Our Teaching Systems
- Regular Method
Depending on the type of course being followed, and in which country it is offered, students can choose to follow our courses by attending classes in a regular class room environment. These can range from 1x day courses to complete Certificate courses on various topics.
Currently some of these classically taught courses can also be followed in German, Dutch and Afrikaans. Check under Courses. As we develop our program new Courses will be introduced and this could mean that certain courses may be offered in multiple languages.
- e-learning method
As a large portion of our students choose to follow this system let�s clear up a few important points and issues first:
What is Distance Education and its advantages ?
Simply put, distance education, or e-learning, takes place when a tutor and his/her students are separated geographically from each other by physical distance, and by using technology (i.e. voice, video, data, and print), this instructional gap is bridged.
Or put slightly differently: e-learning is an educational system that uses technology: print, audio, video and computers, to reach learners in dispersed locations. However, it is learner-centred in philosophy: that means that rather than simply bringing students piles of packaged information, we engage you in an active educational experience that enhances your professional and personal capacities.
This type of program can provide adults with a chance at tertiary education and reach those disadvantaged by limited time, distance, opportunity or physical disability.
Many distance education students have jobs, and/or families. They must therefore manage their time very carefully by co-ordinating the different areas of their lives which influence each other - their families, jobs, spare time, and studies.
Who should take distance education courses and how does it work ?
- Is it for me?
If you like the idea of being in control of your own learning and have a real interest in the subjects you have selected, then yes. If you just see it as a way of getting out of going to regular face-to-face classes, then no. It's a very rewarding way to learn but you need to be well-organised and prepared to take responsibility for your own learning but our tutors realise that there may be times when you need a bit of extra encouragement and support. They are there to help you as much as they can.
- Distance education courses are designed for highly motivated students who cannot, (usually because of their geographical location), attend courses in a regular class room because of their work schedules, family needs or other reasons. Distance education students can control their own schedules by working with the course materials, within the relevant structures but at their convenience.
- However, our e-learning courses are not self-paced; students are placed into groups and follow a properly structured and managed program of receiving lessons regularly, usually weekly, and handing in assignments regularly, also on specific days. We have found that courses which are entirely self-paced, ie with no structure, places an almost impossible burden of total self-discipline on students!
- It is presented almost in its entirety via the internet, excepting where work shops, practicums and field trips form part of the course ( this will obviously depend on the geographical location of a student and how many students there are within such a geographical location or area). This is done in an attempt to harness existing technology in such a way that lesson presentation and co-ordination is flexible and maximised.
- In longer courses the 1st lesson will always consist of a thorough explanation of the technology and software involved, so that you do not have to spend wasted hours trying to solve such problems later !
- Most courses are divided into different modules. These are written in an easy to understand style with practical examples. Most lessons requires the student to hand in an assignment to the tutor for assessment. This allows students to benefit from the input of the tutor at each step of the training.
- For long courses, (or if the tutors deems it helpful or necessary), tutors will regularly set aside a specific block of time for students to interact via audio-conferencing and chat sessions. Students will be advised of the conference time well in advance so that they can interact, tutors normally expect all students to attend such audio-conferences. These sessions will be limited to small groups so that each student is guaranteed sufficient time to participate fully. No complicated or expensive equipment (only a headset) or software is needed for these sessions, the software is either included in the course or downloadable for free.
- We also have a limited video-conferencing facility available but this is really aimed at individual tutor-student sessions, affording students an opportunity of discussing any aspect of the course with his/her tutor privately and in real time. Once again, no complicated or expensive equipment (only a headset and web camera ) or software is needed for these sessions, the software is either included in the course or downloadable for free.
This is how it all works:
(be sure to also click on POLICIES and ensure that you have read those policies carefully as at registration you will be required to confirm that you understand and agree to our policies)
� Once you have decided which courses you would like to take, you will need to enrol and register by completing the Student Registration Form
� Cooling off period and refunds upon earlier cancellation
o Once a student has enrolled by submitting the Student Registration Form they have a period of 7x days. days within which they may reconsider their application for enrolment. Students electing not to proceed with a course must then notify us of their decision and are thus not considered as having enrolled in the course. Any fees paid to date will then be refunded in full.
o Should a student following 1 of the long courses decide to terminate their studies having completed 1/3rd of their course they may do so by informing us thereof in writing and in such event they shall be entitled to a 2/3rd refund of their course fees, minus the non-refundable Registration fee.
