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Old 18-05-2003, 11:46 PM   #9
JAYAN's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 12,243
Originally posted by hanneng

1) Offering institute: Auston Open Learning
2) Validating university: University of Western Sydney
3) Length of course: 1 year
4) Course structure: part-time classroom based
5) Area of study: INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (Data Comm)
6) Costs: Course fees = $9800 (cover exam fees, material etc.) No administration fees needed because I was an ex-Auston student (did my Advanced Dip there).

Completed the course in March 2002. Still waiting for final result.

My comments:
Lecturer / teaching method
Most tutor and lecturer are local (mostly part-timer from Poly and NUS/NTU). Some are good in the delivery of the course. They are willing to stay after class hours, and reply by email. Usually, part-timer don't response during office hours, because will disturb their full-time job.
There are also bad one as 'bo-chap' attitude and just 'read from the book' style.

Course Material
Usually the FOC course material is useless. Those are extracted and photocopy from somewhere. Some never use at all. The lecturer always said FOC material is for "extra reading". The school will recommend to buy some books, but not necessary.
Taking note and tape recording is very important because you could replay the lesson when you do revision later.

Computer Room / Classroom booking
Auston has few computer rooms with Internet access for student use. Usually, I don't use them often because I have better PC at home. Unless you're attending practical lesson (like programming), else you don't use much.
My study group used to book the classroom for group discussions or project meeting. But due to Auston expansion and popularity, we can't get often.

Auston has a small library in level 3. The collection is not big and resources are limited. This is a good place if you want to borrow book for photocopy.

Auston will provide hot beverage during lesson break. I like the balcony area in level 3. At least can have some fresh air during the break. It's also a smoking area.

Admin support / Exam Result
You can request for document from the school. for example, reservist deferment letter, letter of studies, etc. Sometimes, the support staff didn't do their job well.
Normally, provisional result will be out in one month, but the actual result (from the awarding university) is 3 months after exam.

Assessment Methods
Each subject is assessed by written assignments and an examination; standard percentage is about 50/50 or 40/60. The written assignment is to help you to pass the subject.
As long as your assignment is 'OK' and don't fail the exam, you will get at least a PASS. The failure rate is about 5% - 15%.

The minus point:
As the degree course can be completed within 12 months, therefore some quality of study would be compromised. It is impossible to cover 100% for each subject, in 3 hours per lesson per week in the period of 10 study weeks.
30 hours of academic lesson compare to minimum 60 hours by full-time student. On top of that, assignments must be submitted before exam.

Auston has no different from other commercial school, that the more student enrolled is better. Sometimes, the class is too big. There is no enough time to ask question or clarify any unclear topics.

Some lecturers would expect student to have some background and basic knowledge for the subject. This will be a challenge for student that does not have necessary experience or knowledge.

Personally, I would like to grade Auston 6 out of 10 point. The reasons I enrolled in Auston:
1) Fast The program can be completed within 12 months.
2) Cost - A final year degree is just cost me below $10K.
3) Flexible Module / Semester system.
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