Having decided I wanted to go to university I found out I needed to take literacy and numeracy (English and maths to most people) at level 2. I was pleasantly surprised that learn direct offer this for free as there are companies out there that charge £300 + for each course.
They first run a diagnostic (a test) to see whereabouts in your given subject. I was unfortunately at level one. I was not looking forward to maths as I've always hated it and was even scared of it but after 3 visits to learn direct i'm already noticing improvements.
The course is all computer based so you can easily do it at home if you have a computer and internet and if your reading this I'm guessing you probably do. My learn direct centre is in a library where you can also use their computers. Their are 3 tutors who are helpful friendly and the classes are really informal.
First of all let me apologise, I have wanted to share this site with all of you for a long time however couldn't locate a suitable area to place my opinion so note the site I am talking about is learn.co.uk NOT learndirect.co.uk. **************************************************************************** Learn.co.uk is an education site set up by the guardian newspaper. With sections for : Key stage 2 (year 3-6) ,Key stage 3 (year 7-9) , Key stage 4 (year 10-11) and AS level (year 12) learn.co.uk covers plenty of subjects clearly offering some fantastic help with your or your childs homework. THE SUBJECTS COVERED: The following is a list of all sections covered for each 'Key Stage' Key stage 2 (year 3-6) -Mathematics -Science Key stage 3 (year 7-9) -Mathematics -Science -English language -English literature - drama -English literature - poetry -English literature - prose -Geography -French - year 8 -French - year 9 Key stage 4 (year 10-11) -Mathematics - higher -Mathematics - foundation -Science - foundation -Science - higher -English language -English literature - drama -English literature - poetry -English literature - prose -English literature - essays -Business studies -Geography -History -French AS level (year 12) -Mathematics -English literature - drama -English literature - poetry -English literature - prose -Biology -Physics -Chemistry All individual subjects are explained in a clear manner and with examples and diagrams. The teaching level and examples depends on the Key stage level. EDUCATION RESOURCES There are lessons available online for primary and secondary students in subjects ranging from maths to french.(Please note I think you need permission to use these lessons in a class) but on that note they come in v
ery handy if your looking to go over something you did in class. REVISION Oh how I wish I'd known about this site when I was doing my GCSE's! Learn.co.uk goes through exam techniques, revision planners and by completing an online test that see's what your learning style is like the site will then take you through a revision planner depending on you! There's also advise on where and when to revise etc. Theres a section on stress where you answer a few simple questions and gives you advice on what to do to deal with exam stress etc, again depending on the results of the stress test! HOMEWORK this subject covers the presentation of your homework, resources such as websites and books etc. TESTS As well as all the tutorials etc on this site, learn.co.uk also have online tests so you can check just how much you know on some subjects! MY SPACE My space is what it says - it's your space! here you can keep track of your test scores and make your revision planner etc you can also check the student news and meet the SWOT team! There are also links to other helpful education sites.
Learndirect are run by the UK government's company UFI (University for Industry), and has several main arms, as outlined below. If you visit the Learndirect site you are greeted by options from which to choose: 1) Learndirect 2) Learndirect, National Learning Advice 3) Learndirect Business, and finally 4) Learndirect Corporate Most users like you or I would only ever make use of the first two options, which I will go into detail on in a moment. Before I do, I will give brief details on the latter two. But this opinion is mainly centred on the Leardirect courses and how they are offered. Learndirect 'Business' and 'Corporate' are, as the titles suggest aimed at businesses and corporations based in the UK. Corporate is targetted at larger businesses where courses are for the high levels of staffing and the training requirements that would go hand in hand with operations of that size. The 'business' section is very similar to the online courses offered in the first option (plain old 'Learndirect' - see below), but enables small to medium sized enterprises to sign up themselves or employees on courses directly without having to go via centre. In the common with the flow of this opinion(working backwards through my list) I now come on to the Learndirect National Learning Advice. This is the part of Learndirect you are likely to have seen before with their massive TV and newspaper advertising campaign. Most memorable (or could be recent one) is the chap dress up as a spanner on a bus muttering "0800 100 900" over and over, looking for a telephone, and then eventually he spots one, falls off the bus, and calls the number looking for advice on a change of career. This is mostly true about the Learndirect National Learning Advice service, as via the website or phone line you can contact them about advice on any course running in the U
K. It is kind of like the careers advice you got when you got near the end of your school days, but a bit more of asking what you want to be able to do, rather than telling you! The main part of Learndirect that I have experience of (and that I assume is their main thing) is their own courses (the first part on the list of 4). The search facility on the site to look through their list of courses is not the best in the world by a long shot, but there are over 600 courses to choose from, but you really do feel that as such a key element of the site it really could have been better. With courses ranging from basic introduction to word processing or Windows to Expert spreadsheets or databases and web-design using XML. But not all the courses are I.T. based - check out some of these for diversity: Environmental Management Solutions Toolkit Fork Lift Truck Operation in a Warehouse Environment - The Theory Helping deaf and hard of hearing customers 7 Tools: Tally Charts, Bar Charts and Histograms Leadership Skills And that was just a few I spotted in a couple of minutes looking around the site (using the lists and not the search!!) My recommendation would be, have a look around the list of courses and if you want to enroll avoid the ones marked (NETg) - they are complicated and hard to follow, but if you look around you will see there are many courses marked (EP) - these are far better and have just a wide range of courses. There is more than just online courses, there are also books and CD-ROM based courses too! The biggest advantage (and perhaps drawback) to Learndirect is that you study at a time, place and pace that suits you. Great if you need flexibility and are good at managing your own time, not so great if you have a habit of putting things off!!! But if set yourself a certain target amount of studying each week or month and stick to it you will do fine, and it doesn'
;t matter going at the pace of the slowest person in the class - because you are the only person in the class!!! If you can, don't enroll via the site, but call into one of the Learndirect centres or access points, where they can talk to you and provide help and support. Just because you enroll in a centre or access point doesn't mean you have to go there every time to study, you can still work from home, the library or any other place with internet access. To study an online course from home you will need a fairly recent PC (almost anything 5 or 6 years old and newer is OK), internet connection and also various browser plug-ins like Macromedia Flash, Authorware etc... but these are free, so just a few minutes downloading them is all you need to do. If you want to study from home, without going into a centre, find the course you want, and then when you "find a Learndirect centre" tick the box for "virtual learning centre". There are a lot of these centres that will do the course for you for free, but as with all centres they can charge up to £10 per course admin fee, and the Virtual Centres frequently do. Whichever way you learn, via a centre or a virtual centre, you have support from them in the form of a contact email address or in person if you are in the centre itself. There is also a 0800 freephone number that is available 24/7 for help and support on the courses, so you really are not dumped in front of a screen and told to get on with it, FAR FROM IT! One very important thing to note about the Learndirect courses is that whilst they do NOT award you with a qualification at the end, you can use what you study to count towards a qualification elsewhere. But you do get the knowledge that you want, which is very important!