� After the cooling off period of 7 days you pay the relevant course fees (see below, and also our Fee Instalment Plan) .
� Following upon the 7 days cooling off period students who are enrolled will receive a Welcome Letter from the Dean upon successful registration. The Welcome Letter will acknowledge the student�s registration in the course, include the course syllabus which will refer to the course�s start and completion dates, and include the tutor�s name, picture and contact information (phone and e-mail address). In addition, students should also receive a similar welcome letter from their tutor.
� With this Welcome letter you will also receive a student card with your photograph - this is used at work shops and practicums and helps your tutor to identify you.
� Where relevant you will be sent your course materials and a student identity code well in advance of the start date.
� A small number of courses may require the support of a textbook or textbooks. You are advised to wait until you receive your course materials before purchasing any textbooks, as the course syllabus give further advice and guidance about this.
� You will receive a message from your tutor, introducing himself or herself to you. Your tutor is there to answer any queries you have about the lessons in your course materials and to mark your tutor-marked assignments or essays.
� Most lessons include tutor-marked assignments or essays to be completed. The number of tutor-marked assignments varies from course to course.
� Lessons and assignments are sent to you via email.
� Your tutor will mark your assignment or essay and send you your grade, together with comments about the assignment.
Is there an upper age limit for students?
No. We welcome all students above the age of 16. If there's a subject you've always wanted to study, now's the time to do it.
Where can you study from?
Provided you have easy access to a computer and the internet it is truly possible to study any of our courses from anywhere in the world. The only possible restrictions could be that , because of your relative geographical isolation you may not be able to attend the practicums, work shops and Field Trips which form part of certain courses.
When do the courses begin and end?
One of the advantages of our courses is that it is quite flexible. Whilst courses are structured to start and end on specific dates, there are usually more than 1 course starting date in every year.
Who are the tutors?
Our tutors are dedicated and hands-on South African professionals and educators who have been selected for their professional knowledge and experience, and for their understanding of the challenges that this form of learning can pose. In addition some have also been qualified in e-learning. All are enthusiastic about the exciting learning possibilities that we offer and are committed to helping you enjoy your course and doing well in your exams.
Do I have to produce Assignments, Projects and Essays ?
Almost all longer courses require students to submit some or all of these. You can find out which subjects require these by going to Courses.
Do I have to do all the assignments?
In keeping with our stated goal of producing only excellent professionals, and in order to comply with our official accreditation requirements, students are indeed expected to submit all assignments or essays set by the tutor for that course. Completing assignments and receiving comments and grades from your tutor will help you feel that you are on the right track and are making good progress.
Where do I get information from to be able to do the assignments?
Normally the course material and lessons are comprehensive enough that you can adequately complete your assignments by using the lessons themselves.
If a tutor feels you should also consult specific web sites a list of those will be included in the lesson.
We have been given permission by the International Public Library (http://www.ipl.org) so that our students may freely use all information in their library.
Learning at a distance is similar in many ways to learning in a regular classroom environment, but there are some significant differences. Tutors of distant learners must accomplish the same general goals as those working in conventional environments, face-to-face, but separation from the learners means some of the tutor's challenges take on special forms.
For example, the learner is frequently insecure in the absence of the tutor and apprehensive regarding his/her progress in the absence of close feedback and perhaps absence of peer learners. The student becomes more insecure if the direction of the course is not very well structured, and if it is not very clear where he or she is in relation to its completion. The phenomenon of "drop-out" is much more common in distance than conventional education, i.e., it is easier for a student to exercise the option of withdrawing from the relatively impersonal relationship of a distance course than it is from a conventional curriculum.
How have we solved this problem ? In response to such concerns, we have taken various measures to:
� create a learning environment in which the student feels more closely involved, is personally linked to his/her tutor and fellow students, gets that important feeling that you matter to the College, to your fellow students and to your tutor
� ensure the course is very well structured,
� with clear objectives and
� well considered allocation of students' time.
And this is where the intelligent and regular use of technology and the communications media is employed by us to make the student feel more actively involved with his tutor, his peers and therefore his course:
� Regular, sometimes even weekly, audio-conferences,
� in some cases limited video-conferences are held between students and tutors.
� by interacting in discussions on the class bulletin board
� this regular personal contact is further enhanced by the tutors� regular marking of assignments and essays,
� and by their personal involvement at practicums, work shops and on Field Trips.
In this way students will experience less of a feeling of insecurity and will hopefully excel in their studies.