Ready for Online Learning?
As a student of NCNZ you will be a self-directed learner of online or blended education. Our certificate program is fully online, while our diplomas have workshops, so are offered by blended (online and face-to-face) learning. Online and blended both involve a close partnership between the education provider and the student. Both parties must be active participants in this partnership. For you this brings a responsibility for committed self-directed learning using the educational materials supplied by the College. In turn, NCNZ will do all it can to support you in achieving your learning goals.
Not everyone is suited to online or blended education. As an adult learner studying at distance, it is up to you to plan your study to ensure you can comfortably complete each module of your course. The responsibility to learn, and ownership of the learning, lies with you. Online and blended education require motivation and self discipline. You will need to set yourself goals and stick to them.
In today’s funding environment, it is equally important for the student and the education provider to ensure they are a good match, as continued funding is aligned to students completing their course. This is the case both for the student to be able to continue to receive student loans and allowances, and for the education provider to continue to receive funding from the government. The questions and qualities below will help you consider whether you have the time and necessary skills to study with NCNZ. It is important to take the time to think about these points before enrolling, to ensure that NCNZ is a good match for you.
Key Things to Consider
- Do you study better in a classroom setting, where you get more immediate guidance and support from the tutor and classmates?
- What type of learner are you – visual, kinaesthetic, written (read/write) or auditory? It is helpful to know which of these you are, as you can then determine what will be the best form of learning and study techniques for you. To find out your preferred learning type, go to the VARK website and undertake an assessment. Those people that are strongly kinaesthetic learners are likley to find online education challenging.
- Where will you study? Do you have a suitable space to study within your home, workplace or at the library?
Computer Skills and Requirements
As a prospectus student of an online learning college, clear consideration should be given to the computer skills and requirements below. This will ensure you can comfortably complete the online learning aspects of the study.
Students do not have to be highly skilled in computer use, however a good knowledge of computer use and internet navigation is required in order to make use of the online learning tools and resources available. This includes being able to:
- Send emails with attachments
- Use an internet browser to research information
- Download files from the internet
- Use a home scanner to scan and save documents to your computer.
- In the final year of diploma qualification you will be required to record and send in videos of your client case taking. Guidance is provided on how to do this.
You also need to be familiar with Microsoft Word or similar word processing software. If you are not comfortable with these requirements, we recommend you enrol in a course in computer use prior to applying to study with NCNZ
You will need easy access to the following in order to study with NCNZ:
Assessing your time commitments is one of the key things to consider when looking to study by online or blended education. Online and blended education require the same time commitments as going to classes each day, as well as a high level of self motivation and time management to be successful.
Students are advised that full time study will involve 30-40 hours per week of study, and part time 15-20 hours. It is important to note that this is not a generous over-estimate – you will need to be able to commit this time to your study. The main reason given by students for withdrawing from their programme of study is they did not have the time they needed each week in order to study. As such, it is important that you realistically evaluate your time commitments before commencing study. We highly recommend that you write up a draft weekly study plan and discuss this with your household, to ensure you have the time you need to be successful in your learning.
Things to consider in relation to your time availability for study includes:
- Any daily and/or weekly responsibilities you may have
- Whether you have children at home, and if so, how you will care for them so that you can study uninterrupted
- Whether you have talked to your partner/spouse/kids/flatmates about what your study would involve and how this will impact on the household
- Whether you are planning on getting married or going on holiday during the duration of your studies
- Whether you are planning on starting a family. Students who start a family during their studies have a high drop out rate due to the challenges of pregnancy, and parenting a baby. This is particularly so for first time parents who have not experienced the demands of parenting and who tend to underestimate the time and energy commitment it entails.
- Whether you have the hours available each week to undertake the work required
- When and where you would study each day/week.
Please note that due to the full time study requirements of 30-40 hours per week, students who are planning to work full time during their studies (30-40 hours per week of work) will not be permitted to study full time also.
Key Attributes Of Successful Online and Blended Education Students
As a final step in assessing whether a course with NCNZ is right for you, consider the following attributes of successful students of online or blended education. The student:
- Takes full ownership and responsibility for their learning
- Is self motivated
- Has good time management skills, and tends to get things done to schedule
- Is highly organised and disciplined in their learning
- Has good reading and writing skills
- Is comfortable with written communication
- Is able to work independently with little direction
- Has an ability to prioritise workloads - both study and non-study commitments
- Is comfortable with initiating contact when additional support is required
- Is comfortable working on a computer and the internet
- Is resilient and not easily discouraged when they run into difficulties
- Stays focused on achieving study goals in order to achieve their career aspirations.