Virtual University

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Virtual University

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Review of "Virtual University"

published 30/06/2003 | Kirki
Member since : 15/06/2001
Reviews : 25
Members who trust : 4
About me :
Excellent
Pro Many subjects, low fees, great online help from tutors and other students, short duration courses
Cons you have to pay again to do the same course if you don't pass it first time around
very helpful

"Online learning the easy way"

I do like learning new things and I’m always on the lookout for courses that don’t involve dragging yourself into to classes, which either can be done on line or at home on your own time and space. I’m one of the many that works full time, has a family and always try to balance learning with reality.

But as many might know, online or distance learning is not cheap. The attitude usually is that if you are working full time then you can afford to pay for your learning. So a lot of online courses are rather ‘touchy’ when comes to price tags and sometimes don’t deliver what they promised.

There is a great variety of courses offered by many universities and colleges such as the Open University, which, don't get me wrong are great, if you want to aim higher and go all the way for a degree. But at the same time they can be very time and money consuming. Besides I don’t think I have the patience to wait for six years for a degree to tell the others that I have learned something. (Of course there are those new short courses which last to 12 weeks but even so at £95 per course still I find them expensive and longlasting..)

My point here is that they are a lot of choices but unfortunately most of these choices are rather expensive…

So when I came across to the Virtual University website accidentally I was very impressed with the variety of the subjects they were offering such as: internet and web design (HTML, web page design, javascript, web graphics/exploring the Web), courses for the body and mind (Self-help/self-improvement courses of all kinds / Health and Wellness / Psychology / Positive thinking), World politics, cultures, global issues, current events, Academic subjects (math, science, history, geography), Money, personal finance, business and the economy and courses for writing and the arts (journalism, creative writing, grammar, editing, getting published,English As A Second Language) and many more.

The principle is very simple. You go to the website, you register and you get your own virtual desk as they call it and then you can look at the calendar and subjects. You choose the classes you like but as they have terms, you can only enroll for classes when the registration period for the term is open and you can take up to three classes per term for the same tuition fee $15 (per term and not per class)

The classes are weekly and they last normally between 4 to 6 weeks and will include a tutorial, suggested readings, a discussion topic and homework or an independent study project. Lessons are usually posted Sunday night (Pacific Time)on the students’ desk. You don't have to be online at any particular time to attend classes at VU, and you can study in your spare time.

There is usually homework which accompanies the weekly lessons and which is optional, just to make learning better and an exam at the final week with a deadline on 11pm (Pacific) Saturday (usually on week five). You don’t have to take the exam if you are doing the course just for fun but only if you want to get what they call the CEUs (Continuing Education Units). These are globally recognized units of measure for recording participation in continuing education activities and one CEU represents 10 hours of participation in an organized learning experience. They can be used for documenting new job skills, re-certification, wage upgrades and promotions, etc. I don't know though how these credits actually work here in the UK but of course they aren't college or academic degrees.

Unfortunately if you don't manage to complete a class you have to retake it and pay the registration term fee as you pay per term.

The fees are paid before classes start with credit card or with cheque or money order in US $.


Their home page is pretty easy to navigate (http://vu.org). From your virtual desk, you visit classrooms, the Chat Cafe, world news, weather, and a variety of tools and resources.

The VU is one of the oldest and largest online learning community and they are have being running since 1995. They claim that over one million people from 128 countries have attended their online classes.

Most of the tutors are volunteer instructors and student mentors who help make online learning enjoyable for all. Which means that you can yourself at some point become a volunteer instructor as a lot of their instructors are previous VU students.

I'm doing, this term three classes; writing non fiction, HTML for beginners and numerology, which I find really enjoyable, easy to follow and understand. The tutors are great but best of all I find very helpful the discuss forum, where you 'publish' your homework. A great place for enquiries and discussion with tutors and students. I'm looking forward to the next term which will start next month (August) for more classes...

All in all Virtual University is a good place on line for learning basic skills, easy to understand subjects without needing to spend too much time or money and keeping in touch with people from around the world. Online learning at its best.



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Comments on this review

  • DoubleFantasy11 published 13/06/2007
    Excellent review - I'm heading straight off to look into it! Leigh :-)
  • missixty published 03/08/2005
    This sounds interesting I'm off to have a look!
  • handycandi published 29/09/2003
    Wow, Kirki did an amazing job of describing both the pros and cons of attending Virtual University. Kirki covered every question I had and more!
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Product Information : Virtual University

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Ciao

Listed on Ciao since: 30/06/2003