Online Learning at Wellpark College

We understand that studying face to face on campus is not an option for everyone and that is why we developed Online Learning options at Wellpark College.

At Wellpark College, the following qualifications offer online learning study options;

Years 1 & 2 of the Bachelor of Naturopathic and Herbal Medicine

Year 1 of the Diploma in Nutrition

1 Year Diploma in Acute Prescribing with Homeopathy is completely online

To help you decide if online learning is the right study option for you we asked Felicity Molloy, Wellpark College’s Education Advisor to tell us more about online learning.

What are the key benefits of online learning with Wellpark College?

We have noticed how much students need flexibility in learning spaces and time, whether it is because of travel issues or juggling families and work. Online learning is not any easier that F2F (Face 2 Face) – it requires a big commitment and a lot of resilience and support. We have an increasingly responsive mix of online courses, while still keeping close to the heart of our practice education values – hands on practice, clinicals and supervised training.

Can students expect the same level of education as those learning Face 2 Face?

Of course – education standards are set in the development of the Programmes. On top of that we are pro-active about ensuring the equivalence of student experiences through our teaching methods – these are core factors that underpin the increasing range of tutorials we use here at Wellpark (Mixed mode classrooms, Practical and clinical sessions, Distance only, flipped classroom or F2F etc.)

What technology is used to allow online learning to work?

We use Moodle, which is our ELearning portal and that allows us to record sessions for flexible viewing and have students participate or engage in classroom discussions at the same time. We also offer course tutorials through Zoom – we have interactive technologies such as Foodworks and Biodigital to emphasise digital literacy and imagery. We offer Study Skills sessions to support information literacies. The library subscribes to several databases, and an online catalogue that means students can review and reserve books without coming on the premises.

What does a typical day in the life of an online student look like?

They must vary, but like all students there is an important work/life/study balance to consider and a deep commitment to gaining their natural therapies qualification – see Characteristics of a successful distance student below.

How do online students receive the personal support that F2F student receives on campus?

As with all students, there are so many levels of support here at Wellpark. To name them: Student Handbook information, Moodle Writing and Referencing Hub and Distance learning Hub, Academic clinics, Zoom group meetings, One-on-one and group additional support from PLs and Tutors including pre-scheduled tutorials, Study Guides, FREE Counsellor Information, Library Handbook and Librarian, academic support and ESOL contractor information,.

 Why is it important that the final years of the Diploma in Nutrition and Bachelor of Naturopathic and Herbal Medicine are completed F2F on campus?

We are committed to practice-based education and the clinical experiences that occur with hands on supervised clinical practices.

 

Distance learning is not easier than the traditional educational process. Many students say that it requires more time and a steadier, fuller commitment.

 Characteristics of a successful distance student:

Apply what they learn to the transformative process of becoming a natural therapies practitioner. They make connections between what they are learning, as they are learning and what they will eventually do in their profession.

Are open-minded and respectful about sharing learning, life and work – the combination of experiences is part of a deep learning process. The distance and online process requires students to integrate and balance these experiences.

Are self-motivated, self-disciplined and able to stay on task without supervision, by utilising good technology habits, logging on and ‘attending’ course work a minimum of 2-3 days a week.

Commit themselves to realistic goals, establish and maintain a consistent schedule for submitting assessments and prepare in a timely way for presentations, essays and tests. Communicate well and ethically through thinking, reading and writing. Students need to feel comfortable in expressing themselves in more than one way.

Contribute ideas and engage in discussion about practice and the real-world as it applies to the course topics. Regular contributions help students to internalise what they are learning and provides valuable insight to their classmates. This helps form the individual and the group.

Have reading and writing skills at an average tertiary level or better and are comfortable using texts and databases as needed to understand content and a range of perspectives.

Initiate coursework promptly after enrolment. Effective distance students make it a habit to begin working on each new course as soon as course materials are received. Research shows that if they finish the first assessment, distance students are likely to finish the entire course.

Maintain structured study routines. Successful distance students identify appropriate times and locations for studying that are based around a 24/7 calendar, which includes: pre reading, attending, study, breaks, part-time work and family time. After estimating the amount of required study time, effective students review their weekly activities and commit only that time to their schedules.

Make maximum use of the classroom sessions, library, Moodle resources, course materials, Faculty Support Services, Student counselling and Academic Clinics.

Provide for themselves proper study locations. This includes making family rules about times that are free from interruptions and distractions.

When confronted with a problem, distance students assume responsibility for defining their needs and identifying available resources for recovery. Learning a programme from a Distance requires a real commitment and self-discipline to keep up with the flow and pace of the process. The Tutor cannot see the student ‘in-class’ in the same way, so distance students must be willing to communicate, or the Tutor may never know what is wrong.

 

Online education technical skills requirements

Know the procedures for accessing the Internet through your Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Know how to operate the basic search and navigation features of a Web browser

Know how to log on and view Moodle (College ELearning platform) as well as upload and download assessment documents

Know how to use e-mail, avoid SPAM, and send and receive messages and attachments

Know how to request IT Support and Teamviewer

Know how to download and open PDF documents

Know how to retrieve and store electronic documents from databases such as articles and Government websites for future use

Be comfortable writing and storing assessments, reflections and reports using a word processing application