We are totally committed to supporting our distance learning students throughout their studies. Indeed, our distance learning courses have a reputation for providing high quality academic, tutorial and pastoral support for our learners.
Day-to-day support is usually provided through Blackboard™, our "virtual learning environment" (VLE). Using the intuitive Blackboard™ interface, students can interact (with staff and other students) at a time that fits their own schedule. For example, a student may have a specific question about part of the module currently in progress. By posting their question(s) using Blackboard™'s "Discussion" tool, students can be assured of a swift reply from another user - staff or student. In this way it is possible for all participants to interact and share their knowledge with their peers (as might happen in, for example, a traditional face-to-face tutorial on a full-time course).
In addition to using the Blackboard™ VLE students are at liberty to contact us at any time during their studies. It would also be possible for any student to visit us, at a mutually agreed time, in order to meet with specific staff members.
Assess your own progress
As an integral part of our support mechanism, you will be encouraged to assess your own progress by regularly submitting "self-tests" for feedback. Although these optional self-assessments do not contribute to the overall module mark, this feature of the course is designed with the following purposes in mind:
to encourage you to keep to the intended timetable of study;
to give you [instant] feedback on your understanding of the material currently being studied; and
to allow us to monitor your progress and rectify any problems at the earliest opportunity.