A guide to online learning
This guide is for anyone considering taking a qualification through online learning. It outlines what you can expect, the rules and roles and responsibilities that will apply if you enrol with Chartall Business College. (Download the full document here)
1. What is online learning?
Online learning is a viable, alternative route to a full or partial qualification. All course activity is done online. There are no face-to-face sessions and no requirements for on-campus activity.
Students log onto the Chartall learning content management system and access the various learning artefacts. Each course is structured with different learning “items”, which can include: videos, readings, MSPowerPoint slides, custom developed e-learning modules, live or recorded Skype sessions and formative assessments. Interaction with other students and the facilitator is via the discussion forum and email.
2. Who is an ideal online learning student?
Anyone can apply for online learning, but we know that a particular ‘type’ of person is more likely to succeed.
General characteristics of successful online students include:
- PC literate (able to use email, word, discussion groups and internet for data searching);
- Good written and reading skills in English (ideally at least a grade 12 certificate);
- Structured and able to make time available for the online learning (each week you will need about five hours of input to complete within your contracted twelve months);
- Enthusiastic about using the PC to explore and direct self-discovery;
- Attendance of some short (relevant) courses;
- Still working in the sector (this is more important for some qualifications and less important for others – see the table at the end of this guide).
3. How is the assessment done?
The qualifications that are the most frequently trained online are assessed by means of a portfolio of evidence (PoE). This is simply a file, and in it you put all your evidence. We will tell you how to do this once you enrol, but basically you just answer knowledge and assignment questions, and add supporting workplace evidence when asked for it. In some cases, you may also need to write an exam once you have completed the portfolio. At present, only the Human Resources qualifications require this additional examination.
4. What support can I expect?
Everything you need will be online. You will be given a qualification guide to help you plan your studies and Chartall Business College will allocate you to a coach who can assist you with the technical questions. The coaches cannot give you the answers, but they can help you to interpret questions and point you to readings that may help you.
We will also prepare you before you start on the assessment rules and how to go about compiling a portfolio. This is usually a video, which you view online in your own time.
5. Who are the role players and their responsibilities?
You, the candidate:
- Complete your portfolio in time
(12 months from enrolment is the maximum time you have so we recommend you submit within 10 months to ensure you have time to remediate, if needed);
- Do not expect the answers from your coaches – they can guide, but cannot give you the answers;
- Be honest. Giving the portfolio to a third party to complete for you is not honest. Chartall assessors will be calling you to verify information and question you on your evidence. And do not copy from the internet, this is plagiarism, and will result in the termination of your contract (see the T&Cs);
- Work through the online learning materials methodically, complete your formative assessments and submit these on time so that your coach can give you feedback;
- Do research if you do not fully know how to answer a question;
- Take responsibility for your portfolio – online learning is an adult education process and you are expected to make the time to complete it, do your own reading and research and not expect your coach to provide you with the answers.
(contact via email OR discussion group as they may be out lecturing, so please be patient for a response, which you will get within 24 hours):
- Assist you to understand the assessment process;
- Assist you to interpret questions that you find confusing;
- Guide you towards suitable readings and other learning artefacts;
- Deliver online lectures (where indicated) and skype support sessions (where a group requires it);
- Offer support and encouragement (not the answers);
- Guide online via the discussion group (for FAQs);
- May offer you an occasional skype session if you need a lot of support (which will be communicated to all students in case they also want to attend).
Your project manager:
- Assist you to stay on track with reminders and regular communication;
- Ensure you complete within your contracted time frame (usually twelve months for a full online qualification);
- Accept your portfolio and get it assessed and give you feedback;
- Ensure you make payments when they are due (and terminate your enrolment if you do not pay on time.
6. What do I need access to?
You need a PC with Outlook and Chrome. Please see: http://chartall.co.za/faqs-for-webinars/ for minimum computer specifications. Meeting these will allow you to access any webinars, e-learning, videos and Skype chats that may be scheduled as extra support or which are compulsory as part of the online learning process.
For more information and to view a full summary of the qualifications you can complete online with Chartall, download this document!