Trust in technology

February 2021

Mindful Education explain their response to the thousands of AAT learners being impacted by the pandemic, and outline the role edtech played in keeping learners on track with their studies.

In March 2020, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) estimated that some 1.38 billion learners across the world – around 91% of the global student population – had already been impacted by the closure of educational establishments caused by the Covid19 pandemic.

With school, college and university buildings closing around the UK, the world turned to education technology like never before. As specialists in blended learning, the team at Mindful Education felt we were in a position to do something positive to assist training providers and their learners during the lockdown and college closures.

We made a decision early in March to offer our AAT Level 2 and Level 3 online courses free of charge to all colleges across the UK so that they could support their accounting learners – including full-time 16-18 students, apprentices, and part-time adult learners – during the college closures.

‘Mindful has made it so much easier for me to be able to continue
to progress and learn My AAT Level 2 Foundation Certificate in
Bookkeeping modules’

Online & On Campus Learner, Heart of Worcestershire College

Every learner was offered full access to our courses including the videos, quizzes, exercises and all downloadable lesson materials for their entire qualification. Tutors were also able to access our full range of analytics data.

We were delighted that over 6,000 learners from 122 colleges and training providers took up our offer. However, for the Mindful Education team this was just the beginning…

Our digital team worked night and day to set up bespoke, provider-branded VLEs for each separate cohort – an enormous undertaking.

Meanwhile, our operations team liaised with colleges to provide log-in details to students to their VLE, trained hundreds of tutors in how to get the best from the Mindful Education courses, ran webinars, produced training videos

and replied to many thousands of student and tutor queries. We provided full technical and academic support to all of the colleges and providers who took up the free offer.

It has been very pleasing to see so many messages of thanks from providers and their learners and we are delighted that we were able to help so many people through this difficult and unprecedented time.

Having initially planned to end our free-of charge support at the end of the academic year, we extended it into the Autumn to help those who were taking delayed assessments. As learners continue to sit AAT assessments, we have made the decision to further extend the offer for currently registered learners through to February.

‘I really appreciate the opportunity to use your learning platform. It has made studying much more enjoyable than just using books. It helps to keep me motivated especially as we don’t know when we will have our next exams, and so have to continually keep up-to date with the subjects’

Online & On Campus Learner, Coleg Sir Gar

Meanwhile, the Mindful Education team has been reflecting on the impact of this initiative.

We have seen significant benefits to the way we communicate and work; like many organisations we have had to adapt swiftly to changing circumstances and the Mindful Education team has learnt a huge amount over the last nine months. We have instigated systems and processes at pace that will stand us in good stead in the coming years. Pleasingly many of the providers who took up our free-of-charge offer are now working with us as partners.

If you are interested in studying an AAT qualification using our Online and On Campus blended learning approach then please visit the Mindful Education website to find your nearest provider.

• Thanks to Mindful Education for this article