Delivery Methods Make Students' Lives Easier at Portobello Institute
Portobello Institute is home to a wide array of students. Students come to us from different parts of Ireland and different areas of the world to study different subjects in different departments. We understand that each student has different needs and we do everything possible to accommodate those needs.
The only challenges in education should be the information itself. We don’t want to let schedules or organizational elements detract from time that you can spend learning or living your life outside of the classroom.
In order to offer you an educational plan that fits seamlessly into your life schedule, we have four different delivery methods to choose from.
Full Time – Blended Learning
Immersing yourself in a course from Monday to Friday then living your life on the weekends is the traditional approach to college. If you want to dive into your course fully but have a job or life away from education that prevents you from being in college 9-5 every weekday, Portobello Institute is the best option for you.
Blended Learning courses allows our students to fit their course around their work/life. You can still study at the same pace as the traditional full time student, but you have greater flexibility with regards to when you study. If you want to study part time with a less intensive schedule, you can do that. If you want to get in and out as quick as possible, then the intensive method is for you.
We have something for everyone.
Earning a college qualification is an investment of your time, your energy and your skill set. All of that investment should be focused on taking on board new information, developing new abilities and earning a greater understanding of what’s relevant in your field. As little as possible should be focused on figuring out where you should be, how you can make a class or if you need to sacrifice your work for your education.
Efficiency, adaptability and comfort is what you will experience in Portobello’s delivery methods.
Full Time Sports, Early Years, Travel and Tourism
Full time courses across each department follow the same structure.
You will be required to be on campus for 2.5 days per week between Monday and Friday. By condensing your schedule down into 2.5 days, we create a more efficient working environment and give you greater flexibility with your overall schedule. There’s no waiting around in between classes. The days of pairing an early morning class and a late evening class with nothing in between are gone.
The remainder of your coursework is done online or streamed for you. That allows you to complete half of your course from home or wherever suits you best.
Giving you this greater flexibility means you’re not committing to five days of coursework despite undertaking a full-time approach.
Johanna Shaw is the course advisor in the Sports Department, “We have two different formats of learning: Blended and Full Time. It’s just making sure that we’re putting each student on the right course format that suits them. They may have extra-curricular sport at the weekends so weekend learning wouldn’t suit them. Typically, Full Time would suit someone coming from the Leaving Cert but they have the option for both.”
Each of our Level 8 courses in the Sports Department are available in full-time delivery mode with the option of Blended Learning. If you want to learn more about your options in the Sports department, you can contact Johanna by phone at 01 8920024 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fashion Buying and Merchandising Year 1 (QQI Level 5)and Fashion Management Year 2 (QQI Level 6) are Full-Time courses.Before the Coronavirus pandemic, these coursesweredelivered with onsite classes two to three days per week over two semesters.Practical classes were delivered in fully equipped training rooms with theory classes taking place in one of the many theory rooms within Portobello Institute.The internship programme takes place during semester two. The schedule is determined by the needs of the company the student is placed with.
Both Full-Time Fashion courses were successfully delivered through Blended Learning because of the Covid-19 pandemic. As this is a practical, hands on course, it is hoped that these courses will be back in the classroom in September 2021. If not, the Blended Learning practice is in place and Portobello Institute will adapt to the evolving situation.
Full Time – Blended Learning Sports, Facilities Management,Fashion, Early Years, Travel and Tourism
Blended Learning is available to all students, including those coming directly from the Leaving Cert.
It was designed with those in full-time employment in mind. Instead of having mandatory 9am classes on a Monday, we will now facilitate students in the evenings and on weekends. This is still a full-time college experience, as detailed by College Director Denise Flood:
“When we talk about Blended Learning, that’s full-time delivery too. Any of the degrees we deliver, we don’t deliver them part-time.We deliver them all full time but it’s whether or not it’s face-to-face classes or whether or not it’s a Blended format. At the moment, we’re doing everything off site because of Covid but that’s the differentiation between it.”
The Blended Learning experience has been invaluable during the Covid-19 pandemic and offers both student and lecturer greater flexibility in their work.
