After more than 5 years of focused development work, which has proven both challenging and rewarding, ALTA Online is in the hands of users.
The NGC sponsored ALTA Online Pilot is rolling out in 2 phases (May – July and October into 2021). Phase 1 saw 40 students completing Level 1 Book 1. This will give ALTA the essential feedback from students on what works and what doesn’t to guide the development team.
That ALTA was able to implement Phase 1 in the ever-changing world of the pandemic is a true achievement and testimony to the dedication of our staff, tutors and students. Phase 1 had to be completely restructured from an in-person format (planned to be in schools and community centres with ALTA tutor mentors on-site to guide students) to a remote method – putting ALTA Online to a radical first test!
Trained ALTA mentors connected with their pilot students via Zoom and WhatsApp to address queries and gather feedback. With the closure of all places of learning until the end of the year, Phase 2 will likewise start as home based with mentor support.
After an initial ALTA Online Readiness Survey in April, which determined whether current ALTA students had the computer and internet access needed to participate in the pilot, ALTA tutor mentors were trained in guiding pilot participants through the login and use of the programme.
Apart from 34 existing ALTA students, the pilot included 18 residents in partner children’s homes which had the required computers with internet and the supervision needed when children are on the net. Among the children homes that partnered with ALTA are Credo, Rainbow Rescue, We Say Y.E.S and Sophia House. Student Support Services linked four of their students to ALTA Online and the National Centre for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) in San Fernando engaged enthusiastically in the project with 12 members participating. In addition, we have been able to include students from our Caribbean neighbour Nevis! A total of 70 students participated in Phase1, ranging in age from 9 to 65.
Level 2 Youth lit student, Gernessa Eccles, who had been participating in the pilot was vocal in expressing her gratitude. “The VCCV rule was fun to learn and reading and sounding out letters was very helpful. Thank you ALTA for the opportunity!” Phase 1 officially closed off on 31 July, culminating with mentors administering a Survey Monkey survey to gather specific and comprehensive feedback from each pilot participant. The Phase 1 findings were used to inform the set up and management of Phase 2.
Look out for the public launch of ALTA Online in 2021!
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a tutor, joining a class, or becoming a sponsor, call 624-2582 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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