E-learning with DiploFoundation was a great experience. The innovative online sessions and contact with other students really helped to gain a wide view on the topics discussed.
~ Guy Pollard, Second Secretary, Conventional Weapons
UK Disarmament Delegation, Geneva (September 2006)
Is this your first time studying online? Or maybe you have studied online before, but at a different institution? Perhaps you are curious about how Diplo courses work, the challenges, and what exactly will be expected of you? Is it difficult to study online? Does it take a lot of your time? Do you need to be a computer expert? Don’t worry! These questions and more will be answered here.
How it works
In a Diplo online course, you study with 10-20 other participants from all over the world. The course website is the place where you find your course materials and assignments, as well as communicate with lecturers and other participants. For example, after reading and reflecting on the course materials for the week, you will share your thoughts with classmates online. You will also submit assignments online by given deadlines.
- Studying online requires real engagement from you. All Diplo courses require active participation: reading texts critically, expressing your views, discussing course topics from different perspectives. Memorisation and passive recall are not important aspects of course work.
- Although participants may be physically far apart, they often develop lively online communication and a sense of group or community. This can be very rewarding and help maintain your motivation through the challenging course moments.
- You will need to be focused and well-organised. When combining study, work and family obligations, you may have to temporarily give up some of your leisure activities in order to meet your study objectives. The study calendar and your course team will help you with dates and reminders, but your own initiative and self-discipline are key.
- Courses follow a weekly cycle, offering you some flexibility to log on and study on your own schedule. Courses typically involve only one online session each week (similar to a lecture or seminar) where all participants get together at the same time.
Reading online text, adding hypertext entries
Reading and responding to hypertext entries added by classmates; completing weekly activities (quiz, crossword, group task, short essay, etc.)
Online meeting with lecturer and classmates
Time management is very important!
- Diplo courses are attended by a truly international audience, bringing a wide variety of perspectives. You will need to keep an open mind toward views that may be very different from your own.
- The course lecturer acts more as a 'guide on the side' than 'the sage on the stage'. Your initiative and critical thinking are essential. Do not hesitate to ask questions or express different points of view from those presented in the course materials (after having studied those, of course).
- Log on regularly. Allocate enough time for your studies. Do not leave course work for the last moment.
- A reasonably good Internet connection. Courses are designed to work with minimal bandwidth requirements: a good dial-up Internet connection is sufficient, although a faster connection will make your studies easier.
- A back-up plan for emergencies, such as computer failure or lack of Internet connection. Is there an Internet café near-by that you can use? Could you go to a library or a similar institution if your computer fails? Do you have a data back-up of your course work?
- You don’t need to be a computer expert to study online. However, you should be familiar with the basics of using computers: writing with a word processor, e-mail communication, browsing the Web and using the Internet efficiently to find information.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We hope you will find studying online a rich and rewarding experience!