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PCI College & Online Class Delivery

 

COVID-19 changed the way universities and colleges operates. According to Graham Love, the former chief executive of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), during his interview for Irish Examiner (as cited in Casey, 2020) “significant course provision online, significant examination and assessment online or remotely - that is fundamentally going to challenge the business models of higher education institutions.” 

 

During this challenging time, a question was raised: what is next? How are we going to keep our classes if all colleges now need to be closed?

 

PCI College continues to provide the excellent training that our College has become so well recognised for, and we are fortunate to be able to continue delivering our classes in a live online, experiential manner.

 

As you might be aware, our classes are being conducted live via our online platform Microsoft Teams.

 

The introduction of Teams for online delivery has enabled us to maintain a fully immersive and experiential live, learning environment. We understand the value and necessity of collaborative education in counselling and psychotherapy. We recognise how it is important to have lived through the theoretical concepts that underpin the work, to engage in group process, and in the moment personal development. We continue to engage with our students in the creation of knowledge and have maintained connectivity within groups and a safe sharing space in the learning environment. Our unique use of the Teams platforms allows us to facilitate counselling skills practice that mirrors the face to face setting.

 

The resources we have at our disposal makes it easier to collaborate in real-time, all our live online meetings, shared files, chats, calendar, tasks, and more. We can facilitate an excellent learning environment for students through the use of one single app. Our Programmes Office and Student Services Departments will manage the class for all students by creating a virtual classroom and inviting students to join this for each module. Therefore, as soon as your classroom is created on Teams, lecturers and students can start chatting about the programme, add a reminder to the calendar, share class files and keep track of meeting notes/recordings and to-dos.

 

We have consulted with Microsoft to ensure that the way in which we conduct our live online classes have the highest levels of security available and we are confident that the Microsoft Teams Platform  provides the advanced security and compliance capabilities of Office 365, therefore, your Teams’ classes are secure. Once you book onto a programme with us, we will create a PCI account for you, which gives you access to Microsoft 365 and Teams. Thus, the class group meetings are closed to lecturers and students within the College, and there is no invitation to people outside the organisation. Besides, in Teams, the data is encrypted when in transit and at rest, and your data is stored in a secure network. In addition to that, confidentiality, safety and security will be negotiated in each class through a collaborative class contract and one which replicates that of the counselling session.

 

PCI College is proud to be working within the Microsoft Teams platform, due to its higher security, which makes one of the best platforms in the market. Not only do we include this product for all student enrolments, we find it is extremely accessible as Microsoft Teams runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android, allowing remote connection via all desktops and mobile devices. You can learn more about Microsoft Teams privacy and security here.

 

Not only is Microsoft Teams a safe platform, but it also gives to lecturers and students an opportunity to interact in groups, as they would do in class. 

 

Margaret O’Connor, PCI Lecturer, explained how she felt during this transition and how the process was to go online, on her talk. She also gives some tips from a person that has seen both sides of the online classes: as a PCI College lecturer and as a student who attended online workshops with us. Margaret tips can help you with any questions you may have about this matter.

 

We also had another talk from our student Aideen Newport, who signed up for our Certificate Counselling & Psychotherapy course. After the first weekend in-class, Aideen received the news that the classes needed to be online, in a live environment. 

 

We are sure that all of us can relate to how Aideen and Margaret felt. They also had to adapt, and they found out during this that the online environment is a new world of opportunities.

Aideen also left us amazing feedback regarding how she felt about going online, and we invite you to check it out here.

 

We hope that this answers some of the questions you might have and provides some reassurance to the online delivery of our classes.

 

If you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us by emailing enquiries@pcicollege.ie or calling 01 4642268, or why not contact us through our social media platforms.

 

 

We look forward to seeing you online.


PCI College Team

 

 

 

References:

 

Casey, J., 2020. Radical Change In Store For Irish Third-Level Over Next Five Years Due To Covid-19 Pandemic. [online] Irishexaminer.com. Available at: <https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/radical-change-in-store-for-irish-third-level-over-next-five-years-due-to-covid-19-pandemic-999421.html>

 

Finnerty, S., 2020. 5 Reasons Why You Should Start Using Microsoft Teams Today. [online] Microsoft Pulse. Available at: <https://pulse.microsoft.com/en-ie/work-productivity-en-ie/na/fa2-5-and-a-half-reasons-why-you-should-start-using-microsoft-teams-today/>

 

Koenigsbauer, K., 2016. Introducing Microsoft Teams— The Chat-Based Workspace In Office 365 - Microsoft 365 Blog. [online] Microsoft 365 Blog. Available at: <https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2016/11/02/introducing-microsoft-teams-the-chat-based-workspace-in-office-365/>

 

Spataro, J., 2020. Our Commitment To Privacy And Security In Microsoft Teams - Microsoft 365 Blog. [online] Microsoft 365 Blog. Available at: <https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2020/04/06/microsofts-commitment-privacy-security-microsoft-teams/>

 

Tung, L., 2020Microsoft Teams Vs Zoom Video Meetings: Microsoft Touts Superior Security And Privacy | Zdnet. [online] ZDNet. Available at: <https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-teams-vs-zoom-microsoft-touts-its-superior-security-and-privacy/> 

(as cited in Casey, 2020)




 

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