Frequently Asked Questions
Does an online HSC course count towards my HSC marks?
Does an online HSC course count towards my HSC marks?
All of our courses are are fully accredited towards the HSC. They have been developed by our qualified teachers, are of high quality and are continually reviewed to ensure they match the Board of Studies requirements.
How is an online course different from a face to face course?
Although the content of an online course is the same as in a face-to-face version, teachers use the power of technology to engage learners through activities that require viewing, listening and doing. They use a range of online learning tools such as simulations, quizzes, discussion forums, chats and wikis. Online courses require the same time commitment as face-to-face versions, but the timing of when you do the coursework can be more flexible to allow you to fit around your other personal commitments or school timetable (provided you meet your overall assignment deadlines).
What support will I receive?
Studying online is not just about technology but about providing you with a learning environment. Apart from an initial orientation or activity, you will be supported throughout your course by an online Course Teacher, who is responsible for proactively tracking and reviewing your learning.
Courses offer fast and effective communication between learners and teachers via e-mail, discussion forums with other students and in some cases audio and video conferencing. You are able to, and are encouraged to, "raise your hand" in the virtual world to gain assistance. Generally speaking, you will receive a response within 48 hours, when you request help from your Course Teacher.
Can I complete the online course faster?
Whilst the same amount of work is required for an online course as there is for a face- to-face course, you can work through an activity at your own pace in time for submission dates. There is generally weekly work to upload and you will need to schedule this into your own timetable.
What do I need to do to study online successfully?
We have a range of students taking our online courses and a significant number have achieved Band 5 and 6 HSC results. To maximise the opportunities for your success, you will need to be prepared to invest time and effort into making the most of what our online course has to offer you. It will be important to take note of the key deadlines given to you in the coursework and to put time in your own diary to allow you to commit to completing that work. Checking in regularly with the course page to review any key deadlines or alerts for upcoming events will be necessary. Taking this responsibility for your learning will assist you when you move beyond the HSC into the workplace or into tertiary studies, where there is a typical requirement to be organised and self-motivated.
In summary, to succeed you need to:
Do I need to be local to the school to enrol?
No. HSC Learn Online's purpose is to provide access to quality, accredited courses to all students locally, nationally and even internationally (dependent on satisfying criteria). As the course is delivered via the internet there is no requirement to live locally. There is a limited requirement to travel to us for an orientation day - generally this is held on a pupil free day. There may be other workshops or an excursion in term for which we will provide notice. From 2015 we will be offering only one course externally at the Preliminary and HSC level - Software Design and Development. Other courses are only available to NBCS students.
I like being face-to-face and interacting with people - does this mean that online learning is not suitable for me?
Although you are using technology to complete your coursework there are a number of opportunities to form connection. Apart from interacting with your online Course Teacher you will also be encouraged to take the opportunity to interact with other learners. We have a secure chat forum on each of our courses as well as specific subject forums where Teachers post discussion items and you can post reviews of peer work.
Online courses generally include a face-to-face orientation day and some subjects may include a field trip or workshop to enhance your online learning experience. These days provide the opportunity for you to meet your Course Teacher and other online students within your course.
All our online students study other courses face-to-face in their local environments, so online is just one part of their learning experience - this blending also ensures that you are not isolated.
I like learning through doing - I don't enjoy sitting in a dark room at a computer by myself. Does this mean that online learning is not suitable for me?
Learners will enjoy online courses for different reasons. Although there is an obvious requirement to use technology to complete coursework, your situation could allow you to engage in your work alongside others, with music surrounding you or even outdoors. The range of activity types in the coursework caters for various styles of learning -some work is completed beyond the computer.
Online courses also offer you flexibility to pursue your expertise in other areas eg. sport, arts and to fit study around these interactions.
What if I don't enjoy the online course?
If you have not tried the online experience before, you can feel nervous about trying something new. However, you will be supported throughout the course starting with orientation activities or a workshop which will help you to become comfortable in our online environment.
The vast majority of learners to date have continued with their chosen online course. Change of subject selection or career plans altered some student's study options - only a small percentage do not continue because they feel online study is unsuitable for them. These students reverted to face-to-face classes or dropped the relevant units.
How do I know if studying online is suitable for me?
Please contact our Online Academic Administrator who will be happy to provide you with more information and assistance.
02 9986 7279
When can I enrol?
Enrolments for 2015 are now open. Enrolment forms, course list and prices for next year can be found in the External Student Enrolment Options accessed via the home page.
The closing enrolment dates for 2015 for Preliminary will be 24th October 2014, and for HSC subjects 1st September 2014 (as the course starts in October 2014). There will be a limited number of spaces so it is important to note these dates - applications will be processed in the order received and will cease being accepted once the course is full. Enrolments received after this date will be accepted if there is space and a late fee will be applied (see enrolment info for fees). Enrolments may not be accepted once the course has commenced if the key orientation workshop has been missed.