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Online communication tips for distance learners

Posted on 03/08/2016 by
When you study from home, most of your communication with classmates and tutors will be done online. Read on for some tips on how to communicate effectively via email and forums.

When you study from home, most of your communication with classmates and tutors will be done online. Read on for some tips on how to communicate effectively via email and forums.

What do long distance relationships and studying from home have in common? The importance of communication.

Anyone who’s in a long distance relationship will know that communication is key. It’s hard to keep the love alive if you’re not regularly communicating with your partner.

The same ‘rule’ applies to distance learning. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to communicate with others, no matter how many miles keep you apart (thank you internet).

When you study from home, you’ll spend a lot of time chatting with tutors and classmates via email and online forums. Below we’ve outlined a few tips to help you navigate the world of online communication with ease.

1. Keep it real

The first thing to remember when communicating online is that you’re chatting to real people with real feelings! Your online classmates are just like you. Make sure you communicate with the same level of respect and compassion as you would in a classroom environment.

2. Keep it clean

Take care not to swear, make insensitive jokes, or use too much slang. You don’t have to be completely formal – the use of some ‘text language’ is okay within reason – but try to remember that not everyone will understand what you mean. Where possible, use polite and friendly language, and avoid making jokes that some people could find offensive.

3. Keep it concise

Try to communicate in a clear, concise manner so you don’t overwhelm your classmates with long messages. If your note is more than a few sentences, use paragraphs and subheadings to break up the text for easy reading.

4.Keep it appropriate

Online forums are for study purposes, so don’t use this tool to have private conversations or share inappropriate content. We understand that some conversations will naturally veer away from study, but try to stick to the topic at-hand where possible.

5. Keep it friendly

If you take one thing away from this article, make it this. As long as you communicate in a nice, friendly manner you can’t go too far wrong! Treat other people as you would like to be treated, and you’ll find that the world of online communication can be a warm and welcoming place.

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How to make studying from home fun

Posted on 06/04/2016 by
Struggling to find the motivation to study from home? See our three tips below to help find the fun in learning.

Struggling to find the motivation to study from home? Read our three tips to help find the fun in learning.

We share a lot of study tips on this blog. From the best snacks to eat to stay focused, to how to study in summer when the beach is calling your name, we’re dedicated to helping you ace your travel and tourism assignments.

But all of our tips might be worthless if you don’t find any enjoyment in studying. Sure, there’s no avoiding some tedious tasks, but there are ways you can learn to love learning – you just need to think outside of the box.

Here are three tips to help make studying from home fun, so that it becomes less of a chore and more of a passion.

use colour to make study fun

1. Invest in fun stationery

Studying is the perfect excuse to buy cute stationery (as if you needed another one!). Swap boring plain lined paper for a sketch pad, journal or even a whiteboard – whatever works for you. Also, try to use plenty of colour. Think bright felt tip pens and post-it notes. The aim of this is to help get your creative juices flowing. Not only will this make studying more fun, it’ll also encourage you to think creatively about what you’re learning.

Add caption

2. Find real-world examples

Many people find study boring because they can’t connect what they’re learning on paper to what happens in the real world. Where possible, look for ways to experience what you’re learning first-hand. For example, if you are learning about what it’s like to work at the airport, why not visit your nearest airport for lunch and observe your surroundings? Or if you are learning about customer service, see if you can do some work experience at a local tourism operator.

the aural learner

3. Create a study playlist

Some people find music distracting when studying – if this is you, move right along to the next tip. But if you love bopping along to the beat while you learn, turn up the tunes and enjoy! Create a new study playlist every week as motivation to hit the books. Songs without words are best as they aren’t so distracting, but listen to whatever works for you.

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The top three benefits of distance learning

Posted on 20/05/2015 by
One of the best things about distance learning is the ability to study from anywhere. Study from home one day, work in a cafe the next - the choice is yours.

One of the best things about distance learning is the ability to study from anywhere. Study from home one day, work in a cafe the next – the choice is yours.

What makes distance learning such a great choice? Here are the top three benefits of studying from home.

