We spoke with one of our online course educator, Cherie Karlsson, about her experiences with teaching online.
Tell us a bit about your design background
My background is in Architecture, but due to the recession in building in the early 90’s I ventured into stationery and homewares designing for David Jones and Myer for the following decade running two retail stores and wholesaling around Australia and overseas. With the arrival of a family I went back to study Colour Design and Interiors at iscd and soon after started my own business in residential design.
I began teaching at iscd in early 2000 where I have been ever since apart from a recent 4 year posting in Sweden.
Which course do you teach online?
Diploma of Interior Design and Decoration, Certificate IV in Interior Decoration. I am also starting to work on the Colour Design Diploma.
What do you love most about teaching online?
To be honest, when I started working from Sweden on the online courses in 2016, I thought I would go straight back to campus teaching when I arrived back in Australia last year, however, teaching online has opened up a whole new world for me. I love engaging with students from so many different backgrounds and locations. We have a wonderful cross section of students from all around Australia, NZ, Europe, USA, Canada and throughout Asia. Teaching online students is both rewarding and exciting as we see a fresh array of design inputs from around the globe, which is also inspiring and motivating for other online students to see and share their ideas with each other.
How does this course compare to others in the industry?
Our feedback tells us that we offer great support and our teachers are on hand to help guide the students through each project. Students online get access to their educators 5 days a week. We offer fast feedback on the assessments and specialist educators across the range of subjects in the courses. We also use Canvas LMS (Learning Management System) – a globally recognised superior learning management platform.
Most common misconceptions about studying online?
That students will find it hard to be motivated and that they need to be a whiz on computers.
However, they soon realise that the computer skills needed in the industry are taught as you travel through the course and in the first study block we really do concentrate on hand skills to get students confident.
Benefits of studying online?
Students like the flexibility of being able to use times like, travelling to work or late at night to be able to study. They have access to their educator 5 days a week and have discussion forums open 24/7. Having students from such a wide range of locations and backgrounds also pushes them to look further afield for ideas and inspiration for their own design work.
What has been your most memorable student or teaching experience?
Watching students who have been so hesitant to start, really flourish and grow throughout their studies is something I love to see. But my proudest moment would have to be seeing our first group of students graduate earlier this year and hearing about the successes had by so many of them in the field of interiors.
What would you say to others thinking about studying online but afraid to take the leap?
Studying online is a great way to study if you want flexibility and still want to work at the same time. The support and constant feedback we offer means you will strive and grow in your studies – don’t let the fact that you are not in a classroom surrounded by other students put you off. Our 24/7 online platform is full of videos and downloads to guide you through the course. Students are constantly sharing idea’s and work on discussion boards so it really is a very inclusive experience.