Learn Direct is more like a yellow pages for courses. You choose what sort of course you want and how you want to do it either online or at college and Learn Direct will find you the nearest or most suitable course available. Learn Direct do have some of their own courses but other learning providers supply most of the courses available. There are Learn Direct centres all over the country which let you use their computers and equipment for free once you have signed up for one of their courses. The staff at the centres are very helpful and can offer loads of advice on what courses to do and the best way to do them. I used a Learn Direct course to study for my European Computer Driving Licence. Once you are signed up the site is easy to use. You get an on-line tutor so if you have any problems with the course you can e-mail your tutor and they will help you in whatever way they can. The email server used on the site is not very reliable however. They seem to have endless problems with emails not being sent/received. There seems to be problems sending attachments too. You get a Learning page, which shows you all the courses you are signed up for and also shows what progress you are making. You also get a learning log. This is your own personal learning organiser and is there to help you plan your learning future. Your learning log is designed to help you think about where you are now, what you need to get going and what you need to keep on learning. I have to be perfectly honest and say that the only time I used this was when I had finished my courses. The course that I did was really easy to use and follow. There was a lot of interactive stuff to do. Not just sitting there reading. You can take a pre-assessment test to see what you know already and then use a precision learning track that tailors the course to suit you. This saves you having to go over stuff that you already know how to do. At the end of each part of the co
urse there is a mastery module which is an interactive self testing facility which shows you how well you are doing and shows you which parts of the course needs review. My only problem with this mastery module is that if you don’t do something exactly how you have been shown to do it then it tells you you are wrong. I.e. If you had to change a font, if you right click and change it that way it would fail you because you should have gone to format on the standard toolbar even though the result is the same. I had many an argument with my computer screen when it told me I was incorrect. I knew I had done it right, just a different way. The end result was the same. Luckily my computer didn't answer me back so I just got on with it. You can automatically go to wherever you left your course so that you don’t have to plough through the whole course again to get to where you were last time. This is definitely a great time saver. My tutor was great (when the emails were actually working) She sent me loads of hints and tips on how to pass the course. I had to go to the Learn Direct Centre to actually sit my exams for the ECDL but they were really pleasant and made you feel really comfortable. I sat the test in seven separate parts, all scored individually, this meant you could study one part of the course, then go take a test, then go on to the next part. That was great for me because my brain doesn’t seem to absorb as much information as it should. (A sign of old age and senility) so I could sit the test before I had time to forget what I had learnt. I would definitely recommend this way of studying because you can do it in your own time. If you want to study at 3 o’clock in the morning you can. If you don’t want to study for weeks, well that’s fine too. My course cost around about £150. You can get information from the Learn Dirct site on how to get funding for courses. There are links to g
et an individual Learning account from the government to get courses up to £150 paid for. Depending on the course you may have to contribute £25 towards the cost.
The learn direct web page advertises a friendly helpful service, but when I contacted them they were not helpful whatsoever! Firstly I used their search service to look for a part-time course with a qualification on web design, dreamweaver, cgi, perl and flash - only to find all the courses that came up were all full time courses in colleges and universities which I could not afford to go to, mainly because I would have had to move home, quit my job just to do the course. I wanted a course to do (online) where I could do it in-between shifts in my work! I then used the e-mail service to try and find out about courses (part-time / online) that they did say they had available but I could not find them. From this I got an e-mail in return stating that they could not do anything for me by e-mail and I was to phone them ??? Puzzling isn't it, if they cant fit my description of course by e-mail, how are they going to manage over the phone?? From this I gave up with them and started looking elsewhere to try and find the courses I wanted to do. From this experience, Learn direct have only put the prospectus from all colleges and universities online, so if you want to learn something LEARN DIRECT and contact the universities and colleges in your area to get a better description of the courses available to you