Requirements for Distance Study - College of Education, Health and Human Development - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

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Requirements for Distance/Flexible Learning Options

The College of Education, Health and Human Development FLO courses are delivered online via Learn, using quality course materials. This may be a new way of learning for some, but one that has renowned proven success for past FLO students. As a FLO student it’s important to understand fully what distance learning is like, and how it fits with students own learning preferences. Studying via FLO at University is a rewarding experience, and will challenge and inspire students, whilst gaining new skills and knowledge, and will be worth all the commitment made.

Time Commitments

  • Full-time FLO Students
  • Part-Time FLO Students
  • A 15 point enrolment equates to approximately 10 hours of study per week.

Computer Requirements for Distance Students

To study at the UC College of Education, Health and Human Development it is a requirement that you must have continual access to a computer with broadband internet access, and access to a printer. We realise that many of our students may feel anxious about their level of computer and online skills when they think about distance study. The following checklist will help identify the areas that students will need to be comfortable in, and what computer hardware they will need to successfully manage online learning.

  • Know how to access the internet through an internet provider
  • Know how to operate the basic search and navigation features of a web browser
  • Know how to use e-mail to send and receive messages and attachments
  • Know how to download and open PDF documents
  • Know how to change a document into a PDF file
  • Know how to store and retrieve electronic documents for future use
  • Be comfortable reading and contributing to online discussion forums in Learn sites
  • Be able to write assignments using a word processing application
  • Be able to use your computer with several windows open at the same time
  • Be able to work with MP3, MediaPlayer or iTunes formats, as music, māori and other assignments will be required to submit audio files via Learn.

Minimum Equipment Requirements

  • An Internet Service Provider (ISP) or other means to access the Internet
  • A modem that can maintain a connection speed of 56.6bits per second or higher
  • A broadband connection will give you the fastest access
  • A computer installed with Microsoft Windows 7 or later, or
  • A mac with os 10.3 or later
  • A CD Rom with at least 48X speed
  • A printer to print course materials
  • A sound card and speakers.

Recommended applications

  • An internet browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer
  • An e-mail programme like Microsoft Outlook or Gmail
  • A word processing application like Microsoft Word or Open Office
  • Adobe’s free latest version Adobe Reader
  • Presentation software like Power Point or Keynote
  • Video playing software like Quicktime, Media Player or Adobe Flash Player.

Course Materials for Distance Students

  • All course materials are provided free of charge. They are accessed via the University Learning Management System Learn which is powered by Moodle. Materials can be read or printed as required.
  • Supplementary materials such as CD, DVD or print material may be sent with the course.
    If there are supplementary materials they will be sent prior to the start of the course.

Text Books

  • Any compulsory Text books can be found in the Course Outline. Course outlines are available online. The University Bookshop (UBS) is a bookseller located at the University and orders are able to be placed by phone or email.
  • Most courses also have recommended readings. You will find information about recommended readings in your Course Outline. These readings can generally be borrowed through the Education Library. Often the recommended readings for your course can be purchased from UBS, but you are advised to try the library first.

On-site Intensives

  • Students enrolled in the Primary or Early Childhood BTchLn or Graduate Diploma will be required to attend a two week On-site Intensive at the beginning of the programme. This will be in Christchurch unless you are enrolled in the regional programmes in Rotorua or New Plymouth, but students will be advised where their On-site Intensive will be held. Students would normally also attend a second one-week On-Site Intensive in July.
  • Other programmes may also have courses that require you to attend a compulsory On-site Intensive in Christchurch. Details of which courses have On-site Intensives can be found on the Course Outline, and confirmed details will be made available via the Learn sites.
  • If accommodation is required whilst at the University there are local motels, or casual bookings can be made in our halls of residence if rooms are available. Contact
  • Accommodation and travel costs are met by the student.

Examinations and tests requirements

Please note that the following course occurrences (in the related programmes) may have a distance test or exam:

Additional Information about tests and examinations
  • If a course has an official exam or supervised test it is expected that you will travel up to 2.5 hours from your home address to the allocated centre.
  • Confirmation will be sent out regarding the details of your examination/test about three weeks before the exam date. You will also be advised of any restrictions on what not to bring to the test or exam. Acceptable photo ID is needed on attendance (passport or NZ driver’s licence).
  • If you miss an exam due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. sickness) you may apply for Special Consideration.  Applications must be submitted within five working days of the examination/test.  Information regarding Special Considerations can be found at Special Considerations Information
  • Students may enter an exam up to 45 minutes after the published start time of the examination.  A candidate who reports after this time or misses an examination must contact the Examination Arrangements Senior Co-ordinator as soon as possible.
  • Please contact the Examination Arrangements Senior Co-ordinator for further information.
  • Information regarding Missed Exams can be found at  Missed Exams.

