Doing it digitally
You have to make yourself invaluable if you want to gain a foothold, or a promotion, in today’s trying economic times … We talk to Richard Leeming, Dean of Academy of York, to see how online learning can help you do just that
Why should people consider online learning/home study (as opposed to conventional learning) and what benefits does it provide?
Conventional classroom-based learning is, by far, more expensive and more time-consuming than online or distance learning. Travelling to classes, paying for expensive text books and not earning while you study can impact your ability to complete your course.
By studying while you work, you can reduce the time it takes to get your qualification while using your industry knowledge to assist you in understanding the material. You can also network with your fellow industry professionals, via our study groups and online forums, to advance your career.
What challenges are associated with this form of learning?
Being able to juggle family life, work life and your chosen course takes discipline and dedication.
How can students overcome these challenges and what resources do you offer?
We offer dedicated support and study groups to assist distance learners to share information, while a student forum allows online students to interact with fellow learners and their lecturer. We believe in completion, rather than just enrolment, and our student advisors are trained to motivate and assist students at every stage of their study journey.
What should people consider when they are looking for an online learning provider?
Students should look at how user-friendly the portal is, how much support is provided to them (by way of interaction with the course coordinator and the lecturer) and also look at bursary opportunities.
Academy of York offers bursaries for many of our students, making it more affordable and incentivising students to successfully complete their course.
What new developments are taking place in this industry and how is the Academy of York utilising these?
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), such as workplace experience, is becoming something that education providers are looking at.
Academy of York has launched its RPL in Human Resources, which is accredited by the South African Board for People Practices (SABPP). Students can get their certificates or diplomas in six months, for example, if they can provide evidence of work corresponding to specific HR or National Qualification Framework (NQF) standards.
What does the future hold for online/distance learning?
Online learning is outstripping traditional classroom-based learning worldwide. Academy of York has recognised this trend and is one of the few private colleges to offer online education, supported by academics with years of industry experience _ ensuring that students get industry specific courses that are relevant to the South African marketplace.