Starting a new course is a fantastic adventure… but still one that you might be a little nervous about if it’s your first degree or it’s been a while since you were in education.
So following on from our popular blog post about what to expect when applying to University of Essex Online, our Student Advisers Naomi and Christina have put together a guide for anyone who has successfully been offered a place on a course with us.
“I’ve been accepted! What next?”
Once you have received the fantastic news you will be joining us at the University of Essex Online, and your start date approaches, you are passed over from our helpful Admissions Team to a dedicated Student Support Adviser. At the initial stage, we are here to guide you through the Induction period (and then, the rest of the course!)
The Induction is an opportunity for our students to explore the Learning Platform, where you will come to build a learning community amongst your classmates. Importantly, the Induction period will give you a taster of distance learning by giving you a first glance at some of the exciting activities you will complete.
Your designated Student Support Adviser will get in touch with you, firstly via email, and then for a Welcome Call. Here we can put a voice to a name! Our role as Student Support Advisers is to support and guide you throughout the course, with any non-academic enquiries. No matter how big or small, we are your first point of contact for any questions via email, telephone or LiveChat.
“How do I use the platform?”
We appreciate that being introduced to the Online Learning Platform can be overwhelming at first, so to help you along, we hold a handy Welcome Session on the first day of your course. This is a live session, hosted by the Student Support Team. Here we talk you through how to navigate your way through the platform – from Discussion Forums, all the way to the eLibrary. There is also a Q&A session at the end, so don’t worry if you miss something, or have questions at this initial stage.
“How can I speak to my classmates?”
The Welcome Session is a great opportunity for you to ‘meet’ some of your future classmates, by introducing yourself in the chat box. But we appreciate that, as we have students from over 150 countries, some of you may not be able to attend. Here at the University of Essex Online, we try to be as flexible as we can around your learning – so there are plenty of other opportunities to introduce yourself to your classmates and begin building your learning community. For example, you can make an introductory post in the Student Lounge, or meet each other when responding to posts in the Discussion Forum.
“What do I have to do next?”
Once you have familiarised yourself with the resources we provide, we encourage you to get started on the activities for the Induction. This varies from course to course – but don’t worry – this is all explained for you in the Welcome Session! These activities, some compulsory and some non-compulsory, are there to give you an insight to the activities you will be required to complete throughout the programme.
“Do I need to pass the Academic Readiness Assessment / Induction Assignment?”
This piece of work is compulsory and allows students to gain perspective of the expectations we set throughout the course. The assignment or assessment is graded on a pass/fail basis, to ensure we are allowing you to progress onto the course at the right time.
“Oh no – I failed. What next?”
If, unfortunately, you do not pass this introductory activity, your tutor will provide some in-depth feedback on what you’ve done well, and what areas may need improving. This allows you to take their advice on board and arrange, with your Admissions Adviser, to return at a time more suitable for you.
During the 21 day money back guarantee period, you will receive a full refund of the amount you have paid. This is explained and organised by your supportive Admissions Adviser, who will guide you through withdrawing from the programme.
“Fantastic! I’ve passed. What next?”
The Student Support Team will deliver the fantastic news that you have passed the Academic Readiness Assessment or Induction Assignment. We will initially get in touch via email to inform you of the good news and to provide further details of your first credit-bearing module. We will then get in touch via telephone for a congratulatory call and see if you have any further questions at this stage.
The Student Support Team are available throughout all of these steps should you require any assistance. Our details are available on the learning platform, and we are always happy to hear from you and help.
If you’ve yet to submit your application for one of our courses, just head over to our online application form to get started. Good luck!