At 5pm on 20th March, COVID-19 meant we closed the doors on our face-to-face learning which was taking place in our 6 centres and 60 plus community venues across West Sussex.

Aspire Cloud has been set up to offer online learning options for our current students as well as provide courses for new students. At present our online courses can only be accessed in the UK and some courses are restricted to residents of West Sussex (please enquire for details). This section of the website contains information about courses available online, guides to help you access this learning and frequently asked questions.

Where will my online learning take place?

If you have enrolled on a course with us online, through, or over the phone, you will receive a link to our student portal where you will find all the information you need during your course. We have been advised that the email containing this link may go into your junk mail or spam rather than your inbox. Please check both your inbox and junk mail/spam folder for this email.

When you receive the course code and pin code for your course, you will be able to get access links to;

  • Your virtual classroom
  • Your live video sessions through the video link using Microsoft teams

What do I need to know before I attend an online live session?

Before you get started with setting up your bookmarks and applications on your preferred device(s), you should ensure that your device(s) have the most up to date operating system installed by accepting any offered updates. By doing this, you will be able to join your live session through your browser, as well as the Microsoft Teams application, if you decide to download it to your device. You will be able to access our student portal and Moodle site through your internet browser.

How do I attend a course online with Aspire Sussex?

On the dates and times of your online course, you can click on the link to your virtual classroom.

It is important to attend the session at the date and time shown, because not all sessions will be recorded for you to watch at a later date. Your tutor(s) will not be available to you outside of this time, unless otherwise stated by the tutor. You may receive further communication from your tutor outside of your course. This will come from their [email protected] email account and can be trusted.

You can enter the virtual classroom at any time, to access your course documentation, but we recommend that you bookmark your classroom page in your web-browser. During each session your tutor will be able to ask you if you would like to contribute to the session verbally, or by presenting a file or picture to the rest of your class using your webcam.

We look forward to seeing you all online soon!

Below you’ll find some hints and tips. If you have any questions, please email us on [email protected] or call us at 0345 601 0161. Our Hints and Tips are also available as a PDF, which is available at the bottom of this section.

Before you start your course

Learning online is an interactive way to learn something new! It allows you to develop new
skills from the comfort of your own home and with Aspire Sussex you are assured that all of our courses are delivered by highly qualified professional tutors. Learning is also part of the 5 ways to wellbeing and is considered to be beneficial all parts of our wellbeing.

Microsoft Teams is a hosting platform for online meetings. We use this platform to bring the tutors and groups of students together to learn about a specific subject. We use Microsoft Teams for our virtual classrooms.
For help on downloading the FREE Microsoft Teams Application, please see our guides.
After you have downloaded and installed Microsoft Teams on to your chosen device(s), you DO NOT need to sign into Microsoft Teams. Just go straight to Aspire Cloud and follow the instructions in the guide relevant to your device from our guides.

No, students do not need an account to attend courses online with Aspire Sussex. You do not need to sign into Microsoft Teams. The only detail you need is the course code and PIN code for your course and enter them into Aspire Cloud.

You can use any browser on your device to access the Aspire Cloud page. As of 18/05/2020, we have been experiencing some issues with Google Chrome as Microsoft Teams does not open properly. This will be updated regularly, in this document to clarify any other issues.
You can use:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Mozilla/Firefox
  • Safari (Mac/iPad/iPhone)
  • Google Chrome
  • Samsung Internet Browser

Yes, you will need a microphone so you can talk to the tutor and other students in the
lesson, this may be built into your webcam already.

Yes. As our virtual classroom sessions are interactive it helps the tutor to see you and to be able to see other students on the course and interact as if in a physical classroom.

Yes, we will provide you with a pin code to access the virtual classroom. Microsoft Teams
utilises end to end encryption so the connection is safe and secure.

All lessons will be delivered live on the video link button in your virtual classroom. The
courses are supposed to replicate as far as possible our usual classroom provision which is live and interactive.

To ensure the best experience you should be running the latest version of your device’s
operating system software. We recommend the following operating systems are installed on
your device:

  • Windows devices – Windows 8.1 or Windows 10
  • Apple Mac devices – Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan or later
  • Android devices – Oreo 8.1 or higher
  • Apple iOS devices – iOS 12 or higher

You can check your operating system version in your device’s settings menu.

A virtual classroom, according to Aspire Sussex, is the space that facilitates your learning online. Your virtual classroom on the Aspire Cloud is the place where you can access the live session of your course taking place, your course files on Moodle and the chat feature that connects you directly to your tutor in a private chat.

