Foundation Online Course Survey Results 2020

Following a discussion in the RSGB Tutor’s forum, the following stats have been released by Essex Ham, correct at of 11 August 2020:

Online course enrolment

This shows enrolment in our online course since launch in 2015. This shows a steady growth, except for 2019 where our courses were suspended for 5 months pending Syllabus 2019 updates. Note the 2020 data is only for 01-Jan to 11-Aug, not a full year!

 

Foundation Online Course attendance by year (to 12 Aug 2020)
Foundation Online Course attendance by year (to 12 Aug 2020) – Click to enlarge

Course Applications

This pivot table shows all Foundation course applications received per day in 2020.

Note the peaks on 3rd April (date of RSGB announcement) and 5th May (BBC feature)

Foundation Online Enquiries 01 Jan 2020 to 11 August 2020
Foundation Online Enquiries 01 Jan 2020 to 11 August 2020 – Click to enlarge

Foundation Online Age Profile

Applicant age data is from Aug 2017 to July 2020

Foundation Online Enrolled Student Age Profile
Foundation Online Enrolled Student Age Profile

 

Foundation Pass Rate

RSGB data 01 Jan to 13 June 2020:  904 Foundation candidates, with a 92.7% pass rate.

Remote exams started 06 April 2020. Over 1,000 passed remotely between 06 April and 17 July 2020

RSGB Foundation Pass Rate (to early June 2020)
RSGB Foundation Pass Rate (to early June 2020)

Essex Ham New M7 Members

2020 has seen an increase in new Foundation licence holders joining Essex Ham since COVID. Here are the stats for 01 Jan to 31 July 2020:

Essex Ham New M7 Members to 31 July 2020
Essex Ham New M7 Members to 31 July 2020

Online vs Club

This data comes from our Foundation Online End-of-Course Questionnaire (so is naturally biased towards people who’ve studied online with us)

Results from 30 June 2020 to 11 August 2020. 122 responses received during this time period. 

Responses to statement “Being able to take the exam online, not at a club, appealed to me”:

Answer Count Percentage
Yes 111 93.9%
No 3 2.5%
Uncertain 5 4.2%

Responses to statement “If I had to go to a club to take my exam, I wouldn’t have bothered“:

Answer Count Percentage
Yes 34 29.1%
No 46 39.3%
Uncertain 37 31.6%

 

Foundation Practicals

This data comes from our Foundation Online End-of-Course Questionnaire. Results from 30 June 2020 to 11 August 2020. 122 responses received during this time period.

Responses to statement “The idea of not having to do practicals appealed to me”:

Answer Count Percentage
Yes 47 40.2%
No 40 34.2%
Uncertain (U) 30 25.6%

 

Online Exams

This data comes from our Foundation Online End-of-Course Questionnaire. Results from 30 June 2020 to 11 August 2020. 122 responses received during this time period.

Responses to statement “I found the overall experience straightforward”:

Answer Count Percentage
Strongly Agree 73 73.0%
Agree 25 25.0%
Unsure / Not applicable 0 0.0%
Disagree 2 2.0%
Strongly Disagree 0 0.0%

Responses to statement “Everything was clearly explained in advance”:

Answer Count Percentage
Strongly Agree 79 79.8%
Agree 19 19.2%
Unsure / Not applicable 1 1.0%
Disagree 0 0.0%
Strongly Disagree 0 0.0%

Responses to statement “The invigilator put me at my ease”:

Answer Count Percentage
Strongly Agree 88 88.9%
Agree 10 10.1%
Unsure / Not applicable 1 1.0%
Disagree 0 0.0%
Strongly Disagree 0 0.0%

Responses to statement “I encountered a technical problem during the exam”:

Answer Count Percentage
Strongly Agree 6 6.3%
Agree 9 9.4%
Unsure / Not applicable 13 13.5%
Disagree 15 15.6%
Strongly Disagree 53 55.2%

Responses to statement “The questions were generally clear and straightforward”:

Answer Count Percentage
Strongly Agree 44 44.4%
Agree 45 45.5%
Unsure / Not applicable 6 6.1%
Disagree 4 4.0%
Strongly Disagree 0 0.0%

 

Next Steps

This data comes from our Foundation Online End-of-Course Questionnaire. Results from 30 June 2020 to 11 August 2020. 122 responses received during this time period.

