Learning Classical Civilisation on line for GCSE and A level

(Copied from the old blog, Fri 23 Feb 2007)

This is not going to put any regular Classics teachers out of work, but I’ve just come across www.college-on-the-net.co.uk where students who can’t take Class Civ at their schools can get the qualification by distance learning. Reading the conversations on the site’s noticeboards I get the impression that the students are happy in their work.

I asked Lynn Bright, who is behind this, if there was anything she’d like to add to what’s on the website, and she came up with this interesting background:

I must admit my AS/A-Level Archaeology students far outnumber my Classical Civ ones. In some areas there are very few opportunities to study archaeology and I’m fortunate that the Council for British Archaeology, Time Team and the like, recommend me to people who enquire. There are lots of people out there who dream of being involved in archaeology but think they’d never be able to and to them an online course is a godsend. Some of my students have gained their A-Level, given up their jobs and gone on to study it at Uni at Bachelor and Masters degree levels, which is very satisfying for me.

I haven’t been offering Classical Civ quite so long but the student numbers are increasing. When I first started it the Daily Mail ran an article by Susan Elkins in the Education section which was a boost. As you know there are lots of choices on the two OCR GCSE papers so the lessons I’ve written are ones I tend to be most interested in myself and ones I taught at evening class. However, I’m slowly increasing the choices with Roman Britain being the latest and Sparta to be worked on very shortly.

Writing lessons and supporting courses and students is very time consuming and so I’ve recently given up my regular teaching to devote all my time to it.

The great thing about online courses is that they can be studied independently from virtually anywhere and unlike their paper counterparts are interactive. The only drawback is that the exams are only available in the UK. I enjoy what I do and love the challenges it has presented to me although the technical side for me has been a very steep learning curve!

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