During your online course

When you enrol with Aspire Sussex you have access to full support for your learning from
your tutor, plus support for your course administration from our Student Services team. If
you require any assistance during your enrolment either contact your tutor directly or email [email protected] and we will be able to help you.

Yes, you will be able to see those who that would like to use their webcamera, if they have one and those that chose to turn it on. You can see up to 9 people, plus yourself on your Microsoft Teams window at any one time. The system works so that the 9 latest speakers will appear on your Microsoft Teams window. This does not impact the number of students that we can have on each course. Those that haven’t spoken recently, will appear as a circle with their initial(s) inside it.

If you are on a computer or laptop hover your mouse or cursor over the video of the tutor and click on the three dots that appear. If you are on your tablet or smartphone, you should press and hold yhour finger on the video feed of your tutor and wait for the menu to appear. In either of these two options, you should click on “PIN” and this will make the tutor take up most of the window on your Microsoft Teams applications.

The number of students enrolled will vary from course to course, however the maximum number of students per course is 12.

Your tutor will ask for your permission to be able to contact you outside of the virtual classroom via email. If you have any general queries regarding your course please email [email protected].

You will receive all the information you need to attend your course, three days before it
starts. We will also send you a reminder on the first day of your course.

All course materials will be provided to you by the tutor during the course, either via your virtual classroom, Moodle or by email.

The course is delivered wholly online so you will not need to print off anything to do with your course.

If you happen to misplace or forget your course code or pin to access the course, or your
student/learner number, please contact our Student Services Team, either by email on
[email protected] or call us on 0345 601 0161.

As virtual classroom lessons are live, it is not possible to ‘catch up’ with the lesson another time, however the tutor may – at their discretion – provide you with any course materials and notes from the lesson you missed.

Only if it is safe to do so and you feel comfortable doing this. You can discuss it further with your tutor.

Information about the course can be found on our website by searching for the course code
and is also emailed to you when you enrol on a course.

We are continuing to pay our tutors the same amount of hourly rate as well as our staff who are all currently working. Our overheads remain the same except for some external venues.
We continue to offer a quality assured provision with highly qualified tutors.

You can see all our free taster videos on our YouTube channel.

Learn how to cook 3 delicious Great British Classics with ingredients from your cupboards. Find the recipe below.

Learn how to do simple Yoga poses perfect for beginners.

In this video you’ll learn how to play some fun Maths games with your children.

In this video you’ll learn how to grow new fruits, vegetables and herbs from off cuts and seeds.

In this video you’ll learn how to make some delicious Raspberry Flapjacks,

Learn some basic Spanish with Jose in this new video.

Follow along and make a delicious gazpacho while learning some Spanish along the way. Find the handouts below.

This Skittles Experiment is a fantastic activity to do with your children. A handout is available below.

“Before lockdown was introduced, I was absolutely loving my lessons, they were fun and relaxed, Steve, our tutor is great, he made us feel so welcome. I have formed lovely friendships with the other students. When lockdown began, Steve explained we would be doing online classes which I was very apprehensive about but as always, Steve helped us to relax and enjoy the experience.

The first online session Steve explained how things would be done and again, we had fun and learned so much, it felt like we were still in our class as normal, we could still see the work that we would see on the board in the classroom but instead it is shown on our screens, we laugh and joke, we get everything done , we can all put our opinions across as we would do if we were altogether in the same room. Honestly, I would say to anyone that is worried about online classes, please don’t be worried, embrace the experience, the comfort of being in your own home, there is truly nothing to be frightened of.

I could not have got through the course without the amazing help, support and belief from Steve and the other students so a massive thank you to you all!”

– Sabrina

Receiving information from an internet source while being connected to a computer or mobile device.
Virtual Classroom
A virtual classroom is the space that facilitates your learning online. An online learning environment that allows for live interaction between the tutor and the learners as they are participating in learning activities.
Online Learning
Education or training where materials are distributed, and communication takes place, over the Internet.
Student (Learner) number
This is a 5 or 6-digit number which is assigned to you when you enrol on your first course with Aspire Sussex.
A video camera connected to a computer, allowing its images to be seen by Internet users.
Web Browser
A web browser (or browser) is a software application used to access information on the World Wide Web (Internet). When you visit a particular website, the browser retrieves information from other parts of the web and displays it on your computer or device.
Classroom Code
This is the unique code assigned to every course at Aspire Sussex. An example of this is M1234CA20.
Pin Code
This is a four-digit number which is provided to you to allow you access to the virtual classroom.
Class Video Link
Access to the Virtual Classroom is achieved by clicking on this link
Moodle is a site that allows you to view and download file content to support your learning.