Course advisor Johanna Shaw explains how the Blended Learning approach allows Portobello to adjust as they needed with Full Time students, “A typical Full Time learner would be in 1-2 days a week out of their 3-4 days. What we’ve done at the moment is cover more of the theory in online content in order to still deliver the courses we’ve got students enrolled on, meaning that they’re still graduating at the same time they had planned to.”
Having the Blended Infrastructure in place means that students are not wasting a year.
Blended Learning is available across most departments in Portobello. It is particularly valuable in Facilities Management because all of our students come from the workplace. Having Blended Learning is part of the reason why Portobello is the only college in Ireland with an accredited degree and Masters programme specifically designed for Workplace and Facilities Management professionals.
Part-Time delivery at Portobello Institute is the most popular form of delivery for people who want to balance study around their full-time job and family life. This option is generally delivered through weekly evening classes and now consists of a combination of online learning and webinars.
Denise Flood is College Director and Head of our Early Years Department, “Part-time delivery tends to be the SNAs and the Early Years programmes and they are done part-time delivery to fit in with people’s lives and to fit in with the time that’s available to them.
“They can be done evening times, weekends, fitting in around people who are working full time. And, people who aren’t in a hurry to finish a qualification. It can be around someone who is working full time and who has a life going on outside of it and then wants to take it at a slower pace. They do it maybe one subject at a time or maybe do a couple of subjects at a time, but they do them working in and around their lives.
Brandon McLean is Director of Enrollment at Portobello, “Part-time courses tend to suit those students who are changing careers and want to continue working as they learn or for anyone who wants to get their qualification through free time they have in the evenings.”
Part-time is a popular method for many students as it is taken at a slower pace over a longer period for those who want to spread the workload.
The specific structure varies between courses but generally consists of online webinars which is a lecturer delivering a presentation or class online to a group of students.
Specially designed e-learning software is used so students can participate in the class just as if you were present in the same room. You can ask a question of the lecturer at any stage during the class.Webinars are recorded during each session and can be watched later.
Course materials are structured to be accessed on a week-by-week basis and are available to download from our e-learning platform as you progress through the course. Assignments are all designed for completion at home and once completed, you will upload these to the e-learning platform. Feedback and results are posted here for you to access too.
As an example, for the timeline for a part-time course, Portobello Institute’s Montessori Teaching with ECCE course is delivered over one academic year. Students spend one evening per week covering Montessori modules.
Intensive SNA, Montessori, Therapeutic Play Skills
The intensive method for these courses is delivered differently.
The SNA course combines Level 5 and Level 6 over two weeks of daytime classes with 20 weeks to complete six assignments in total. A booking package is available and is our most popular course combo at Portobello.
George Boylan is the SNA course advisor, “The content is covered over the two-week course and then you are given 20 weeks to complete the assignments. Students cover Level 5 on the first week and then Level 6 on the second week.
“There are three assignment for Level 5 and then three more for Level 6. Each assignment averages about 1500 words so there is a good bit of work to be done once the course content is covered.
“The booking package applies here and it is one of the best course options. The lectures are recorded so they can be watched back.
“You can go from never having SNA to completing Level 5 and Level 6 courses within 20 weeks. Portobello can supply a pre-cert to say the student has completed and passed the course while they are waiting to get their cert from QQI,” he said.
The intensive four-week course in Montessorigivesstudents the Level 6 qualification needed to work in a Montessori classroom and open your own Montessori school.This is an intensive course delivered from Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm over 4 weeks.
Each week is split between the practical Montessori approach and theory learning with time spent learning the theory and practicing the Montessori presentation skills for each module leading the students to their practical Skills Tests on week 4.
When the four-week course has been completed, the students are then given a six-month timetable to work on 6 Assignments which will demonstrate the understanding and theory underpinning each module. This will also include 50 hours work experience.
The next date for this intensive in-person course is August 3rd, 2021 subject to coronavirus restrictions.
Alternatives to this include the Blended Learning option taught over six weekends and Full Time option delivered over one academic year.