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Some great questions. Not sure I have all the answers, but I can have a stab.
Lack of students at clubs
Probably several reasons:
– Convenience – study at home when you’re in the mood, vs travelling to a venue at a fixed time
– Availability – Some clubs only run one or two classes a year, if any. Waiting six months to a year just isn’t an option for some
– Cost. Most clubs charge (to offset venue hire) – online is free
– No travel required
– People uncomfy about going out / mixing indoors
– Some clubs seem to have given up, or not returned to training post-Covid
– Poor web presence / PR for local courses
In our student survey, we ask “I preferred taking my exam online compared to at a local club:
Strongly Agree 57.25%
Agree (A2) 27.15%
Disagree (A3) 5.36%
Strongly Disagree 1.02%
Change in age
I can work that out – I’ll do a comparison between 2018 and 2021. Let me get back to you on that one.
Dropoff in students
Club exams restarted in October. I’m seeing no real impact on our online enrolments. Here is the graph for 2020-2021:
Next steps for clubs
I’ve stated this view elsewhere with mixed responses, but I think clubs need to adjust their approach to circumstances, just like the online course providers did. Pre-2020, clubs got students because clubs were the only route in – people had no other choice, so clubs had people seeking them out. Now, it’s not so easy, so change is needed. Actually, I see the change as a massive opportunity for clubs – let students get licenced online, and then offer practical sessions for the newly-licensed. Many who study online will have never seen a radio, ATU, etc, so put on some hands-on sessions, demos, show-and-tell. Genuine training on what newbies want to know, not just delivering the tickbox practicals – training without the need to conform to the syllabus or have the admin overhead of assessments – just fun hands-on training (something that can’t be done online). Better for clubs, better for students, and probably helpful at keeping those newbies interested, learning and progressing.