Keeping students engaged online is a priority for TasTAFE hair and beauty team

TasTAFE Certificate IV in Beauty student, Samantha Gee (pictured) , is among thousands of TasTAFE students currently studying online.

Juggling online learning with caring for a nine-month-old and home schooling a six-year-old has not been easy, but Samantha (pictured) says that thanks to the support of her TasTAFE teachers, it’s been a rewarding experience.

“So far it’s been a really good experience. Obviously we’d all prefer to be learning face to face, but online learning has worked really well. Any questions you have the teachers are always straight onto it and everything is always all set up and ready to go when we log on.

“I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been a very different experience but it’s very motivating to know that we still have help and our teachers are still there to support us just as much as they normally would. Our teachers tell us every day that their main priority is to get us qualified, no matter what’s happening. So you don’t event worry about it. There’s a feeling that we’re all in this together and the teachers are amazing”.

“It’s hard but it’s going to be so rewarding to be able to say, ‘I got fully qualified while there was a world pandemic,” Samantha said.

Samantha’s experience has been made possible by the dedicated state-wide team of hair and beauty teachers, who have taken a collaborative approach to ensure hair and beauty apprentices and students are getting the training they need during COVID-19.

The team have been focusing mainly on delivering the theory component of the courses online but have made a huge effort to make learning as engaging as possible for their students.

Courtney Stewart, who teaches Certificate III and IV in Beauty is very comfortable with technology and has spent a lot of time working out how best to deliver training online by trialling the use of various technologies. Others in the team say she has played a key role in helping then adapt to the changes and assisting in training the team in the technology so that they can provide a quality experience for students.

Courtney says seeing the students enjoying the courses has made all of the team’s hard work worthwhile.

“It’s heartening that we’ve had really good participation in online classes from students and I’ve been really impressed with how well they’ve adapted,” Courtney said.

Hair and Beauty (North) hairdressing teacher, Temira Bunton, has made it a priority to keep her around 60 Certificate III in Hairdressing apprentices engaged while learning online.

She uses technology like Microsoft teams, facebook, online learning platform CANVAS, and emails to communicate and run teaching sessions with her students. Sessions include PowerPoints, discussion board tasks as well as independent book-based learning. Temira records online sessions so that if a student isn’t able to log on to the class at the time they can go back and watch it later and listen to the discussions as well.

Before transitioning to online classes, Temira made video calls via Microsoft teams or phone calls to students to help them practice downloading the technology they needed, talk them through the log-on process and how to navigate the new learning platform for the learning system so that they had a seamless transition to online learning.

Temira says “We are very lucky to have a great state-wide team who have embraced our new norm head on. As a state-wide team or between individuals, the teachers collaborate regularly and discuss what is working and brainstorm solutions for any issues.”

Temira is really proud of the way TasTAFE’s hairdressing apprentices had adapted to the changes.

“Firstly they have done an outstanding job transitioning to the new learning platform, but how they are engaging in the new class learning environment is tremendous and it makes me smile to see the wealth of knowledge they are building. All the hard work definitely reaps rewards,” Temira said.

See the article here.