The Club commenced a traditional classroom based evening course for the Foundation exam in February 2020, there are 4 students on this course:
- Norman; and
The course is being run by David G0DPW, and Andy G7KNA.
The imposition of "lockdown" in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic in the latter half of March, not unsurprisingly, caused a degree of disruption! After a little bit of research and testing "virtual classrooms" were implemented with all 4 students joining a JITSI-MEET video conference every Thursday night, just as they would have if the Club were still open, right after monitoring the Club Net.
The trainers: Dave G0DPW and Andy G7KNA, had to quickly convert the handout style notes to presentation slides which could be displayed in the virtual classroom using the "shared screen" capability.
Initially, to both test the application and to allow the students time to adapt to the new format, the previous classroom sessions were recapped but as the "lockdown" continued the new topics were taught entirely within the "virtual classroom".
Once all of the modules had been covered, the course adapted to mock exams and recap sessions to focus on areas of group or individual weakness.
Initial uncertainty as to how the Practical Assessments and Exam would be handled was quickly resolved when the RSGB introduced the Remote Invigilated On-Line Foundation Exams. This extremely practical response to the unprecedented restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed a record number of people to complete their Foundation Exam and obtain their Foundation Licence and the initiative has now been extended to include the Intermediate Exam.
As and when our students felt prepared enough to take the exam; they have individually applied for their exam slot and followed the remote invigilators advice and direction. To date this is how things have transpired:
9 July 2020
Kevin sat his On-Line Remote Invigilated Foundation Exam.
Handicapped by a number of long work shifts leading up to the day of the exam, despite his tiredness he was still able to pass with a reasonable margin.
21 July 2020
Richard sat his On-Line Remote Invigilated Foundation Exam.
Clearly well prepared, Richard managed a clean sweep in the exam his 100% pass mark giving indisputable evidence of his preparation.
As and when we know what callsigns they have chosen or we have information on the other students we will update the news post.
The Remote Invigilated Exams have been an unqualified success, the numbers sitting and passing since this initiative was launched has been beyond expectations. Whilst the COVID-19 and Furloughing has undoubtedly created a high demand the increase compared to the same time in recent years cannot be solely attributed to the unusual circumstances. There is no doubt that the availability of on-line Remotely Invigilated Exams has made access to the hobby easier and more attractive to a large number of people and we look forward to its continuance.