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COVID Diaries: turning a physical space into a virtual one

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26 March 2020

 

Senior Lecturer Tom Underhill writes about one of the Engineering Department initiatives supporting students now learning from home

One of the unique features of studying engineering at Harper Adams is the vibrant ‘learning community’ based in the Engineering design centre. Students usually get to their desks before 9am and work in a positive social environment all day.

Some engineering staff make regular informal visits to this area. This is known as an EDC walk - students who are anxious often raise issues here rather than coming to seek out a staff member in their office.

The Coronavirus crisis has closed the EDC and the vast majority of students are now living and learning away from campus.

To try to provide informal support I have created a ‘virtual EDC’ team in Microsoft Teams and populated it with every engineering student. When I sit down at my workstation I post a team chat ‘Hello, just doing my virtual EDC walk’ to alert the students.

Takeup is gathering momentum as student adjust to and learn about the new way of working.

 

Visit the Engineering Design Centre through our virtual tour (Turn around 180 degrees on arrival in the library foyer).

 

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