Frequently asked questions
What is a Virtual Learning Environment?
A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is a collection of platform and tools used to delivery learning materials to students via the internet. These also allow the tutors to deliver content, assess assignments and student work, share content, chat and interact with students and offers students access to a large repository of content at any time.
What technologies are used to deliver the course?
We use a portfolio of tools, some of which are off the shelf while others are specifically customised for teaching fashion, art and design courses. The tools used are:
- Moodle:Moodle is a learning platform designed to provide educators, administrators and learners with a single robust, secure and integrated system to create personalised learning environments.
- Workflow:Workflow is UAL’s customised version of the Mahara electronic portfolio (e-portfolio) tool. An e-portfolio is a digital collection of artefacts that can be used by students and staff to demonstrate/document their learning and development, and share this with various audiences. E-portfolios facilitate the recording of personalised, life long, reflective and evidential learning. A significant characteristic of the e-portfolio is the degree of ownership and control provided to the student who decides who can view their portfolios and what aspects are visible.
- Blackboard Collaborate®: is a licensed “online classroom” used as a collaboration platform providing web conferencing, mobile collaboration, instant messaging, voice authoring and seamless integrations across different tools.
- Myblog.arts: an excellent tool for documenting creative processes and encouraging reflection in a social context. Students and staff can comment on each others' blog posts, which allows them to connect and share feedback across disciplines and roles. A range of privacy options are available, so students and staff can stay in control of who sees what.
- Process.arts: Offers a rich media/social media experience for sharing arts practice, users are encouraged to openly share and use creative commons licensed content and support others in doing the same.
Depending on the content and nature of the course, tutors might use different permutations and combinations of the above listed tools. The most likely combination used by LCF tutors is a mix of Blackboard Collaborate and Workflow.
What is the general profile of a student attending an online short course?
Anyone 18 or over, of any nationality can attend one of our courses, unless the course is designed for a specific age group. A minimum level of spoken and written English is required (minimum IELTS score of 5).
Our online courses are popular with people who either want to improve their skills in a specific subject area or take up a new hobby. They are also a great way to build up your portfolio. As long as you have a passion for fashion, art and design, you are welcome to apply.
What is the maximum number of students on an online short course?
There are between 8 and 12 students per course. This small size allows a good deal of individual attention from your tutors.
What is the length of an average course?
The length of courses vary from 6 weeks to 10 weeks, with one class every week. Please refer to 'Details for booking' section in the course of your interest.
What is the length of an average class?
The length of each session depends on the course. Typically courses run for 1.5hours whilst some others run for 2.5 hours. Please refer to 'Details for booking' section in the course of your interest, the exact duration of each class will be listed there.
In addition, you would be required to allow for at least 15 - 30 minutes before and after the allocated time for the live class. This is to make sure that all your equipment is set and working correctly, and that enough time is allocated to answer any questions during the class.
What skills or prior knowledge do I need to have to attend an online course?
Our online courses are aimed at anyone who has an interest in fashion, art or design and who wishes to improve their skills and knowledge through practice. While some courses are more suitable to learners with previous experience in the field, there are also entry-level courses, which are easily accessible for complete beginners.
For specific requirements that might be unique to each course, these should be listed in the course description for that course. Alternatively, please fill in an enquiry form.
When do I need to book my place?
There is no strict deadline for applications. We take enrolments until each course is fully subscribed and so we recommend you book as early as possible, ideally at least 4 weeks prior to when you wish to start. Your place on a course is only guaranteed once the fee has been received.
When can I expect to receive information about my online course?
You will receive a confirmation email upon booking, however, you will not receive specific information about your online course until 3-4 days before the course starts. If you book the course less than 7 days before the course start, you will receive your course information within 24 hours.
Can I attend this course from overseas?
As the courses are taught online, there are no restrictions for you to attend the classes. Please be aware that you will be required to attend live classes which will take place at a specific day and time (GMT or BST) every week. You will also need to confirm that your level of spoken and written English is sufficient to attend the course (minimum IELTS score of 5).
You can connect to a live class using any modern computer with a decent internet connection, assuming that you are in a relatively quiet environment. As a live class requires your attention for the whole time of the session, you will need to make sure that you won't be distracted by your surroundings.
Can I use a tablet or a mobile device to attend the online short courses?
Yes, you can attend the online classroom sessions on Blackboard Collaborate by using some mobile devices like Apple or Android supported tablets and smartphones like an iPad, iPhone or Kindle Fire and other Android supported devices. Please refer to our guidance information.
However, we would recommend using a laptop or a mac to ensure you are able to use all the features and interact more freely with the tutors and fellow students. Similarly, given the features on tools like Workflow, accessing these through mobile devices might be more tedious.
Similarly, while you can use mobile devices, please ensure you are using a strong wifi connection or an ethernet cable internet connection and are not using the 2G, 3G or 4G mobile data services.
How good does my English need to be?
All courses are taught in English. You must have a minimum IELTS score of 5 to join our online courses. If you are based in London, you may wish to combine your art or design course with English language studies run by the Language Centre at the University of the Arts London.
What is the minimum age for students to book?
Anyone 18 years old and over can enrol on our courses. There is no upper age limit - we have students of all ages. Please note that students must be the minimum age specified for the course on the first day of class.
In some cases we run courses for students below 18 years of age. If you need any further information, please fill in an enquiry form.
Do you have facilities for students with disabilities?
The College aims to respond positively to disability so that all students can take advantage of our courses. Some of the current communication methods of the Virtual Learning Environment might not be accessible depending on the disabilities. Please contact our office before you enrol so that we can ensure every effort will be made to accommodate your needs.
What kind of equipment do I need to attend an online course?
In addition to the materials list specific to the course you choose, you will also need a microphone and a pair of headphones (a headset with microphone/headphones is highly recommended). A webcam is also recommended.
What kind of browser and software do I need to have on my computer?
You need a recent computer device (smart phone and tablet can also be used but have minor some restrictions during the live classes), with recent operating system and web browser.
We recommend the following:
- Ensure you have the latest version of Java on your Mac or PC
- A recently updated browser like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer
- A good broadband connection is a necessity. (If accessing over a mobile device or tablet, please ensure you are using a strong wifi connection and are not relying on the 3G or 4G data services)
Why do I need headphones when my computer is equipped with speakers?
The live class is using technology which enables you to talk to and hear the tutor and other students. Because the microphone records everything around you, it would also record the sound coming from the speakers, creating an echo loop which would eventually make the live class non-audible. In such case, the tutor would be forced to switch off your microphone remotely.
Do I need to study or research outside class hours?
Although not compulsory we encourage you to allocate a minimum of 1.5 hours a week to complete the weekly assignment.
Will I receive a qualification?
You will receive a 'Certificate of Attendance' which will be postal mailed to you at the end of the course provided you have attended more than 80% of the chat sessions and completed all course work.