Review of "Learndirect"
I'm sad to hear the latest announcement from Ciao. I'm going to miss a lot of people. =(
When I was going through job hunting, one of the issues I said to my Adviser was, although I can type and have the certificates to prove it, I learnt in the days of typewriters. But now we are in the computer age, I said I have trouble with spreadsheets, database etc, and she suggested doing a computer course to gain experience in these skills. And she directed me to Learndirect. There is a Learndirect centre in my town, so I went there to make an appointment about doing a course.
The Learning Process
On my initial interview I had to fill a form in with questions on what I already know about the basics of computer, internet, email and the like - just general questions really about how much I already knew about a computer. As, my their standards, I was quite advanced, and needed help with the more detailed use of computer like Microsoft Office and the technical abilities of using the programme, they felt I was competent enough to begin the course. I had chosen to do a Presentation course and also a Spredsheets Software course. Prior to doing these 2 courses, I had completed little courses to prepare for these, like general internet usage, email, storage, etc. When my course began, I had my own personal tutor. These courses are all done online via the Learndirect website, and can be done at home, or in a Learndirect centre if you have one in your area. I personally chose to do one in the centre, as I thought if I got stuck at any point, I would have the tutor there to help me if needed at anytime.The learndirect website is the hub of all the online courses. When you first visit the website you can see the amount of courses they do in a varied array of skills, such as Sage Book Keeping, Customer Service, English, Maths, HealthCare, Food Safety, Dental Nursing. This is just a very small amount of the courses that you can do via Learndirect just to give you an idea of what you can learn. Depending on what course you want to do, depends on the cost. If you are out of work you may be able to do a course for free if this will help with your employment prospects.
When you first begin a course, you are given a login name (I think your email address if I remember rightly) and a password which you can change to one of your choice. Once you have logged into the Learndirect website, you can then access your courses from your own personal page. As I say, I was doing a computer course, so I cannot comment on what the other online courses are like - there are many to choose from - but what I found particularly helpful was that during the duration of my course, there were many helpful ways to learn, such as videos and advice on what you are being taught. Each piece of the course was explained in detail. And any jargon being used. For instance, when doing the spead sheet course, they explain what a formula and cell are. I found this helpful as there were times when some of the more complicated terminology used in spreadsheets I had little understanding on what they meant. Each course ran for a number of weeks, I think, 14 weeks or thereabouts. At the end of each course you can do the exam online. You can do like a mock exam to start with to begin with, just to see if you are up to scratch with remembering what you have learnt. I did take a notebook with me though during the course to write things down that I thought I would have trouble remembering.Each time I visited the Learndirect Centre, I studied for 2 hours a time, normally 1 or 2 days a week. If I missed a week, then I would double up the following week. So it is flexible and you can go when it suits you and your lifestyle. Sometimes when there it is busy it may be a little distracting (I thought so anyway.) But usually I went first thing in the mornings when it was rather quiet and was able to think more clearly. People learn in different ways, and for me personally, I liked to have a pen and paper on hand to jot things down, and when I was at home, I was able to learn at my own pace on my own computer with what I had learnt that day.
Depending on what sort of course you want to do all depends on the price of the course. The amount of courses you can do through Learndirect is vast, so I shan't list every single one, but just to give you an idea of what to expect, here is just a few:-
- KAZ (Keyboard A to Z) - £24
- Excel 2013 Complete (7 Courses) - £39
- Business Analysis Foundation (BCS Certification) - £480
- Manual Handling - £18
- Working in a kitchen - £30
- Food Safety Level 1 - £30
- Customer Service (Hospitality) - £30
- Arabic (Beginners) - £30
- Japanese (Beginners) - £30
If you are out of work you can get certain courses for free for which Learndirect get funding for. As this was the case with me at the time, I have little knowledge on whether you have to pay to re-sit your exam. Thankfully I have since found employment, but at the time, I found the particular course I did very helpful.
As I say, Learndirect has many different courses at different levels tailored to suit you, and I like the way the study plans are set out. I like the fact that you are able to learn at your own pace and in your own time. I found the 2 course I completed helpful. And another note I forgot to mention, if you fail a course, they let you re-sit it and try again. I failed the Spread Sheet course the first 2 times, and passed it the 3rd time. If you want to brush up on your skills, or like me, update them, then I would recommend Learndirect.
Product Information : Learndirect
Manufacturer's product description
Listed on Ciao since: 30/08/2002