I moved back to Cape Town, South Africa last year and decided that I needed to study something because I’d been a bit lazy in that regard. I perused the online short courses available from GetSmarter, an online education company, and from Red & Yellow, an advertising and marketing school. I’d never studied online before, so I didn’t really know what to look for.
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I was interested in social media and copywriting. A friend told me about the Digital Marketing Course from Red & Yellow, and I saw that it included a module about social media. Another friend advised me to go for the more technical course, so I veered in that direction. I’d never studied Marketing or anything Digital before, but I knew it would be interesting because I’m constantly being digitally marketed TO, and I would like to know more about the other side.
I’d also heard that if you achieve more than 75% average for the course, you will be invited to take a two-hour online exam, and that if you pass with 75% you will become a Quirk accredited digital marketer. Quirk, a marketing agency, have recently been joined by WPP a British multinational advertising and public relations company. This sounded like extra motivation to dedicate the recommended 8-10 hours a week to the course.
On top of that, the course is also accredited by iab South Africa (formerly DMMA,) an association seeking to grow the digital industry in South Africa, by University of Stellenbosch Business School, as well as by Cambridge Marketing College. It sounded like I’d get a lot of bang for my 7,685 bucks (R7,685.00 – South African Rand) for a ten-week course. I was sold! (The course is open to all countries.)
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I’d left my decision-making to the last minute, and only registered and paid on the day that the course started. I was lucky to be accepted! A co-ordinator set me up with a username and password to access the online learning portal. I saw that other students who had registered earlier had already started participating in the forum discussions. I signed up for a spot on the (not compulsory) weekly chat session, signed the plagiarism form, introduced myself on the forum, read announcements and the welcome pack which gave clear instructions on everything important, and got acquainted with the online learning platform.
Module 1 was released and I watched the engaging, exclusive-to-the-course short video, downloaded the text book resources and the assignment. I couldn’t bring myself to read the text book in .pdf format, so I made arrangements to collect my complimentary copy of the book from the Red & Yellow School. I live nearby, so collecting it was quicker that waiting for it in the post.
(party) pack + text book for the course
The physical copy of the book contains ‘over $1600 worth of vouchers.’ I still couldn’t bring myself to reading it. I got organised instead. I created and labelled folders for each of the eight modules and read and saved links to relevant sites in my ‘favourites.’
Getting organised is the best excuse for not reading the text book
I began the assignment, and things started getting better from there. I attended the (non-mandatory) online chat session, felt shy to participate, but did anyway. There is a ‘Participation’ mark of 5% for posting in the forums or Chat, and Tweeting, so I tweeted and endeavoured to do so again.
I completed and submitted my assignment in time, and Module 2 was released soon after. I had to wait two weeks before my first results would be released. This felt like a L O N G time! The second module assignment included an online quiz. Even though it was an “open book” quiz, there were some tricky questions. Fast-forward to the release of Module 4 along with results from the first assignment, and the course gained momentum and I felt more inspired.
The next few weeks passed by smoothly. The final, research assignment was challenging because it involved putting together everything I’d learnt in the course, but I submitted it yesterday *relief* I’ll keep you posted once I get my results.
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The course was well-managed, it was easy to get in touch with the co-ordinators, the course material was fresh and the assignments were relevant. We had chat sessions with industry experts who answered our questions. The online learning platform was easy to navigate but you need to be Internet-savvy. I really appreciated the constructive feedback in my marked assignments.
I learnt a lot from this course and I think it will open doors for me.
* This post expresses my own research and views, and was not sponsored.