It’s been quite a challenging time for all of us working in English language schools. Our busy schools are now characterised by classes that are empty, staff who are at home, and the the feeling that no-one quite knows how all this is going to work out, and how our schools will look in the future.
Like many schools all over the world, Swan Training moved quickly to adjust to the new demands of the Covid shutdown. One of the first things we did was to move our classes online. Usually something like that would take a couple of months to implement but, in this case, we managed it in two weeks.
Online classes have never really been that successful for language schools. We’ve tried to market them in various ways over the years but, in the end, people weren’t really that interested. Students wanted to come to Dublin and Ireland to learn English, and learning in their home country sitting at a computer didn’t really appeal to them. And so, we were quite nervous about how our students and teachers would react to our new format.
We survey our students on a weekly basis to find out how satisfied our students are with our services, and to pick up any issues that might be happening in class.
The first survey results from our video classes have been processed, and we’ve been genuinely delighted at the response of students to what we’re doing. There’s an overall 98% satisfaction with our video classes, and all the students surveyed would recommend the classes to friends. All the students enjoyed our classes and felt that they were learning a lot. In fact, quite a few students of ours who returned to their home countries because of COVID continued classes with us, and now want to re-enrol from their home countries. So it looks very much as if our online classes will continue, even after the Covid crisis is over.
We’ve designed a course just for them with shorter hours. If you’re interested click here for details.
So, all in all, very positive. One thing that both students and teachers remarked on: online classes can be quite tiring unless they are structured properly. In response to this, our academic team have designed classes that are more dynamic and self-directed than our real world classes, and we will be getting the opinions of students on this new approach over the next few weeks, and we’ll tell you about the results next time.