Q: Does the course only run once a year? If so, why? Is it because there isn't enough demand to run it more often?
A: You're right! The world is only just now waking up to the need for training for managers, so there is still not a whole load of demand. This is an advantage for you though, as you will be one of a small elite with this qualification!
Q: What kind of computer equipment or software do I need for the online course after the 2 weeks in Barcelona?
A: You just need Internet access. The 'classroom' is on Moodle, a very user-friendly virtual learning environment. You receive a password then you can access the course documents and the discussion board. No special software! But a decent, reliable Internet connection is important.
Q: I would like to know your opinion on following the course while not actually employed in educational management. Would it be impossible or a major drawback?
A: The answer to this question is that it is not necessary to be currently in a management position, but it does help. We have had teachers not in management successfully take the course, but it is more challenging - mostly because there's very little to draw on when completing assignments etc - the assignments are designed to be "real", and useful to the active manager, so a teacher/non manager has an additional challenge. However, they also have the considerable advantage of having (usually) a slightly lighter work load so they have more time to devote to the course.
Q: Considering that I have no experience in managerial or administrative work, do you think it is wise to do this Diploma?
A: As most people who have taken the course so far did have admin or managerial experience, this is difficult to answer. The trainers will assume that participants do have relevant experience to draw on and to relate to. Furthermore, the assignments assume that participants have relevant concerns in their own institutions to use as the focus. Set against this is the fact that there have been some extremely good participants with very limited admin experience, so I think that the answer is a qualified 'yes'. (In the case of participants with virtually no experience, what made the difference was their high motivation to learn and to make connections with what was going on in their own institutions.)
Q: I do not have all the entry requirements but I have been running my own school for the last 5 years and I have been teaching for 12 years. Will I be eligible?
A: Please complete the application form as it gives us a good idea of your background and experience. We will arrange a chat with you in any case to talk about the course and you.
Q: Are all the materials included, or would there be other "hidden costs"?
A: You need to buy the recommended books, your own pen and paper. Otherwise, apart from the Cambridge registration fee, there are no more costs.
Q: Is there any possibility of paying in instalments?
A: As long as the whole fee is paid by the end of the face-to-face component, we can arrange a personal payment plan for payment in instalments. Please contact us!
Q: What is the schedule during the face-to-face element?
A: 9.30am-1.30pm and 3–5pm Monday to Friday.
Q: The distance element starts after the face-to-face element. Right?
A: Correct, but we do a) get some time to try out the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) before the course begins and b) during the face to face have time to troubleshoot any problems that people have encountered in the tryout time.
Q: Concerning the online stage, do I need complete dedication to the Diploma? I am planning to continue working full-time. Do you think it could be manageable?
A: Everyone who does the diploma is in full time employment, in quite a few cases very demanding employment, and they manage to combine both study and work (not without difficulty, but in all cases successfully.) So you should be able to fit diploma demands into your schedule.
Q: As for the online discussion sessions, what if the timing doesn't suit my working hours? Do you offer alternative times for those sessions?
A: There are very few synchronous (real time) discussions. Most of the on-line work is asynchronous so that people can participate at times suitable for them. Participants on most of the IDLTM courses have been or, for current participants, are living in widely scattered time zones/parts of the world, and they manage to participate in online work OK.
Q: To participate in the final online seminar, I assume you have to have completed the rest of the course. Is that right?
A: Correct. Experience has shown us that without having done the whole course the final simulation is too tough. Assessment, assignments & workload
Q: It appears that there is no final exam, but rather 7 or 8 short papers (1,000-3,000 words), one for each unit. Is that right?
A: Correct. There are 8 modules with one assignment for each.
Q: What kind of deadlines are there?
A: Each module lasts two, three or four weeks and the assignment is due at the end of the module.
Q: How does course assessment go, after the two-week orientation?
A: Assessment is via "real-world" tasks that accompany each module of the course. For example, the financial management module is assessed by means of a costed proposal that participants will submit to the tutor. These assignments are designed to not only assess the work covered on the module, but hopefully be of real value to participants in their positions. There are 8 such assignments (no exam). The eighth and final assignment is an online simulation and subsequent write up - associated with the academic management module, but designed to tie all the aspects of the course together.
Q. Is there information on the workload for the online months?
A. Most candidates are working full time and manage the workload, but you have to be prepared to work at weekends especially while completing your assignments.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of students in the face-to-face element?