Foundation Online Course Update – July 2015

An update on the new online Foundation courses offered by Essex Ham, from course leader Pete M0PSX:

Wow. What can I say? Since starting these online courses last month, it’s fair to say I’ve been pretty overwhelmed with the response. I’ve also fielded a lot of questions about what the course is all about, and how it’s run. So for those keen to find out more, I thought you may appreciate this short update.

Course Status

Foundation Online - Kelly PhotoThe first course completed at the end of June. This was our beta test course, with 7 students.

We’re in the final stages of Course 2 (two modules and a mock to go). This is the full course, with a full video for each module, a structured set of course notes, a slideshow, plus several tests.

We have 18 people on this course including a physics student, relatives of existing amateurs, former CBers, an avionics engineer, a scout teacher, and an amateur from Malta looking to take all three levels of the UK licence. We have local students (Essex, London, Suffolk) as well as from Devon, Dorset, the Midlands and Scotland.

We’re just about to start Course 3 (Sunday 19th July). We currently have 8 people confirmed, a further 9 awaiting confirmation, and another 11 enquiries.

Details and FAQ here: Foundation Online – Amateur Radio Training Course

Course Structure

From the feedback we’re getting, the format seems to be working. The plan for Course 02 was to drop a new module into the online classroom every two-to-three days. Each of the nine modules ends with a short multiple-choice test, to make sure everything’s been understood, and the next module is only released when 50% of the students or more are happy to proceed. We’ve had people racing ahead and completing each module as soon as it’s released, and others saving up modules and having a batch revision session.

Foundation Online: Course 02 Progress
Foundation Online: Course 02 Progress

Course Stats

Stats show that the Feeders and Antennas module seems to be the best understood of the modules so far, with a 91% understanding score. Licence conditions has the lowest score, but not everyone has completed this module yet, which skews the stats. Average engagement time on the online course (modules 1 to 7) is just under 5 hours, which feels about right.

Activity for Foundation Online Course 02 (Modules 1 to 7)
Activity for Foundation Online Course 02 (Modules 1 to 7)

Club / Trainer Support

First off, a big thanks to all who’ve got in touch with offers of support and encouragement. We’ve been contacted by three clubs keen to see if our course is a good match for their own training activities, and we’ve had some very nice comments made about what we’re doing – The support is appreciated. A special thanks to the team at London Hackspace, who have been very supportive and have been promoting the course within their membership – It was always hoped that we’d be able to link this course with other club training activities, and some have already got on board in the interest of helping to make it easier for people to get their Foundation

We would ask that if you’re involved with training, or part of a club, you don’t sign up to the course, just to have a look around. We have created a test course, which we’re happy to let clubs and registered trainers log into, to see exactly what we offer. We’d welcome other trainers to have a look – comments and suggestions are welcome, and we’d like this to be a tool that trainers can make use of where appropriate. For example, it may be that our video content is of use for those not able to travel to a training venue, or who prefer watching / listening at odd hours. If you’re a trainer, contact us if you want more information, or access to our test course.

Thanks to Radcom for the mention too this week – this has caused a slight spike in traffic, and generated a few leads – mostly from family members of existing amateurs, which I guess isn’t surprising.


That’s all for the moment – as we’re seeing a lot of interest in the course, I thought those curious about the new course might appreciate an update!

Any questions or comments? Please add a note below, or contact us.


Pete M0PSX


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