Milpark Hosts Interactive Demonstration of its Online Learning Platform
Milpark Education, a recognised private and higher education institution, recently hosted a launch to showcase the online short courses offered by its School of Investment & Banking and School of Financial Planning & Investment.
The event, held at the Balalaika Hotel in Sandton, catered to the needs of working professionals and discussed the role and significance of online learning as part of their planned development. Attendees were introduced to Milpark’s modern and user-friendly Learner Management System (LMS) and were guided through an interactive demonstration of its capabilities by the academic manager of Online Learning, Edel Goldbach.
Milpark’s offerings, which were predominantly contact and distance learning-based, now include a cutting-edge online format to meet the need and demands of modern, time-sensitive lifestyles.
“We've created our own online virtual environment with support from Apollo Global. This allows us to conduct quality assurance in the most direct and immediate fashion. Our online lecturers are not only experts in their field; they also undergo an extensive training process to ensure that they have the skills needed to lead forum discussions in an interactive and effective manner. Our students appreciate this and comment on the high level of support and interaction they receive throughout the duration of their online studies” says Goldbach.
At Milpark, quality teaching and education is a core value of the business and takes precedence. Lecturers are active participants in the discussions; interacting, monitoring the discussions regularly, coaching and encouraging students. Milpark believes that effectively structured courses and moderated discussion forums are a priority for effective learning to take place. “We don't dilute the discussion forums with too many students as quality control is of utmost importance. We allow a maximum of 25 students per online course to ensure that the facilitator can engage with each of our students without compromising the quality of the interaction” says Goldbach.
Many online courses operate through a form of one-way communication. Milpark prides itself on implementing effective two-way communication: the quality of individual feedback to students, the quality of the assessments, and the quality of the overall interaction are all important focus areas which continue to be developed. The online discussion forums are public, enabling students to easily share their views and offer commentary. Lecturers are trained and encouraged to engage with the students, and to promote a positive, collaborative environment to further encourage high levels of interaction. Private messaging is also enabled; lecturers utilise this to offer one-on-one support and motivation and to provide individual students with in-depth feedback.
Milpark is serious about effective assessment and ensures that online courses follow an integrated and practical assessment approach which includes evaluation of the student’s participation, online tests and written assignments - all of which contribute to a final mark.
“Overall course structure is another key focus area at Milpark - it has been a priority to get the basic foundation done properly. Formal and quality assessments, again, are given a tremendous amount of consideration and attention.”
According to the academic team, customisation is another critical component of Milpark’s online offering: courses are customised to meet the needs of corporate groups. The customised product has been embraced by corporates who seek nationwide courses and training but who struggle to get their staff together in one place. The online learning environment allows employees who operate in different geographic locations to collaborate, network, and share their collective knowledge. Employees are not limited or obligated to log on at any specific time, making this format flexible and easily accessible, and ideal for the working student.
Feedback offered by Milpark’s online students include:
“The course was enjoyable, relevant and I enjoyed the online format. The lecturer was amazing throughout this short course! Always encouraging and very knowledgeable. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and this is largely thanks to the manner in which she facilitated the discussions and the constant feedback that she provided. The tax refresher course was very well constructed and run - I've got a lot out of it.” says a student who successfully completed the online Income Tax Refresher short course.
Another student who successfully completed the online short course, Essential Banking Principles, offered the following feedback: "Thank you for a great and challenging six weeks. I have a newfound respect for adult education. Thank you for the words of encouragement; it kept me in the game. It truly was a pleasure being guided by you for the past 6 weeks.”
Online Courses offered by Milpark’s School of Investment & Banking
● Essential Banking Principles
This online short course is ideal for professionals in the banking industry who want to expand their specialised skills set, or for professionals who are seeking a career change. This six-week course introduces learners to advanced banking concepts and topics while building upon the foundations of their career.
● Foundations in Retail Banking
This online short course is aimed at individuals who are new to the retail banking sector or those who intend to move into a client-facing role and need to understand banking products and services. This four-week course introduces students to retail banking concepts and topics
● Finance for Non-Financial Managers
This online short course is ideal for professionals in management who want to expand their financial skills set. This six-week course introduces learners to financial concepts and topics while building upon the foundations of their career.
● Investment Analysis
This online short course details the structure and function of the financial markets and related investment instruments. As such, it will lay a foundation for students who either work in the financial services industry (and who have ‘touch points’ with the investment industry) or those who are interested in moving into the investment industry.
Online courses offered by Milpark’s School of Financial Planning & Insurance
● Financial Planning Products
This online short course is an introductory level course aimed at individuals who are new to the financial services industry. It also caters for those who want to improve their understanding of available financial planning products and services, and those who wish to advance their career in the financial services industry - whether it be in a supportive, administrative, managerial, or advisory role.
● Income Tax Refresher
This course will keep professionals within the financial planning industry up-to-date with continuous changes within the Income Tax Act. The four-week online course is designed to provide delegates with the knowledge and skills needed to assist clients, with a specific focus on the impact of the recent changes.
● Estate Planning
This online short course is ideal for students, professional advisors and fiduciary practitioners who have a foundational knowledge of income tax, capital gains tax, estate duty, wills, intestate succession and the patrimonial consequences of the different marital regimes in South Africa.
For more information about Milpark’s Online courses, visit http://online.milpark.ac.za/online
12 Apr 2016