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Member since:05.08.2009

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Home a place for learning

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30.11.2009

Advantages:
Learning a new trade and doing it in your own time

Disadvantages:
Tutors can take forever to mark your work

Recommendable Yes:

47 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (53%):
  1. rabbit88
  2. browndoll
  3. retireduser
and 28 other members
very helpful by (47%):
  1. TheHairyGodmother
  2. marymoose99
  3. jesi
and 25 other members

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My Review is about the Home Learning College.

Who Are They?

Most of us are all aware of whom ICS are due to their television advertisements and The Home Learning College is very similar in every way.
The Home Learning College is a simple way for people to try and gain a qualification in an area they either feel they want to learn more from or perhaps try again due to failure at school or either a workplace.
They offer a wide range of studies for people to take part in and are always there for you if you need any assistance at all.

My Experience

When I was sick from work with depression I found myself at a lose end and plus I was just not going anywhere in terms of career.

At school I did psychology but I was someone who had time off from the A Levels and I found myself worried by a poor result. I achieved only an E grade for A level and it was upsetting for me and I decided I wanted to do something constructive.
I was online looking at colleges around the area I could perhaps visit and do a course with and the prices were the stumbling block. I visited some online companies to see if they could assist me in any way and I found the Home Learning College. At first I thought they were fake as their website was so busy with information here and there but I found myself seeing prices for courses which stunned me.

I decided to take on a diploma in psychology which was priced at £290 for a year and I got all the necessary items for absolutely nothing come with it all. I was sceptical because we all see offers which are too good to be true so I had one of their home advisors come and visit me and this advisor told me the sort of information I needed to know about the course and ways I could make payments to finish the course.

After speaking to the advisor I took the plunge and spent the £290 on the course and within 7 working days I had this big bag delivered and inside was this rucksack and 200 pieces of plain paper, I had a diploma in psychology text book, pre paid envelopes to send my work away, details on my course and what I need to be doing, pens and pencils, I was even given telephone numbers and email addresses to my own private tutor who would assist me should the need arise.
I decided to begin with the course and I was getting some problems with different aspects because after a few chapters in the book you have to do some work which is case studies and you then have to send your work away to be marked and they send you back the work you did with a mark and if your happy you continue but if you are not then you need to keep going until you are.

After I done the first piece of work the tutor was emailed by myself because I was unsure how the process worked and he was instantly emailing me back in return and it was fantastic service and he asked me about what I did and he told me to send my work to him and he would mark it instantly.

After a 14 day period I got it back which for me is not fantastic and I found I got the top marks and
Pictures of Home Learning College
Home Learning College Home Learning College
Home Learning College
he gave me a piece of paper with ‘keep up the great work’ so it was a motivational sort of pep talk note which inspired me to continue.
After the 6th month of doing the course I finally finished and handed in all the work to the tutor and was given a pass and a certificate by an exam board for a Diploma in Psychology, I was so thrilled because I could do it in my own time at my own speed and without any assistance at all.

My Schedule

When I got the work through the door I did not want to rush through it as quickly as possible because I would gain absolutely nothing and learn nothing.

I decided I would sit down and read through 10 pages and do this a few times and write down key notes and I can write in short hand so my notes looked confusing and short, and I would end up writing them up on the computer.
The idea was that as I was learning the information writing it down on a note pad I was then learning it all again as I was typing it all into a computer. I wanted to be able to know the entire courses off by heart and not rely on checking back through the book all the time.

After I sorted out how I would learn the course I would sit back and see the case studies I had to take part in and I would use a note pad and write down what the course wanted me to do and try and make sure I did a few versions of a case study and sent the best one off.

I even had a scheduled time table where I would study, such as a Sunday afternoon for a few hours and it would always be times where I knew nothing was on television I usually watch or any distractions would take place.
My schedule sounded pretty rough and silly but it helped me and I completed this course within a year.

Tutor

The tutor was a trained professional in the Diploma in Psychology course so he knew what he was talking about and although he was there most of the time there was a few issues with a couple of things.

One of the biggest problems was the delay in the work being handed back, you would get an email from them to tell you they received the work and you can continue on with the studies you are doing but in the back of your mind you want to know the grade because if you failed you need to do it again. You do not get an email back of the tutor about the grade you have received because they would reply with wait until it arrives back at your home which is no good to anyone at all.

It would take between 14-21 days for work to arrive back and it was a pain to wait for 2 weeks because you waste 2 months out of the year you are given to do the course waiting for work to arrive back which is not fair to you at all.
He did on the other hand know exactly what he was talking about and if I emailed him with a problem he was superb with how he treated me and broke it down so easily that it became easier to understand within minutes.

Courses

They do a wide range of courses and the best advice is to go and get an advisor to visit you because they can explain the course in more detail.
I had the option of child psychology, diploma in psychology or even re-taking A levels and even GCSE exams.
You have to remember that the GCSE exams are the same as what people are taking that year your doing the course. Some people assume that if you take up the A Level courses and GCSE you re-take the course and exam you did the year before and that is not the case at all.

