Getting Started With Your Course
This page will give you all the information you need to get started in your course. We recommend bookmarking this page so you can refer back to it.
- Your Individual Learning Plan
- Your Course Work
- Assessments, Submissions and Drafts
- Using Your Workplace vs Using a Case Study
- Getting Help
- Recognition of Prior Learning & Credit Transfers
- References & Resources
Your Individual Learning Plan
Before you begin your studies at CAL you will request an Individual Learning Plan (ILP). Your ILP sets out your study based on your nominated completion time. Your ILP is your roadmap for your studies, it is a guide that sets out a timeline of units and ideal completion dates to help you stay on track. If you have not already requested an ILP you can request one here.
If you wish to complete a unit early that is perfectly fine, and if you run over your timeframes then it's not a problem either. Please feel free to adjust your ILP at any time to suit your study needs. If you make any changes to your existing ILP please let your Student Success Advisor know by getting in contact via Contact a Coach portal so we can update the records on file.
Your Course Work
Your course makes use of a variety of content formats to give you the best learning experience. The majority of your course content will be delivered in video tutorials. If you prefer to not watch the videos you are welcome to download either the transcript or the presentation from beneath each tutorial video. Below the tutorial videos, you will also find any relevant activity documents.
The Learning Journal
Your learning journal is your way of demonstrating your knowledge and understanding of the course content and is submitted along with your Assessment Task(s) at the end of your unit. It is a document that you create with all of your answers to the tutorial activities for your unit, and any notes you’d like to include along the way.
When submitting your learning journal, try to combine all tutorial activities into one document where possible, clearly labelling each activity. You may submit additional documents where they can’t be easily combined into a single document, just make sure each document is labelled clearly. If you're unsure how to set out your Learning Journal feel free to use our template as a guide.
Assessments, Submissions and Drafts
Each unit will also contain a quiz that you must complete as part of the assessable activities for the unit.
You will need to score at least 80% to pass your unit quiz, however, you may sit the quiz at any time during the unit. You have an unlimited amount of attempts and only the highest score will be taken into account.
At CAL we offer a unique draft facility that allows you to get feedback on your assessment before your final submission. We encourage students to make full use of their single draft submission for each unit so that you can submit your final assessment with confidence. You can submit a draft via the Contact a Coach portal at any time, simply select 'Contact Student Support', then choose the 'Submit a Draft' option on the form.
It will generally take five business days to receive feedback on your submitted draft, depending on the complexity of work submitted and the overall volume of assessments waiting for review.
Submissions and Resubmissions
Once you are satisfied with your assessment, use the ‘Submit Work’ button on the navigation bar at the top of your dashboard to submit.
Fill out all required fields, upload your work, add comments if necessary and acknowledge and agree to the terms of assessment.
Once you submit your work for assessment you will receive an email confirming receipt of your submission. Your assessment results will usually take 10 business days. If you are unsuccessful on your first submission, you’ll be given in-depth feedback and direction on what needs to be improved on. You will then be able to resubmit without penalty up to two more times. If you are unsure about what is required for an assessment, please feel free to get in touch with your Learning Coach via the Contact a Coach portal.
If you are using your workplace in your assessments you will need to fill out additional forms and submit them with your assessment, as part of the Third-Party Reports procedure. If you have previously been approved to use your workplace in your assessments you can ignore any reference to case studies and insert your own workplace instead.
Using Your Workplace vs Using a Case Study
If possible we recommend using your workplace as it will be easier to apply your course learning to your current role. You will also have the added benefit of creating documents and processes for your work throughout your study. If you are unable to use your own workplace, you can use the case studies provided for your course. These case studies are often less relevant to your work, however do not require any additional documentation to be filled out. You can find all of our case studies on our Case Studies page.
If you're using your own workplace for your unit assessment task/s, we will need to verify the skills you demonstrate in your workplace (that cannot be demonstrated in your written task/s). This requires that your current, or most recent manager/supervisor, observes you in the workplace and provides written feedback.
The first step is to get your third-party reporter approved by completing and submitting the 'Approval for Third-Party Reporter' form. It will provide your assessor with the information needed to approve the person you nominate as suitable to provide third-party testimony. To download and submit the form, visit our third party approval page.
Once your nominated person has been approved, they will be required to complete the Third-party Evidence Collection Form for each unit you intend to use your workplace for. This form can be found under each of your unit tutorials. This form asks them to confirm (or not) the skills/tasks they have observed you perform in the workplace. You will submit this form along with your final assessment submission for each unit.
Where further evidence is required, your assessor may need to contact them. As a guide, it only takes around 5 minutes to complete the Approval for Third-Party Reporter form and a further 30 minutes or so to complete each Third-party Evidence Collection Form. If you are unable to provide a suitable person for this process, you are welcome to use the CAL Case Studies for your assessment tasks instead.
In order to get support from your peers, discuss course content, create career opportunities and build professional relationships, CAL has set up various Student Groups to connect with other students and alumni on social media.
The LinkedIn Group
This group is a great opportunity for everyone to connect and build professional relationships. We encourage you to share information and ideas, ask career questions and gain advice from other CAL students, alumni, associates and industry professionals.
Facebook Study Groups
In addition to the LinkedIn Networking Group, we also have private Facebook Study Groups available for students to connect with others in their course stream.
