Remote Learning via Live Stream Classrooms at Wellpark College

A decision that you will have to make when you enrol to study for your Bachelor of Naturopathic and Herbal Medicine at Wellpark College is whether you will study face to face on campus of choose remote learning (for years 1&2) via live stream classrooms and Immersion weeks.

Andrea Steen is a 3rd year Naturopathy student who has tried both study options. Andrea took the time to answer a few questions about E Learning at the college and the pass on advice about setting up a study area at home and self-management.

 

You started at Wellpark College as an on-campus student but swapped to online remote learning, what prompted that decision?

I was a part-time on-campus student for 3.5 years then due to COVID-related lockdowns I transitioned into becoming an online student. Initially, I was resistant to learning from home and found it hard to focus and settle, but in time I adjusted and this way of learning offered me more freedom and time for my family and other commitments outside of study. 

What do you feel the main benefits of studying remotely are?

 Remote learning provided me with the flexibility to manage family concerns and other obligations. It reduced my stress levels immensely and provided me with additional time to work on assessments and study.

What are some of the disadvantages of studying remotely?

You have to be very disciplined and able to work independently. An environment tailored to study that is away from distractions is vital. Family and flatmates need a heads up that just because you are at home you are not always available or able to do all the housework and cooking! Communication and checking in with each other is really important for relationships to stay harmonious.

What technology do you need at home to be a remote learner?

 Stable internet is imperative as is a designated work space with enough room to spread out. Additionally, a wall space to display pertinent notes and a planner is helpful.

Do online students get access to the same support as on campus students?

I have found being both on campus and online to offer the same support and student services. Perhaps with online you need to be more proactive and assertive in asking for help and staying in contact with both the administrative staff and your fellow students. 

How useful did you find Immersion Weeks on campus?

 Immersion weeks take organising and planning but are so important for connecting with your student cohort and are a great way to check in with your goal of becoming a naturopathic practitioner. Hands on and practical learning is also an important way to solidify ideas and connect to the greater philosophies of naturopathy. 

The 3rd year of the degree is an on-campus year, how has this worked for you?

 I can’t imagine doing the final year remotely. Being on campus means issues or questions are resolved quickly and due to our time in the clinic, face-to-face support and encouragement are vital. I prepared for this year by letting family and friends know of my commitments and have been honest with them when I can’t be available. Again, ongoing communication and flexibility are so important. 

What advice would you give to someone considering studying for their 1st or 2nd year of the degree remotely?

 A designated workspace is essential, and let family any flatmates know that this is what this space is for. Set boundaries and keep checking in with those you live with. Be proactive in making connections with fellow students, this camaraderie and support are vital going forward with the degree. Additionally, utilise the support offered by the college, stay in touch and never hesitate in reaching out with questions and queries. Stay informed as best you can.

What are you planning to do with your degree upon graduation? 

 I have only scratched the surface of what I wish to learn. Time with clients in the clinic this year has opened up a whole new world and I am keen to spend more time with experienced practitioners from a variety of modalities. Ideally, I would love to work in a dynamic and integrated practice that provides holistic and client-centred care. I have additional mid to long-term goals to work with corporate professionals alongside executive development coaches and eventually establish my own practice. 

Quick-fire questions

Favourite Herb?

I have found liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) to be invaluable for maintaining energy and resilience in my final year of study. Its sweet and restorative qualities have been especially advantageous in this last year at Wellpark. For my clients, I’m torn between ginger (Zingiber officinale) and green oats (Avena sativa). But at this stage of my learning, ginger has surprised me. I was nonchalant with this culinary spice when we first studied it in herbal medicine. But its healing properties are so vast and boundless that I believe most would benefit from its inclusion in a herbal formula. From dysmenorrhea to reducing nausea, supporting the immune systems to relieving abdominal bloating and wind. It truly is a superstar and can be prescribed in so many ways.

Favourite Quote?

Wisdom begins with silence.

Favourite relaxation technique?

For me it is being by the water, barefoot on the earth, facing north and inhaling mothers natures energy and wisdom. This brings me calmness and balance. 

Favourite study snack?

Fridge forage: grazing plate with olives, a chunk of cheese, walnuts, almonds, dark chocolate, hummus, oat biscuits and cherry tomatoes. Additionally, whilst studying an infusion of rosemary and hot water helps to keep me focused and on track. 

 Find out more about E Learning options at Wellpark College.

Interview with Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine Student Andrea Steen, by Nikki Morgan 05/10/2022

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