Those completing the course were asked to tick all that applied from the following list:

Answer Count Percentage
I am excited about amateur radio 103 84.43%
I have progressed on to Intermediate 6 4.92%
I intend to progress to Intermediate 95 77.87%
I am curious about amateur radio 31 25.41%
I am disappointed with amateur radio 0 0.00%
I am active in amateur radio 11 9.02%
I’d like to be more active in amateur radio 56 45.90%
I need help and support to get more from amateur radio 31 25.41%

 

Finding a Venue (Pre-Covid)

This data comes from our Foundation Online End-of-Course Questionnaire. This extract was from 01 January 2020 to 19 February 2020 (before the lockdown) with 103 responses.

Question asked: “Thinking of the exam and practicals, how easy was it to find a suitable venue?”

Answer Count Percentage
Very easy (A1) 35 34.0%
Fairly easy (A2) 30 29.1%
A bit difficult (A3) 16 15.5%
Very difficult (A4) 14 13.6%
Couldn’t find anywhere / gave up (A6) 6 5.8%
Not looked for a venue (A5) 2 1.9%

The venue question was asked again from 8th May to 16th June, but results are not included due to Covid skewing the data. Between 01 January and 16th June 2020 the following freeform comments were entered alongside responses to this question:

  • Easy but not suitable for a single parent
  • I have a very convenient venue; but needed to book a _long_ time in advance.
  • Difficult until online testing became available.
  • I’ve been wanting to sit the exam for six months but my club is VERY slow. I am very, very happy that I can now do it online.
  • It was difficult to find a date that matched the end of the coarse. In the end, a virus came along and turned everything upside down. Simple enough to book online exam.
  • Eventually found a venue, but called off due to Covid-19
  • Impossible until I found out about essexham and the online exam
  • Would have been impossible due to covid. Essex ham saved the day.

For those who found it difficult to find a venue, we asked “what was the reason?”

From the subset of 103 respondents, 33 reported problems

Yes %age No %age
Nothing local to me 16 48.5% 17 51.5%
Club websites out-of-date 12 36.4% 21 63.6%
Club(s) not answering emails 11 33.3% 22 66.7%
Club(s) not offering suitable dates 11 33.3% 22 66.7%
Club(s) refused to enrol me 4 12.1% 29 87.9%
Lack of central resource to find courses 6 18.2% 27 81.8%
The “Club Finder”/ Course Finder” was no help 5 15.2% 28 84.8%
I had special requirements and the club(s) couldn’t accommodate me 2 6.1% 31 93.9%

 

About Our Course

This data comes from our Foundation Online End-of-Course Questionnaire. Results from 30 June 2020 to 11 August 2020. 122 responses received during this time period.

How do you rate our course?

Answer Count Percentage
Excellent 118 97.5%
OK 3 2.5%
Poor 0 0%

 Would you recommend our online course to others looking to become a radio amateur?

Answer Count Percentage
Yes 121 99.18%
No 0 0.00%
No answer 1 0.82%

How did our mock questions compare the actual exam questions?

Answer Count Percentage
Pretty close 54 55.4%
Exam questions were easier 12 11.9%
Exam questions were harder 19 18.8%
Exam questions were completely different to the mock questions 5 5.0%
Other 9 8.9%

 

Course Applicants

Text provided by the last 20 course applicants to provide snapshot of interest and acquisition:

Why are you interested in this course? Where did you hear about our course?
Been interested in CB years ago and want to take it further Google search
Work purposes, friends encouraging me to From friends
It’s rubbed off from my dad,and just never got around to do it Website
want to know how they work and have them while camping for emergency people from MESH bushcraft group.
I like alsorts of technology, in my youth used to play with scanners. Through google and youtube while investigating SDR’s
To communicate with others, and learn a new skill Online, through google
It seems like a fun and educational hobby From Essexham Website
It’s always been an interest Facebook group
I love the idea of radio communication! I finally want to make the plunge and get on the airwaves after years of listening. Worksop Amateur Radio Society
Im intrested in electronics and have thought about getting a foundation licence to see if I enjoy it. Your webpage
Always been interested but Morse stopped me. Other Ham operators
I had a CB background, now looking at a more professional approach to radio Essex Ham on Youtube
My dad has encouraged us to get involved From my Dad
Doing some radios at cadets and thought this looked interesting Searched amateur radios on google
Working within security Online
Studied previously at night school some years ago, but tutor rushed through syllabus, leaving most of us behind. Would like to resume. Browsing online via Google
Ex RN Communicator – don’t hold it against me. Google
To increase my RF knowledge My manager at work
I was in radio communications in my early working life (started as a marine Radio Officer). Then moved onto other employment . Now I’m retired and partly disabled. I have bought an HF transceiver and would like to get back into the radio scene. I discovered EssexHam on line while searching RSGB info.
Would like to obtain foundation licence Online – google

 

Hopefully the above data is of interest.

 

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One Comment

  1. Billy GM6DX 13 August 2020 Reply

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