The mention of the term ‘distance learning’ for many people conjures up images of working alone, 1970’s black and white BBC Open University television programmes and wading through large and often uninteresting course manuals.

Now imagine, if you can, a totally different distance learning experience in which you are supported from start to finish providing you with a rich, highly engaging and interactive experience leaving you more confident, knowledgeable and qualified.

The Open University was the world’s first successful distance teaching university. It was founded on the belief that communications technology could bring high quality degree-level learning to people who had not had the opportunity to attend traditional campus universities. Not only has Exponential embraced this concept, it has gone much further and now provides high quality, engaging distance learning programmes to students, managers, consultants  and coaches in over 30 different countries.

As one of Exponential’s Management Advisors /Personal Tutors, I can be working with a manager in Lagos (Nigeria) in the morning, London (UK) and Port-au-Prince (Haiti) in the afternoon.  I think of my role not as a traditional tutor, but as a coach and mentor.

I enjoy learning about the roles and challenges faced by the managers and students with whom I work. My role is about supporting my students to acquire and apply new knowledge and ideas so that they can develop their own insights and ideas on how to improve their own performance.

When I joined Exponential in 2004, my role was a traditional training and tutoring role – standing up in front of groups, setting and marking assignments and delivering to a set delivery plan. Now it is more flexible and lead by the needs of my students within the framework of whichever qualification they are following.

I meet online one-to-one with my students and am much more of a personal advisor or coach. During meetings, we might discuss a particular idea or a work-based scenario that the student has a problem with. We explore how to manage and how to apply what students have learned from the materials and the completion of assignments provides an emphasis upon helping them to improve their performance at work.

If your idea of a distance learning course is more akin to the 1970’s Open University model, then think again. By choosing to enrol on a distance learning qualification with Exponential, you decide when to start and when to meet; how quickly you complete the qualification; and when and when you want to study. If you do decide that an Exponential qualification is right for you, then be prepared to receive regularly clear and concise feedback on your progress and assignments, high quality coaching and support; and a stimulating and enjoyable learning experience that will challenge and motivate you to perform to new levels.