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On-Line Learning

On-line Learning

What is good about on-line learning?

If you choose correctly, the course will suit your needs by fitting around any other commitments you have. Being able to study from your own home, work or anyplace that has a PC linked to the Internet, allows you more flexibility in how you gain knowledge and experience of subjects that interest you. "e-learning", as this type of study is called is becoming more popular by the day, there are numerous agencies that offer on-line learning; the most popular being the Open University.

What qualification/award will I get on completion?

If qualifications are important for you, check that the learning provider can issue a recognised qualification. Some provider will offer their own certificate and claim it is equivalent to a nationally, or internationally, recognised award/qualification. If in doubt check with the QCA (see Key Skills page on this site).

Who is the course designed for?

Impartial advice concerning if the course at the correct level for you is vital. Some courses will require pervious knowledge or qualifications, others may not. A number of on-line learning courses are modules, elements of a much larger learning programme, which you may not wish to follow. Some providers do not fix a deadline for completion of the course, others do, this may not fit with your personal circumstances at present. Some courses are not updated and therefore the contents may not be applicable for your need, knowing when, and by whom, the course was revised is important. Ensure these matters are clarified before you enrol.

What level of support will I get?

Any form of learning requires determination and discipline, when that learning is done some way from the tutor, and the other students, the learning becomes more difficult - if not supported. Support from the tutor is vital, as we all learn at different speeds, but we also learn from other students. A learning programme which offers students to interact has been shown to have better results than those courses with no student contact. Some providers only offer office hours support (9am till 5pm), if you are studying at home and in the evening, it may be 24 hours before you get a response to your query. Check the level, and time delay, in any support offered by the provider.

What is the minimum PC specification for the course?

You should establish, with the provider, that your PC is capable of dealing with any sound and video that may be on the course, if not the quality and 'enjoyment' of the experience will be diminished. The same issues could prove problematic with your operating system and word-processing software.

What is the total cost of the course?

The cost of the course will be a starting point, but unless you have free access to the Internet you will incur phone charges. Other additional costs could result if the course requires additional material; workbooks, manuals, reference books etc. If the local library can not supply these for a longer term then you may have to buy them yourself. You may also be required to pay an additional cost for an exam or test. If the exam is not available on-line (there are many issues regarding sitting of exams on-line!) you will incur travel costs to the nearest examination centre.

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