Collaborating with Site-based Coordinators to support students
The Site-based Coordinator (SBC) is the key link between Pamoja and the student. Acting as a supporting face-to-face mentor for online IB Diploma Programme students, the SBC liaises with Pamoja teachers, the School Services Team (SST) and individual students to connect and maintain the network within Pamoja’s global campus. This global campus is the virtual classroom where the students, teacher, the SST and the SBC collaborate and discuss ways to improve their Pamoja experience, while learning from each other in an online global community.
Currently, the SBC supports their students in the following ways: they schedule regular meetings with students depending on their engagement in the course, explore their general motivational levels and encourage them to communicate with their teacher and classmates directly in order to build these important relationships. They are proactive and transparent in communications with Pamoja about the circumstances at their school, the students taking courses and any potential students who will be looking to take an online course. The tools available to the SBC to support students with their engagement are the dashboard overview which gives a snapshot of a student’s engagement, the learning management system where the SBC can see assignments that are due and what has been submitted, their grades and the content of the course.
Part of my role in the SST is to book time to speak with our SBCs through a telephone or a Skype call. This is important as it allows me and by extension the rest of the SST to continue to build good relationships with our SBCs and to gain key insights into their experience with us. The SBC is integral to the way that Pamoja communicates and builds relationships with students, their schools and parents. Hence we see the SBC as someone who is a vital addition to our extended team at Pamoja and who we wish to consistently collaborate with, learn from and support.
The main aim for me when I speak to SBCs is to have a good conversation about their experience with us. I understand that the time they have available to speak with me is valuable. Hence the two most important points I plan to discuss is the engagement levels of students as well as capturing feedback about their and their students’ experience. This helps me to understand the unique context of each school and gives insight into how we can improve this experience for students, SBCs, and parents going forward. I will also consult the appropriate people within the organisation in order for us to address these needs. This is central to and incorporated into our improvement plans as we grow and expand in our offerings to schools.
Speaking with and collaborating with SBCs is incredibly rewarding. The conversations I have had has both encouraged and challenged us as a team to continue to put them at the centre of what we do in supporting our schools and students.