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When Mooloolaba beauty teacher Susan Young began transitioning her classes online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she was initially concerned her students might struggle with the departure from their typically practical lessons.

But just over a month on from switching the Diploma of Beauty Therapy (SHB50115) to digital delivery Susan said she has been surprised by the results, with her students more engaged in class now than they have ever been before.

“It’s working really well. Attendance is fantastic, it’s 100 per cent,” Susan said.

“Generation Y are used to using technology to communicate, so I’m actually finding that the students feel more confident to ask questions online than they did in class. I’ve noticed those students who are usually shyer are speaking up more and the learning experience has become a lot more interactive," she continued.

“Messages and comments are coming through online constantly – we’re using platforms like Zoom and Skype – and they’re not just directed at me. The students are asking each other for advice and sharing their own ideas and information, which is great.”

Diploma of Beauty (SHB50115) student and mum-of-two, Hannah Clough said learning online during this period has proven to be a positive experience, allowing her to juggle her priorities while continuing her studies.

“Personally, I’m finding the flexibility with my studies really beneficial. I have two kids at home with me, but I’ve managed to get everything done while still taking care of them,” Hannah said.

“Susan is really responsive and will write back straight away if we contact her, so we still feel really supported. And when we have a question about a research assignment, we post it in our group and everyone bounces ideas off each other.”

Susan said that while her students do still miss the practical elements of the class, they were grateful for the ability to continue their studies in an online capacity during this time.

“By transitioning online, our students are able to complete their theoretical units and continue their journey towards achieving their career goals,” Susan said.

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TAFE Queensland