1. Flexibility

Don’t want to come to class every day? More of a night owl than a morning person? Wish you could just write your assignments at home in your pajamas? Distance learning offers this level of flexibility, allowing you to choose when you want to study, and where.

As long as you put in the required number of hours of study per week, you are free to manage your time as you see fit. And if that means working from the comfort of your couch next to your cat, who are we to judge?

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Five myths about distance learning (and why you should ignore them)

Posted on 29/04/2015 by
Sorry to disappoint, but there's more to distance learning than studying in your pajamas with your cat. We bust some common distance learning myths

Sorry to disappoint, but there’s more to distance learning than studying in your pajamas with your cat (although this is a great bonus!) Photo credit: Luke Redmond // Flickr Creative Commons

Thinking about studying from home? A quick Google search of ‘distance learning’ will provide you with plenty of information about this study option, but there may be a few myths lurking among the helpful advice.

We’re here to help clarify any confusion. Here are five common myths about distance learning (and why you should ignore them).

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Is studying from home right for you?

Posted on 26/02/2015 by
ITC's Study From Home option suits many people from different circumstances. Read on to find out if it could be an option for you

ITC’s Study From Home option suits many people from different circumstances. Read on to find out if it could be an option for you

Studying from home, otherwise known as online learning or distance learning, is an excellent option for people who want a great qualification but cannot attend regular on-campus classes.

At the International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC), we offer the option to study four excellent courses from home. That means you can gain an airline, travel and tourism qualification from anywhere in New Zealand!

Are you thinking about studying from home, but are unsure if this is the right decision for you?

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ITC’s Distance and Online Learning Creates “Memories for Life”

Posted on 04/03/2013 by
ANITA-VAN-DER-MESPEL

Study From Home graduate Anita van der Mespel recently started the job of her dreams at American Express

The International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) has been a premium supplier of full-time and part-time training programmes for the airline, travel and tourism industries since 1996, and has campuses in Botany and central Auckland.

Since 2006, ITC has offered several of its courses via and distance and online learning (DOL).  ITC DOL graduate Anita van der Mespel recently achieved her goal of entering the travel and tourism industry with a position at American Express.

“Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me to get me to this place,” says Anita. “You have been truly amazing!”

Anita says that her time with ITC has “created memories that will stick with me for life. I’ve loved my time with you, right from the phone interview at the very beginning!”

“That’s such a wonderful thing to hear,” says ITC’s Marketing Director Claire Huxley. “One of ITC’s strongest features is its sense of being one big family – we really mean that – all the staff know the students by name and we have a huge range of activities that include our on-campus students.

“It’s important to us that our distance and online students feel that same sense of community and connection to the college.”

Many of the DOL courses have on-campus components, such as the Customer Service Workshop run in February this year.

Chantell Awheto attended the workshop and says she had “an awesome time”.

“It was nice to finally meet everyone,” she says. “The hard part is over – graduation, here we come! I look forward to seeing you all there.”

“The workshops give the students a chance to meet each other and their tutors face to face and have some fun in the campus environment,” says Claire. “Learning via distance has many advantages, but it can be isolating. It boosts the students’ confidence when they get together and see how much they have learnt.”

ITC also ensures that its DOL students are included in its prize giving and recognition of special achievements.

“Many of our off-campus students are working and caring for family members as well as studying,” says Claire. “It takes a lot of commitment to remain motivated and connected with your studies when you are not physically surrounded by others who are studying.”

One student who shows such commitment is Greg Bellett, who recently received a Spot Prize for Excellence.
Greg says: “I’m absolutely delighted and humbled to receive such an award. Too much! I’m sure you could have awarded it to any number of hardworking students in any number of classes. I’m enjoying my studies immensely and thank you for your guidance and support.”
“This is our seventh year of offering distance learning,” says Claire, “and its appeal is growing. It allows more people the freedom to upskill in a flexible and supportive environment. We hope it also encourages lifelong learning, where following your interests and passions is an ongoing process.”

Perhaps the best endorsement of that comes from Anita: “I have enjoyed it so much! Should I ever study again, I hope it is with ITC.”

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