Professional Practice

  • For some programmes students will be required to spend time in schools or centres. These Professional Practice blocks will be between one and six weeks, and may occur twice a year.
  • The Professional Practical blocks are designed to allow students to learn through practical application and first-hand experience. These experiences enable the student, their lecturers and associate teachers to systematically evaluate their developing knowledge and skill. The College of Education, Health and Human Development will endeavour to place students in local schools or centres, but should the need arise, students may be expected to travel. Travel and accommodation costs are all met by the student.

Home School

  • There may be occasions where access to a school or classroom is desired in order to complete an observation or task relating to a particular course. Distance students in Primary programmes are strongly encouraged to foster a good relationship with a school in their area, so that they can gain access to groups of children or resources where this may be appropriate as a part of their studies. This notion of a ‘home school’ contact is a strictly informal relationship between the student and the school, and falls outside of any formal liaison organised by the College and the school.

Course Delivery for Flexible Learning Options

  • FLO courses are delivered via the University of Canterbury Learning Management System Learn (Moodle). Learn is the Learning Management System that has been chosen at the University of Canterbury.
  • Learn is designed as an online teaching and learning space. The online learning environment provides access to your course materials, discussion forums and links to other web information.
  • Learn is designed to be as simple as possible to use. Inside there is plenty of supporting information on each screen.
  • Lecturers and tutors will communicate with students via student email and the Learn sites.

Sending in assignment work

  • Normally FLO assignments will be submitted electronically via the course Learn site. For those assignments not suitable for electronic submission students will be asked to mail them into the College.

Marking assignment work

  • If assignments are submitted electronically via Learn it is likely that they will be marked and returned via Learn. Interim grades will also be available via the Learn Gradebook. Final grades are available on myUC.
  • Any assignments submitted via mail will be marked and returned via mail. Grades will be available via the Learn Gradebook.

Assessment Deadlines and Extensions

  • It is important that students plan their time to make every attempt to complete assignments on time and meet any due dates.
  • An extension of up to two weeks can be applied for where there are exceptional circumstances. Some courses do not permit resubmits.
  • Approval must be requested from the course coordinator before the due date.
  • Examples of exceptional circumstances are; serious injury or illness incurring hospitalisation, death of a close family member or trauma. Evidence must be provided to support the reasons for an extension application.


  • The Library can provide access to books, articles, and audiovisual material for FLO students
  • They will post requested items to students across New Zealand free of charge.
  • They will send scans of articles/chapters to student email addresses.
  • Each parcel sent will include free return postage.
  • Items not held by the Library may be requested using the interloans service.
  • There is access to many online resources, including guidance on using library resources, advice on search strategies, databases and other electronic resources.
  • Liaison Librarians will assist with referencing guidance. They can be contacted by phone or through the ‘Ask Live’ service, where a Librarian is available for help online in real time.
  • Click here for Library Distance Services.

UC Support Services for Distance Students

UC Student Support

The University of Canterbury’s Student Support Team provides free and confidential pastoral care for all UC students, including domestic, international, local and distance students studying at the College of Education, Health and Human Development.  The Student Support team supports students in a variety of areas, including:

  • Strategies for academic and social success
  • Adjustment to university and/or New Zealand life
  • Personal issues affecting study
  • Communication and comprehension skills
  • Basic time management and study skills
  • Motivation and direction
  • Social and cultural concerns
  • Course enrolment and withdrawal enquiries
  • Extension and aegrotat queries
  • Financial and hardship concerns
  • International student visas and insurance
  • Participation in the UC Mentoring Programme
  • Referral to other services (incl. Academic Skills, Academic Advisors, Careers Centre, Disability Services, Accommodation Services and the Health Centre)
Students with disabilities
  • Any student enrolled in an assessed course who has a temporary or permanent disability that affects their ability to study is eligible to register with the Disability Resource Service at any stage of the academic year. This applies whether studying at the Christchurch campus, at regional campuses/centres (Rotorua, New Plymouth and Nelson) or by distance within New Zealand.
  • In order to register, a student must provide a pertinent, comprehensive report expressing an appropriate professional's opinion of their disability/medical condition and its possible impacts so a support plan can be developed with the student.
  • A student needs to be registered with the Disability Resource Service and have a current learning support plan in order to use the services provided.
  • Click here for the Disability Resource Service.
Pasifika support

UC features one of the most innovative support systems for Pacific Students. There is a team of people available to help students develop through their study, from undergraduate to post-graduate.

