them to track hours and participation in a secure way that isn’t subject to manipulation by the students and they showed how Microsoft Teams provided visibility into when a student completed an assignment.
NACCAS and the California State Board approved SFIEC’s processes without any complications, allowing SFIEC to continue with distance learning while many other schools were still closed and trying to figure out how to move forward.
Quick And Easy Transition
CourseKey’s platform makes it easy for career colleges to track student hours in any learning environment. Not only does it ensure consistent and simplified processes for administrators managing attendance data, but the versatility of the platform allows colleges to seamlessly transition between on-ground and online courses.
In 2020, when we’ve learned to expect the unexpected, this can be especially helpful for career colleges to continue running courses without any downtime in the event that staff and students are forced to stay home for any reason. Through a combination of CourseKey’s attendance, assessment, and engagement tools and a web conferencing platform, instructors can deliver their content remotely and administrators can monitor student attendance data through real-time dashboards.
Career colleges can be confident that their technology stack is functional no matter where their students are learning from and that their courses are running in compliance with accreditor regulations. As was the case with SFIEC, career colleges equipped with flexible technology can change plans instantly.
Hundreds of campuses have turned to CourseKey to launch blended and distance learning programs, as well as to return to campus. To speak with a member of the CourseKey team about how your school can implement distance or blended learning in a matter of days, fill out the form below.