In this exclusive interview with the founders of Coding Lab, Yong Ning Foo and Candice Wang share some insights on how Coding Lab coped with the Covid-19 pandemic and some words of encouragement for the Coding Lab community!
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Coding Lab had to go through several changes, one of it being the transition to 100% online classes throughout the circuit breaker. The strong online learning system that we have built and tested (since 2019) enabled us to continue having fun and enjoyable classes for our students.
Let’s hear from our dear founders as they shed light on how they managed Coding Lab during these extraordinary times. May we never be deterred from the challenges that lie ahead and keep on persevering to face them head-on!
Here’s what Candice had to say!
1. Hi Candice, how has Covid-19 changed things for you? Was it for the better, or for the worse?
Covid-19 is unprecedented and like the rest of the world, we had to adapt to it quickly.
Personally, I appreciate the time I got to spend with my family as well as managing the shift from offline to 100% online classes not only at Coding Lab, but also for my kids’ enrichment lessons. My 7-year-old attended our own online Coding Classes during this period, and was able to figure out how to use the different functions of Zoom. To my surprise, not only could she do that, but she was also able to confidently navigate her school’s Home-Based Learning exercises entirely on her own even though there were close to 8 different portals.
If anything, we shouldn’t underestimate kids.
They are more capable than we think they are. This is evident in the joy my daughter derived from changing her user ID or private messaging her teachers on Zoom and arranging online meet-ups with her friends. It is a lifelong skill that she can now take with her.
2. Everyone has had to work from home due to the circuit breaker. What has been done to maintain a strong company culture?
The Coding Lab team were all involved in this one way or another. If you look at the event credits, you will realise that not only the Educators, but also the Marketing, Admin and Enrolment teams all came together to make it happen. The teamwork was truly amazing!
We also organised a couple of group workout sessions so that everybody could stretch their legs and keep fit at home. We even recorded a song and dance together! Sure… we missed our regular lunches and snack time, and birthday celebrations had to be done via Zoom and home deliveries, but hey! It was the new norm and we embraced it wholeheartedly.
The most important thing was that everybody was safe.
3. What is your most valuable takeaway from this experience?
“When life throws you curveballs, we will emerge stronger and be thankful for the small things in life.”
Having the team stay healthy and protected at home while adapting our processes to ensure the safety of everyone involved was critical, and taught us a lot about adapting quickly.
We also found our own special ways to continually engage our students; whether it was via regular WhatsApp chats to follow-up with them or a competition where they could express their ideas on solving Covid-19 related issues, we stayed connected.
Here’s what Yong Ning shared with us!
1. Hi Yong Ning, how did you handle the challenges faced due to the Covid-19 restrictions?
We have been planning for this for quite some time, since January this year. It also helped that we had run online workshops for the region before, so the process was relatively smooth.
2. What were the measures that Coding Lab had to take due to Covid-19?
The evolution of our processes started with Hybrid classes where we had a mixture of physical and online students (before circuit breaker), followed by 100% online (during circuit breaker), and now, a mixture again in Phase 2.
Prior to that, we had invested in video-conferencing platforms, online practising systems, digital writing pads and other tools to make live teaching fun and easier for both our tutors and students.
“We spared no effort to build a strong and solid support system that provided our students with the avenue to give their feedback or review course material as often as they wanted.”
3. What are some of the significant changes that will be done to come back from this better and stronger?
We also understand that many parents and students enjoyed the classes very much and have requested for their child to continue their lessons online. We are excited and happy to announce that we will be launching Coding Lab Online (Permanent) classes*.
*for selected modules only
4. What is your most valuable takeaway from this experience?
“Be prepared, plan ahead, and have a strong team to support and execute decisions quickly. “
All of these are critical in ensuring that the experience of our students remains consistent and of a high standard.
5. Do share with us a few words of advice/final message for the Coding Lab community!
Thank you for your support throughout this period. It means a lot to all of us. We hope you will enjoy using the materials and systems we have built and we look forward to welcoming you back, be it online or physically. Thank you!
(Written by Zulaikha)