The Pacific Development Team provides specialist support for Pacific Education Students. They provide pastoral care of distance and regional Pacific students studying Teacher Education including;

  • Advice and advocacy
  • Enrolment enquiries
  • Resources and facilities for Pacific Education students
  • Information on UC Pacific events, programmes and services
  • Personal issues affecting study and all other related concerns
  • Mentoring for Pacific Education students
  • Information on the PASS programme
  • Extension requests
  • Hardship concerns
  • Aegrotat applications
  • Cultural support groups. 
Māori Support
  • Our programmes for first year Māori students provide integrated support through a variety of events and skill development. Our postgraduate student programmes encourage successful participation in higher degrees.
  • The Māori Development advisors are available throughout the year to support Māori students and help them resolve any problems affecting their studies.
  • Māori Development Services.
Academic Skills Centre
  • The Academic Skills Centre offers one-to-one consultations for distance students by phone or email. Appointments can be made by contacting the ASC, preferably by phone: (03) 364 2314 or Toll Free 0800 827 748, ext 6314 or by email
    Academic Skills Centre - Distance students
  • Students’ who may require assistance with an assignment or essay, are able to book an appointment, email their work to an assigned learning advisor at least two days before appointment, along with any questions or concerns that they have. The advisor will read the assignment and phone the student. During the phone appointment both the student and the advisor will work through the issues that they have both identified in the assignment, essay or report. All students are welcome to make an appointment as often as every two weeks.
Contacting other distance students for Support
  • A good place to talk to other students in the same courses is through the Forums in the Course Learn sites. Some students find that they are able to establish study groups with students in the same location around New Zealand.
  • On-site Intensives are an excellent place to meet other students and to form email groups after meeting in class.
Student ID Card

The Canterbury Card is the official student ID for University of Canterbury students. Your Canterbury Card is also your:

  • Students' Association membership card
  • Library card
  • Security card for access to locked areas that you are authorised to enter
  • Debit card, when your account is loaded with funds, to pay for:
    • Internet and email (ICTS website) if using computers on campus
    • Printing (ICTS website) when on campus
    • Photocopying (CEPS website) if using copiers on campus
    • Library charges (fines, interloans)
    • You should carry your Canterbury Card with you whenever you are on campus.
    • Once you have officially accepted your enrolment offer and paid your fees (or suitable arrangements have been made, i.e. Student Loan approval has been received by the University) you will receive a "You are enrolled" notification. You can then get a Canterbury Card.
    • The Canterbury Card Office is located in Room 111, 114 Ilam Road. Office hours are Monday – Friday, 9.00am–12.30pm and 1.00pm–4.30pm if you live locally
    • Your username is printed on your Canterbury Card and replaces the temporary one you were given during the enrolment process
    • First-year distance and regional campus students who are unable to come to the Card Office must supply a certified passport photo and a four-digit PIN. For more info click here.
      Photos must have on the back:
      • the statement, "certified as a true and correct likeness of (the student's full name)"
      • the date, signature and designation of a Justice of the Peace, school principal or solicitor, along with this authoriser’s official stamp if available
      • Photos cannot be sent electronically.
  • Important: If you do not physically want a card you must still contact the University to confirm your permanent username and password. Phone 0800 827 748 and ask for ICT Servicedesk. Students cannot access the course Learn sites to start their study without a permanent username and password.
  • Even without a physical card you can deposit funds directly into your debit account at:
    • myUC online by credit card
    • EFTPOS reload stations located in all libraries, the Copy Centre and the Crypt Computer Workroom (L0, Erskine Building)
    • Please follow the instructions carefully on UC Student Web or on the front of the reload station and make sure the money has been added to your account.