Amateur Radio Remote Courses (For Tutors)

This page is intended to provide some guidance for tutors on delivering amateur radio training remotely.

How do we deliver our training?

For Foundation, we run three-week courses for home learning – 3 modules a week, plus mocks.

Students can take these modules at their own time, when it suits them – no need to attend at set times

How do we provide content?

We use a mix of different methods:

1. A virtual classroom that delivers Foundation content in nine modules. We use the Schoology VLE (Virtual Learning Environment. Modules are broken down into specific topics, and there is a quiz at the end of each module to allow the student and tutor to check

Select the quiz
One of our classroom modules, highlighting the end-of-module quiz

2. Fully-narrated videos for each module, forming a virtual lesson. Typical duration, 20 to 30 minutes per module

Ham Train Video Tutorial
Ham Train Video Tutorial (from Module 3)

3. Slides: Primarily intended for tutors, but made available to students as they cover the bullet-points of the syllabus, and many find them useful

4. Mock Tests: We have a quiz at the end of each module, and three mock tests. Tests are generated from a question pool of 250 sample questions

Check Answers
Check Answers

How do we support our students?

Several ways:

  • There is a group chat option in each classroom where students can ask questions to be answered by the tutor, or by other students
  • There is an option to contact the tutor on every page of the classroom, using the classroom messaging system – pr they can use standard email
  • We have Facebook, Groups.io and Discord chat areas, for group discussion
  • We offer additional videos for more challenging topics
  • We run regular live student webinars
Foundation Online Support Videos
Foundation Online Support Videos

And after the course?

Once students have passed, we don’t lose touch. We offer:

  • Ongoing support via the Facebook, Groups.io and Discord chat areas
  • A series of “next step” videos
  • A series of “Getting Started Guides” (one page PDFs and more detailed videos and articles
  • Regular live webinars
  • All former students are sent two surveys – one about the course, and one after they have been licenced for a few months – this helps shape future deliverables
  • Free membership to Essex Ham (forums, bonus material, email updates, etc)
FO Student Survey Feedback
Student Survey Feedback – Question 006 Mock Quality

About our Webinars

Due to the number of students enrolling on our courses, one-to-one or Zoom calls aren’t practical. Instead, we run online Webinars. Here’s how they’re run:

  • These are run every 2 or 3 weeks, coinciding the start of one course and the end of the previous course, but are open to all students of the previous 5 courses, or on the list for a future course.
  • These are set at 90 minutes, but always run over
  • We use the Periscope platform – The tutor has a live mic and camera for the entire session, with questions being asked by students typing in a text box
  • Questions are split into sections: “About our course”, “About the exam”, then the various syllabus subjects, then about amateur radio generally
  • We have a “back end” assistant, called “The Genie” that manages the question flow and types in web links, whilst the lead tutor answers questions
  • The session ends with live demos – normally a VHF Simplex QSO and a Repeater Demo (with a pre-arranged team member),  a random HF contact, and either an SSTV or FT8 demo, or a logging demo – depending on audience request

Typed student questions are preferable as they don’t require the student to use a mic or webcam, allow a certain amount of anonymity (for perceived “silly questions”), and allow students to be ‘passive’

Ham Train Webinar
Ham Train Webinar Montage (click to enlarge)

Webinars seem very popular and the agenda is driven totally by the attendees. We typically get 300-400 people tuning in live, and another 200 watching the catch-up.

Hopefully that’s a help. If any tutor has any questions, please let us know in the comments below…

One Comment

  1. Antonio Ubirajara da Silva 4 May 2021 Reply

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