To a certain extent we all have expectations about future events or occurrences which are in part formed by our beliefs and experiences. If you have not studied by distance learning before you may have some unreal expectations.
Online learning provides opportunities and challenges for students and the college. Course costs are very economical without the need of classrooms and you, the student, spend less time travelling, saving on travel costs and time. However, you miss out on the shared experience of having other classmates or one-to-one contact with the tutor. To help alleviate any anxiety concerning contact with the college we have a student liaison team who offers you one-to-one contact and will keep in regular contact with you to answer any queries you may have about your study.
To be successful in your study you should understand that everyone has a unique learning preference. Everyone is different and you will have your own way of learning. Some practical tips to help you understand what type of learner you are:
• If you are a visual learner, you are likely to enjoy distance learning because you can see the written information provided. This will help you better enjoy, understand and memorise the content.
• If you are an auditory learner, you enjoy listening to others and can often remember what people say but can be distracted by class mates or colleagues. Auditory learners also listen to themselves, especially when they repeat information in their heads.
• The internet provides us with instant access to information through web browsers and Wikipedia which favours the text based reading/writing learning style.
• If you are a kinaesthetic learner, you like physical activities where you can touch material and make things.
Whilst you may identify with one of the above learning styles it won’t be your only way of learning. Perceptions, expectations, desires and attitudes all affect your approach to learning. It is important to the college to help you address these expectations.
Distance learning enables you to take more ownership of your learning. This means relying more on your own actions rather than instructions from having instant access to a tutor. Something I sometimes see is a lack of confidence particularly when submitting that first assessment work. If you have not studied for a long time you might be apprehensive about your work being good enough. Here are a few tips:
• The college student liaison team are happy to take your questions
• Try not to be too self-conscious about your work
• The learning material is provided for you make sure you read it and understand it
As a distance learning student, you also need to know technical skills, like utilising the computer and internet to access and download your programme and communicate with the college. Whilst this is not content-specific the college student liaison team can support you with technical assistance and walk you through the steps required to upload material if you are having problems. Improving your computer skills before you start will of course reduce any apprehension and increase your confidence when accessing and uploading material to the college website.
Some students find it a relief that they do not have to interact with a tutor during their study for others this may increase their anxiety because they have less contact. To help alleviate any anxiety the college has provided a chat function whereby you can contact your student liaison person, or you could simply pick up the phone and talk to them directly.
Expectations of timelines and responsiveness are equally important to both you and the college. Instantaneous communication responses can occur, but we may not always be able to provide immediate feedback on queries. The important thing is not to let any delay in responsiveness affect your study.
The college student team is here to help and are available from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Office +64 9 306 1731
Office +64 9 306 1735