Have you asked yourself where you want to be in five years’ time? That’s a question we ask ourselves throughout our lives. Probably the most common answer is to secure your future and have a well-paid job, or in many instances, running your own business.
Of course, the trigger here would be to have graduated with a degree, certificate or diploma. But you might be in the situation where you either can’t afford to attend university full-time or you are dependent on a job to support yourself or your family. The solution would be to consider part-time distance/online study.
Fortunately, in this country, we have access to many private and public colleges or universities that offer these programmes. Some of the private institutions are the IMM Graduate School, Vega, Boston College, Damelin or Oxbridge. Then there are the large public institutions such as the University of Johannesburg (UJ), the University of Cape Town (UCT) and UNISA, the list goes on. Whichever institution you choose, you will earn the same qualification online as you would in a classroom.
Your first decision would be to decide how and where you want to study – at a large university such as UNISA or the smaller private institutions like the IMM Graduate School which tend to be more hands-on. It’s really a question of what makes you feel more comfortable.
The advantage of the IMM Graduate School, is that there are Student Support Centres around the country, with a team of administrative staff ready to assist with queries. You’ll also be in touch with your lecturer online every week. The great thing is that you’ll get the chance to meet fellow students to share similar interests and challenges, and after all, we tend to be social beings, so you’ll never feel alone.
Student Pacers can help you pace your studies to make sure that you cover the entire module in preparation for your exams. Should you miss one of the online live tutorials, not to worry, as you’ll be able to pick up the recorded version at a later stage. Most important is that the IMM Graduate School is, by the way, one of the best private distance learning providers if you’re interested in an international qualification. So, you can study local and work global.
One of the great things about studying online is that you can do it in your own time and from just about anywhere.
Before you take the plunge, here are a few things you should know about distance learning:
The word ‘distance/online’ can be misleading because it could conjure up the idea that it means a ‘passive’ method of learning. Not true.
It can be said that distance learning requires a lot more discipline. You will need to schedule in your study time between work and other life commitments. Besides the education you will be gaining from your course, you will also gain much needed organizational and time management skills. Studying through distance learning is a proud achievement. IMM graduates stand out because when they qualify, they have so much more to offer and have ‘work ready’ skills, many of which were acquired through the process of distance learning.
While you are working your way through your programme, remember that you can be much more productive with a structured approach. According to guidelines set out by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA, a 10-minute study break every 50 minutes is ideal. At the start, plan smaller study sessions and as you become more confident, add a larger break of 30 minutes or more every couple of hours. These will not only be great goalposts to work towards, but they’ll help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated for your next study session.
Here are some suggestions for achieving great marks with the IMM Graduate School and getting on the good side of your lecturers, after all they are integral to your success.
- Follow the guidelines provided in each modules study guide and get to understand the e-Learn system. Always make sure that your email is working and that you check your inbox regularly for any updates or announcements from your lecturers.
- Communicate regularly with your lecturers and show an interest in and in your course module(s) and your fellow students. Ask questions if you don’t understand something and be courteous. This does wonders in establishing a positive relationship and builds trust between you and your lecturers.
- Respond promptly to assignment deadlines and start preparation for your exams early.
- Be disciplined and show that you can organise your life to meet the rigors of an online class.
- BEWARE OF PLAGIARISM
The most common form of plagiarism is where entire paragraphs or sentences are copied and pasted without acknowledging the source. Ignorance is no excuse.
Good luck and enjoy your studies.