What is Distance Education?
Distance Education or Home Study means that you study at home or at work. You do not have to attend classes, and you do not have to take time off from work to study. Your study material is sent to you via the post office or with a courier. And you get help from a tutor who contacts you over the phone, with email, SMS or with a fax.
So you study at home, do your assignments at home, and then send them in so that your tutor at the college can mark it. You tutor also gives you positive feedback and help with your studies.
In this way Home Study is a positive step toward getting that promotion, finding a more rewarding career and achieving a better life.
Why do people choose Home Study?
With Home Study you don’t have to attend classes and you don’t have to give up your job. So with Home Study you can study as fast or as slow as you want. You don’t compete with other students and you can study in the safety of your own home. Some of our students find that they actually do better when they are not distracted by travelling, classes and other students!
Home Study is also often less expensive than going to a full-time college.
How does Home Study work?
When studying by means of Distance Learning, you can expect the following steps:
1. Select the course you want to study
2. Register and pay for the course
3. Get your first pack of study materials and your student card from the College
4. Get a call from the College to help you get started
5. Study the first module and do an assignment at the end of that module
6. Send in your assignment to the College – the college then marks it, an gives you feedback
7. Work with your tutor on problems you have in your assignments or studies
8. Study further modules and do further assignments, and work with your tutor, until all the modules are completed
9. Write an exam (if the course is exam based), or pass all your assignments (if the course is assignment based)
10. Get your Award on completion of the course! Usually a Certificate or Diploma
What can you expect from your Home Study course and college?
A good home study or distance education course should have the following elements:
1. Study material sent on time
Often distance learning colleges send study material for one subject at a time. This is to make sure that when you get your study material, it is up to date. It is also to protect the college when you pay monthly, so that the college do not have to take the risk of sending you expensive study material when you have not paid for the whole course yet.
Study material should be sent quickly and easily. You should not wait a long time for study material.
Make sure that you ask if all your study material is included in your course fee, or whether you will have to buy extra study material or books.
2. Orientation and motivation for adult learners
The course should help you “get back into studying”. A good distance education course takes into account that you might not have studied for a long time, and that you need help getting back into it.
3. Easy payment plans
The college should allow you to pay monthly if you cannot afford to pay the whole course when you start. You should also ask about the cancellation policy – a good college will have an easy cancellation policy for students who want to cancel a course. You should not be forced to pay for a whole course if you cannot finish the whole course. Make sure that you know what will happen if you can no longer study, or if you can no longer pay… will the college help you, or will they black-list you?
Some colleges will allow you to take a study break, and to also stop paying your course while you are on the study break.
4. Regular contact
The college should contact you regularly to help you move along! And it should be easy to contact the college if you need help. Often you would get newsletters, SMSes, emails and telephone calls from the college.
In our next article, we shall give some help and pointers on finding the right course for you.