Distance Learning increases access to further education for many adults who are not in a position to attend traditional adult education colleges or classrooms. Distance learning accommodates multiple learning styles and provides alternatives to adults wishing to further their skills and knowledge with little disruption to their daily lives.
- Convenience of studying at home rather than traveling to a venue which may be some distance away
- Flexibility to work at your own pace (within designated time frame) and on any day of the week and time of day
- One-to-one contact with feedback from an experienced tutor
- Achievement of vocational and educationally recognised qualification from your own home
- Requires learners to work independently
- Limited group dialogue/social interaction opportunities, except for workshop sessions and online forums where learners can interact with each other and share their learning experiences
Who enrolls in Distance Learning courses?
- Open to adults (See course description for specific minimum age)
- Men and Women
- People of various educational and professional backgrounds
- Irish Residents and overseas learners (Some exceptions may apply)
- Employed and unemployed persons
- Career change seekers
- Childcare workers seeking additional qualifications
Learners for whom English is a second language and learners with a disability
Learners for whom English is a second language, and learners with a disability, are welcome to enrol on Distance Learning courses. Our recommendation is that learners undertaking theses courses should have confidence in their reading, writing and comprehension skills. Learners with challenges in these areas may experience difficulty and/or require additional hours to complete assignments and should discuss this with the staff in the Distance Learning office as they consider the course options. They are encouraged to carefully review the entry requirements for their course of choice to be sure they are fully prepared to undertake all aspects of the course. If you have any concerns related to these matters, please contact the Distance Learning Office for further guidance.
How does Distance Learning work?
Materials - Every course is accompanied by an introductory pack, a textbook, course notes reflecting the topics covered in the course, a series of assignments, and in some cases additional materials relating to issues specific to a given course. These materials are distributed to learners at the commencement of the course. They are normally delivered by courier to the learners chosen destination. Learners need to ensure there is somebody available at the destination to receive the materials. This pack will include the assessment/assignment material for Module 1.
The Cycle - Courses operate on a 3-week cycle. Three weeks after the start date the learner will receive the course assessment/assignment material for Module 2. The Learner has a 3-week period to complete the 2nd assignment and post it to their tutor. Three weeks after the second assignment the third assessment/assignment is posted to the Learner. This cycle continues until the final assignment has been posted.
Time and Commitment
A certain number of hours should be set aside by learners for study and completing assignments. The exact number of hours will vary from learner to learner. In some cases, a course requires attendance at Saturday workshops in Dublin. (Check the brochure to see if this applies to your course.) In such cases, workshop attendance is compulsory and learners must be prepared to make the necessary arrangements for this attendance.
The initial packs sent to learners are dispatched via Interlink couriers from Dublin on the course start date. All subsequent materials are sent via the normal postal service. Overseas students, depending on location, will receive the initial pack either via DPD couriers or post.
Assignments are posted to learners every three weeks. Learners have a 12-day period to complete each assignment plus additional time allowed to post to tutor. While completing assignments on a PC is encouraged, it is not required. Learners may submit handwritten assignments, though writing must be legible.
Learners are assessed based upon their completed assignments. A tutor reviews and grades the learner’s work. For some courses, additional work may be involved in order to successfully complete the course. This may include the completion of a portfolio, attendance at seminars, completion of a work experience diary, an exam and submission of supervisor reports.
Support Network Tutor
Each learner is assigned a tutor who provides guidance and feedback throughout the course. The tutor may be contacted by phone during designated weekly hours. The tutor is the learner’s resource for academic queries (i.e., course content, assignments, creating a portfolio, etc.)
Distance Learning Office
The Distance Learning Office is a resource for learners who have administrative queries (i.e., courier delivery of materials, reporting change of address, etc.). All academic queries should be dealt with through the learner's assigned tutor.