Adoption of Virtual is the New Normal

False Bay TVET College (FBC) hosted their first Virtual Open Day on the 4 November 2020. Known for their innovation and pioneering spirit, False Bay TVET College decided to use the Zoom Webinar platform to invite learners, youth, life orientation teachers, and parents to a Virtual Open Day.

False Bay TVET College (FBC) hosted their first Virtual Open Day on the 4 November 2020. Traditionally FBC hosted a two-day engagement in TVET month (August) which involved thousands of learners visiting campuses, viewing facilities, meeting lecturers and students. COVID-19 has put an end to large scale events taking place and probably for some time into the unforeseeable future.

Known for their innovation and pioneering spirit, False Bay TVET College decided to use the Zoom Webinar platform to invite learners, youth, life orientation teachers, and parents to a Virtual Open Day. All information that an applicant would require to make an informed study choice was covered in the webinar.

Using a blended approach, the programme combined recorded presentations with live question and answer sessions. The panellists, represented the broad spectrum of college campuses, programmes and services that are available to College students. NSFAS was represented by the Media Liaison Officer, Phatisa Ntlonze who provided the audience with important information regarding NSFAS Bursaries and the application process. The date of the webinar provided NSFAS with the ideal platform to promote the closing date of the 30 November deadline for applications for 2021. The virtual event was streamed live to the College Facebook page.

The benefit of the “New Normal” is that you can watch from anywhere: with the proviso that there is internet connectivity. The College was acutely aware of the potential challenges that could be faced by audience. Data is expensive and the college did not want to preclude potential students from the event. It was therefore decided to host the event at midday as learners would still be at school and could access the school Wi-Fi. Youth could visit a public library and parents could possibly access the internet from the office. We are pleased to report that Life Orientation teachers from poorest and most vulnerable communities in the Western Cape Phillipi and Khayelitsha joined the webinar on the day.

“Digital platforms offer us a unique opportunity to provide our audience with information directly - literally in the palm of their hands (95% of the webinar was viewed via a cell-phone.) Digital provides us with rich data and analytics that we can use to better understand the audience and improve customer service levels. “said Colleen Brennon False Bay TVET College, Marketing Manager.

On event day, engagement in the Chat Box and Q&A provided audience with immediate answers to their queries.

The results of the Virtual Open Day event were excellent. The data analysis told an interesting story. The Zoom event attracted 878 registrations. Registrations came from all over South Africa, even though the college geographical footprint is the Southern Peninsula of the Western Cape. This is not a bad thing, as the event positioned TVET as a First Choice for 2021 studies. The real value of the event success is demonstrated by the numbers recorded on social media. The Facebook livestream numbers were as follows: Reach 26.9K, Engagement of 1.6k and 2.6k views.

“The adoption of technology to host a Virtual Open Day was daunting, however with careful planning, and small steps, the unimaginable was achieved. In retrospect we wonder why we did not use the available technology sooner. We have come so far in such a short space of time and we can only but improve from here. Despite this, we do hope that we can once again to open our doors and host a traditional Open Day. Inviting our surrounding communities to visit the campuses, the facilities and learn about the opportunities that a TVET education can provide in a Post Covid-19 world.” said Colleen Brennon.

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