As students and teachers at TAFE Queensland quickly adjusted to online education prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the learning curve was steepest for those in hands-on courses.

It forced educators and learners alike to become more resourceful and innovative, such as TAFE Queensland cookery teacher Damian Tiedeman who streamed practical demonstrations from his very own home kitchen.

“My practical classes became like a televised cooking show where I did live demonstrations from home in my kitchen via Zoom which was lots of fun and really different,” said Damian.

“I found these live presentations very interactive as the students really embraced the new learning method by getting involved and asking lots of questions.”

“They also often turned on their cameras and shared their own in-home cooking experiences.”

Damian said he had students tune in from not only their own kitchens but all sorts of places – including some from overseas.

“One of my students returned home to Fiji and it was fantastic that he could still participate in class and continued to progress really well.”

“It was nice to see students welcome the change and use the time off campus to learn from all sorts of interesting places such as the hammocks in their backyards or at the beach.”

As of next week, TAFE Queensland cookery students will return to the Southport campus hospitality hub for the first time in almost three months.

“As much as I've embraced this online teaching method, I'll admit that I'm keen to get back into the kitchen to see my students face to face,” said Damian.

International cookery student, Ruan du Plessis said he was extremely impressed with how quick TAFE Queensland pivoted practical training to online learning methods.

“COVID-19 struck the world so hard that it almost came to a complete standstill. But TAFE Queensland wasted no time and converted our classes to online, ensuring none of us missed out on anything,” said Ruan.

“We received live demonstrations on various units, which enabled us always to keep in touch with Damian and our other teachers.”

The 26-year-old from South Africa said his teachers really went out of their way to keep the cohort on track and feel supported during the isolation period.

“The level of professionalism and support I received from not only our teachers but also the TAFE Queensland international team was astounding.”

“I plan to further my studies with TAFE Queensland after I complete the Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery (SIT40516) by continuing onto the Diploma of Hospitality Management (SIT50416) at the Southport campus.”

TAFE Queensland Southport campus Hospitality Hub has industry standard training kitchens and a modern restaurant frontage completely run by students with supervision and guidance from teachers and trainers.



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