Each exam is easy to locate on the website and they set out the price, what the course entails and what you gain at the end of it. Some courses give you a two year course to do two years and if you go over this you end up without a certificate at the end of it all.

The majority of courses they offer are usually a year to do and the prices are varied and I think they are very competitive. I recently saw an IT course which would teach you how to use Microsoft office inside out and it was a 2 year course for £1000 and it sounds a lot of money but on ICS it was just over £3500 and it shows you that there is a huge difference in price.

Any exams you have to do will be arranged by the college itself to take part somewhere, I was not asked to do an exam because all my work was top marks but if you need to take an exam they make sure you take it somewhere where there is a tutor available to stop any potential cheating.
The courses can vary from IT skills to accountancy to Book keeping and Internet design.

Payments

When the advisor comes round they give you plenty of details in which you need to know about payments.
I paid with a one off payment which is easily accepted and you get to have a receipt turn up as well but you can pay it off monthly as well if you wish to do so which can be handy for some people so they are trying to give you options in order to pay.

They even give you ideas as well for other routes of payments, and one they gave me was if you are in a company and using the computer a lot you might be able to ask the company you work for if they could pay half the course for you as it would enhance your abilities at work. In theory it is a cheeky thing to do but I know it has worked for some people and it saves you money at the end of the day as well so that is a fantastic option to have as well.
Overall the payments are very easy to do.

Controversy

My attitude towards online companies doing this courses has changed recently however. I did my course a few years ago and I worked very hard to achieve the grade I did and I was proud of everything I did.

The biggest issue in the world is that if you decide to do the course you are at all taking part in the course and there is no evidence at all you did the course. Some people might be confused here but if you get the course at home and you set it all up how do people know you did the course and the case studies because there is no one there to witness you doing the course.

I found recently a friend of mine who had actually took the pleasure of getting his sister to do a course for him which had no exam at the end and he sent it in under his name and he passed the entire course and now has this certificate on his CV which has made me furious.
This to me is the biggest problem with the online courses because you might be taking time out to generally do the work whilst other people might be cheating and that is a drawback.

Good Points

I like the way you can do this in your own time and we all lead lives and sometimes we might have a week where we cannot do any revision at all and then other times we have plenty of time, it is down to us in how we set the time aside to do the course, but if you want to do the course you will find the time, it is as simple as that.
I like how if you’re stuck you have a tutor available to give you a hand if you need any help and that there is a great way of boosting confidence, if you are like me and you find something has got you stuck it won’t take long before you panic and end up worrying about it all for no reason.

I was given an option to join an online community with fellow people who were doing the same course as me and it made me available to put any problems I had up and get some help or assist others so you could build up friendships and try and motivate one another so there is a great bonding experience you can get as well.

I like how you can pay in many different routes as well so you do not need to make a one off payment at all and you can simply go ahead and pay off monthly so you are not left short straight away.

You get to keep everything you are given and I was given the book and all that paper and the stationery they gave me was worth about £30 and any paper I ran out of I rang them up for more and they had it sent to me instantly so they were always available to assist me in any way and I even sold the text book on eBay after finishing the course for £25 so I made some money back on the course I took.

Bad Points

Obviously the biggest problem I have is that you’re doing the work because you want to but others could cheat and that really is the biggest issue I have with everything because it could be a job you and a cheater are applying for and they might get it before you. So that is my biggest issue by far.

I find when you send work into be marked it can take forever sometimes to arrive back and you could continue with the work you are doing which is a good idea but what if you get work back which is not up to standards? You need to stop the stuff you were doing and backtrack so it would be nice if the tutor you have could email you with a pass or a fail so you knew before it arrived back so that is a problem which might have been sorted out since I did my course.

Summary

I would tell people to consider this option first because if you lack confidence alone doing work and need guidance whether for words or just prefer to work as a team and a class environment then this is not for you.
If you are someone who works hard and has no time to go to a real college then why not take it up if you find a course you might want to do.

You get all the work sent to you, mixture of payment offers and a variety of courses to choose from. You get your own tutor to talk to with any issues and even an online community of friends who are doing the same course as you are.
You get a certificate at the end of it which can help you get another job and be used as a huge part towards your CV.

They are a great company but the tutor taking their time to mark work can be the worst part.
Definitely recommended.

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Comments about this review »

rabbit88 08.03.2011 18:41

excellent review. Im also studying with the home learning college but a teaching assistants course.

tink-er-bell 08.12.2009 00:11

Its a real certificate, so yes employees do take them seriously, like my current employee has done. I wrote people can cheat if they wanted, so mythed as to your comment.

marymoose99 07.12.2009 22:20

That said, well done though :o)

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Review Ratings »

This review of Home Learning College has been rated:

"exceptional" by (53%):

  1. rabbit88
  2. browndoll
  3. retireduser

and 28 other members

"very helpful" by (47%):

  1. TheHairyGodmother
  2. marymoose99
  3. jesi

and 25 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.



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