These Study Groups are a valuable resource for you to ask questions and discuss course content with other students who are working on the same modules and assessments.
If you are studying a Double Diploma across two different course streams, we recommend that you join both groups to get the most out of the Study Groups.
If you have a common question we recommend having a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page to see if it has been answered in the past. You will find answers to common questions from other students, including questions about support and accessibility, coursework and assessments, and general troubleshooting.
Student Finance and Accounts
If you have any questions or need to get in touch with our student finance and accounts department, you can do so by calling 1300 907 870 or using the Contact Student Support option on our Contact a Coach portal.
Using Contact a Coach
At any time throughout your course, you will have access to the Contact a Coach portal. On this page, you may decide to submit a query from which you will receive an email response, book in a call with your coach or talk to us on live chat.
Book a Call with your Learning Coach
To get in contact with your coach simply use our Contact a Coach portal to select the service you need and choose a time that fits in with your schedule.
We encourage students to get in contact with their coach on a regular basis, not just when you are stuck. Imagine that whenever you would put your hand up to ask a question in the classroom, this is the right time to book in a call with your coach.
Your coach can provide you with direction and insight into your studies, help you contextualise your learning to your workplace, give examples based on real-life scenarios and provide valuable tips and tricks to help you along your learning journey.
Contact Student Support
You may also like to get in contact through our Contact Student Support option. Our Student Support Team will be able to give you an email response within two business days.
These are some examples of queries that are best answered through this service:
- Submit a draft
- Questions about your ILP
- Questions about your case study
- Questions about tutorial activities
- Questions about your assessments
- Request quiz result details
- Contact Student Finance
Our live chat service is your direct line to the Student Support Team during normal business hours and can be used for any questions about:
- Request access to new units
- Queries about Learning Plan timeframes
- Questions about your Learning Journal
- Questions about the Student Portal
- Student Portal login issues
- Technical difficulties and missing documents
If you're looking for help with content-specific questions, please use the Contact Student Support function, or book in a call with your Learning Coach
Our onboarding videos will give you a concise overview of how to get started with your studies. If you have not had an opportunity to watch our onboarding videos or would like to rematch them, they can be found on our FAQ page here or under the appropriate section on this page.
Recognition of Prior Learning & Credit Transfers
If you are interested in Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for any of your course units we recommend reading our RPL guide here.
You will then fill in our Recognition of Prior Learning Application and book your preliminary assessment call to discuss your application with your coach and proceed with the RPL application.
If you are interested in credit transfer please follow the RPL Application process above and inform your coach during your preliminary assessment call.
If you feel confident that you already hold a lot of the competencies being delivered within an online unit you can fast-track your studies. You can test your knowledge so that we can evaluate where you are and exactly how much you still need to learn. View our fast-tracking policy here.
If you haven’t spoken to your learning coach about fast-tracking, please make an appointment using Contact a Coach
Fast-Tracking must be pre-approved by your coach before you go any further.
Enter the online unit and read the associated summary documents (learner’s assessment pack and unit learning plan).
Sit the quiz without doing any course work.
You must receive above 90% on your first attempt to qualify for fast-tracking
Download the learner’s assessment pack and complete it in full.
Submit your work (make sure you select the ‘fast-track’ option) so that we can see where (if any) your gaps are.
If for any reason you need to defer your course you can do it at any time during your twenty-four month timeframe. You can defer your course and/or payments for up to 90 days. You can defer once during your course. View our deferral policy here.
The deferral will:
- Pause your studies for the period approved
- Pause your payments for the period approved (if requested on the form)
- Push back your course expiry date by the period approved
If you need more time to complete your course you can apply for a single free extension near the end of your course.
- Is limited to 6 months
- Can only be applied for in the final six months of your course
- Is limited to one extension during your enrolment period
At CAL we are always looking for ways to improve our learning experience for our students. If you have any feedback, good or bad, please get in contact using one of the links below.
Get in Touch
If you'd like to provide any general feedback to CAL or any suggestions please feel free to get in contact via the Contact a Coach portal.
General Feedback Form
If you have general feedback about your course or anything surrounding your experiences with CAL, you can submit your thoughts via this form.
The College for Adult Learning approaches complaints as an opportunity to improve services and communication. Accordingly, all complaints will be dealt with in a responsive, timely manner that recognises the rights and responsibilities of individuals and recorded in line with appropriate legislation. View our Complaints Policy here.
References & Resources
Here you will find useful links for your study and course include helpful blogs and CAL policies.
If you're finding it hard to get motivated to study or stick to your study schedule, these blogs are packed full of study tips and tricks. To keep up to date with the latest study strategies and tips for productivity, take a look at our blogs page.
Learn how to accommodate your learning style to make your daily study more effective.Find out my learning style →
Are your goals SMARTER? See how using goals properly can enhance your work and study.Help me set better goals →
Fitting study around your full-time work is difficult, there are a few tricks you could be using.Learn how to balance my study →
The Student Handbook contains important information about the College for Adult Learning including the services we provide and the responsibilities of both students and staff. It also contains information about relevant policies and procedures
If you're interested in reading any of the policies surround CAL processes and procedures they can be found on our website here. On this page, you will find a list of all of our policies as well as other important student documents.