Independent Reviews of Online Courses
UK Distance Learning & Publishing now has over eight hundred independent reviews on Review Centre, with an average rating of 4.8 stars out of 5. These are testimonials we have no control over, directly from our students. We’re absolutely delighted with this overwhelmingly positive feedback on our home study and online courses, but also recognise that not every review is without criticism. Where we do get suggestions for improvement, or an outright complaint, we see it as our duty to respond to those concerns.
For example, UK Distance Learning & Publishing now offers the vast majority of its courses in both online and paper-based formats, including all of our A-Levels. This major change in the way we deliver our courses came directly from student feedback. Traditionally, we only used online learning platforms for those courses that specifically required it (such as our AAT qualifications) — everything else we did in ‘hard-copy’. However, after receiving numerous reviews suggesting that the need to carry ones bulky folder of learning materials was discouraging students from studying while travelling, or in their breaks at work, we decided that we had to increase the breadth of our online portfolio.
But the changes we make in response to independent reviews aren’t limited to general things such as delivery. In some cases we actually respond on a ‘micro’ level to specific issues within a course. One example of this is our A-Level Accounting course. This has historically been one of our less popular A-Levels — presumably because of the somewhat dry subject matter. As a result, it is not often that we get feedback on the course from our students, which perhaps led to a degree of complacency on our part (we assumed that since we had received no criticism, that the course was fine). However, a few months ago one of our students contacted us to inform us that she was struggling, because although the content of the course was fine, the style in which it had been written was too complex, and ‘clunkly’ in places.
On looking over the course materials ourselves, we agreed with the student that more could be done to make the course accessible to students, and so undertook a full scale rewrite of the materials. We provided the new materials to the student free of charge, and thanked her for raising her concerns with us. Unless our students tell us about their experiences, then it’s much more difficult for us to adapt and improve.
The other reason we love reviews, especially on an independent site like Review Centre, is that it helps to build a sense of trust with people who are thinking about studying with us. In today’s climate, where we are always hearing about nefarious online scammers, it’s getting more and more difficult to know who is a reliable, genuine training provider, and who is just out to con you. A company’s own testimonial page can be fabricated by the management — stuffed with fake reviews written by someone in the company. This is much more difficult to do with an independent third party, who have various safeguards against this kind of practice. They also prevent company’s just deleting reviews that they don’t like.
This means that when you read a UK Distance Learning & Publishing Review online, on a website that isn’t our own, you can trust that it isn’t a fake or a plant — these are actual students giving an honest account of their experience, whether it’s good or bad. Of course, there are always going to be the odd ‘trolls’ — people who deliberately leave bad reviews, often as a form of blackmail — but there are mercifully few of these, and most review sites are fairly good at spotting them and blocking their accounts. Indeed, most people who read reviews can normally spot a ‘troll’ for themselves. They are usually the people who sound slightly demented, and occasionally lapse into WRITING IN CAPS LOCKS TO SHOW HOW ANGRY THEY ARE!!! We do read these reviews as well, of course, but are much less likely to act on them if we feel they are not from a genuine student.
So please, if you are a student with us, whether you’ve had a brilliant, average, or less than satisfactory experience with us, we do really want to hear from you. You can write us a review of Review Centre, email us directly, or submit a testimonial to our website, but please don’t feel that we will just ignore you or dismiss any concerns or suggestions you might have. UK Distance Learning & Publishing is determined to make our online and home study courses the highest quality training programmes available in the UK, and we can only do that with honest, constructive feedback from our students.