Successful Online Introducing Orienteering Training

As part of SOAs response to the Covid-19 situation the staff development team has been exploring new ways of supporting training through delivery of online courses. Over a block of 4 weekly sessions in July and August we were able to deliver our first online Introducing Orienteering course to 18 Leisure and Learning staff from Aberdeenshire Council.

Interactive online school exercise planning

Introducing Orienteering is normally a very hands-on practical course, so some innovative rethinking was needed to ensure that learners were able to pick up and practice basic orienteering skills, as well as to set up games and exercises for others to take part in. Where possible, activities such as setting up a cone grid were completed online during the workshops, in this example using household materials ranging from tins of beans to post-it notes in place of cones. Between sessions, learners were set various activities and tasks to practice the skills and games that they had learnt, and to record this with photos and videos. At the start of the following week’s session we were then able to discuss and review some of these materials.

Practising Musical-O at home

This particular course was set up to support training for a parallel outdoor education programme, which can be brought into operation in the event that schools are unable to function full time, or where additional time outdoors is required. Before the final session there was a two week gap, during which time learners were given an opportunity to have a go at delivering some sessions in a local summer hub. Six people took this offer up, successfully running sessions in Ellon, Huntly and Westhill.

Whilst undoubtedly we generated some learning for ourselves in terms of the course delivery, overall feedback was extremely positive. An added benefit in this particular situation was that the course could be delivered to staff spread over a huge geographic area of Aberdeenshire, without a need to get a quorate of numbers from one particular area to participate. Some comments in feedback from learners included:

“Excellent format that worked well. Easy to maintain interest.”

“Very good content and good progression. Excellent resources and links to follow up”

“The quality of resources and clear and helpful steer to complete these tasks made it easier. The encouragement to try resources and tasks at hubs was a big plus.”