Teacher's Aide Course Online: Is it Right for me?
You can now study a nationally recognised teacher aide course online from anywhere in Australia with the Institute of Teacher Aide Courses. Studying a teacher's aide course online entails accessing learning materials via our modern and easy-to-use portal. Students can watch pre-recorded lectures and videos, download reading materials and enjoy a range of interactive learning activities.
ITAC students enrolled in an online teacher aide course can also attend live webinars, contact their trainer as needed and even attend face-to-face tutorials. Studying a teacher aide course online is the most popular method of completing a nationally recognised education support courses in Australia - and it's so much more than just reading a bunch of pdfs.
While we are talking about courses, be sure to choose the right provider for you. Learn more about that here.
About 12000 students graduate from nationally recognised teacher’s aide courses per year in Australia (NCVER 2022). That number is increasing year on year as is the number of people who choose to study a teacher aide course by enrolling 'online'.
Why are so many people choosing to study online? Maybe it's because of the availability of faster internet speeds, better and cheaper devices, wider acceptance of online learning as ‘normal’ and the flexibility that comes with studying a self-paced online course - study when you want and as often or as little as you want.
Also consider the true cost of studying online – choosing the cheapest course is not cost effective if it takes twice as long to complete and you miss out on months of work.
Studying an online teacher aide course is an especially good option for busy parents who can study at a time that suits them; no longer do you need to take time off work or put kids into childcare so you can get an education. Even ten years ago, this is what most students had to do. Nowadays, technology means that all students with an internet connection can benefit from this new and innovative way of learning.
We get hundreds of questions each week about our popular online teacher aide courses, so we've decided to put our answers on paper. Now you can make the best decision about whether studying a teacher aide course online is right for you. Here are the top questions that we get each week:
1. Can a teacher’s aide course be studied online?
Almost all teacher aide courses can be studied online - depending on the provider. Some providers don't offer online at all, whereas others only offer online mode.
We recommend choosing a provider that offers both class and online mode (regardless of which you choose). The two nationally recognised teacher’s aide courses that can be studied online at ITAC are:
- the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support
- the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support.
2. Should I study online or class-based?
Most students have no problems studying online. At ITAC, students can easily contact their trainer by phone, email or even attend weekly live webinars or face-to-face tutorials.
Some students may find online learning slightly more challenging at least to begin with. Online learning requires more self-motivation as it lacks the structure that comes with having to attend classes each week.
Generally speaking however, most students do well in our online teacher aide courses and we have a near 80% completion rate. Before enrolling in any course, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this the first time you have studied at this level?
- Can you use a computer? Can you comfortably watch online videos for example?
- Are you motivated enough to study at home on your own?
- Do you need a flexible learning program due to your commitments or can you attend classes?
- How well do you speak English? Have you been learning English for less than 3 years?
- Does your preferred provider have a good reputation?
- Does your provider offer support services such as live webinars each week?
The quality and reputation of your provider is more important than whether you choose online or class-based mode.
3. What does ‘online study’ mean exactly?
A good question! It's important to remember that ‘online’ is a broad term that can mean many different things. It often doesn’t mean that you sit in front of a computer for your entire teacher aide course and never speak to another person.
Studying a teacher aide course online simply means that you access a range of resources via a student portal (often called a Learning Management System). In addition, good providers will offer various services and resources as part of their program such as:
- interactive webinars where students can ask questions
- face-to-face tutorials or workshops
- regular phone and email contact
- short courses relevant to the qualification
- a structured program that is easy to follow
- e-learning modules to consolidate your knowledge
- interactive online activities.
Also, don’t forget about the placement (discussed below) which is certainly NOT an online activity and has to be done in person.
4. What is the cost of studying online?
Some people ask whether studying a teacher aide course online is cheaper than studying class-based. Enrolling in the cheapest course however, may actually be quite expensive in the long run. Check to see that:
- there are no additional costs involved
- you can contact your trainer by phone whenever you need help
- your provider has a good reputation with schools
- your provider teaches research-based instructional strategies (schoole require these skills)
- your course is designed holistically and not unit by unit (which takes much longer to complete - sometimes double or more)
- your provider visits you in your school (this is very important and expected by schools)
- course materials were developed by the provider's trainers and not simply purchased (the cost passed to you and the quality often questionable).
Poor quality courses can take twice as long to complete than higher quality, engaging, supported and well-structured courses. Choosing a high quality course, albeit sometimes more expensive, may mean finishing sooner and earning money sooner.
5. Is studying an online teacher aide course difficult?
It depends on your provider and on the individual student particularly their experience with children, their capabilities, and their dedication to their studies. For some students, studying a teacher aide course online can be somewhat challenging; with structure and support however, it's more than achievable.
Many students find that studying online suits their lifestyle and family commitments. It can however sometimes take a little longer to complete an online course compared to a face-to-face course simply because class students follow a more rigid structure.
6. Do online students still need to do a work placement in a school?
Yes - every student enrolled in a nationally recognised teacher aide qualification is required to complete a 100-hour placement in a school. This is a government requirement in Australia.
7. Do I need to be IT savvy to study a teacher aide course online?
You will need to have some basic IT skills to study online and be able to watch videos, log in to the portal, read a PDF and do other basic tasks. If you can use Facebook or do online banking, then you can certainly study a teacher aide course online.
Hint: If you think you might struggle with the IT side of things but still want to enrol in a teacher’s aide course online, consider asking someone you know if they will help you when you get stuck with something technical. While trainers can answer basic questions about the course, they are unfortunately limited in their abilities to provide technical help-desk support. With ITAC's courses, each module is set out in the same way, so once you have worked through the first module the rest will be easy.
8. Can I study a teacher aide course online while working full-time?
Yes! In fact, many students do this and it's one of the reasons why online mode has become so popular. Students no longer need to cut their hours or even quit their job in order to study. Many students simply can’t afford to give up work anyway, so they choose to study whenever they have time.
In saying that, it may be the case that taking some time off work, where possible, would be beneficial. Remember that it's important to think about how long you want to spend studying - the more time you can devote to your course, the faster you will finish. Importantly, students need to be available at least one school day per week or for a block of time (e.g. 3 weeks) to complete the mandatory 100-hours.
The average age of our students is 37 and many of them have work commitments so studying and working is actually the norm. If in doubt, we recommend speaking to one of ITAC's friendly student advisers about your specific situation.
9. Can I study a teacher’s aide course online from anywhere in Australia?
ITAC accept enrolments from almost every location in Australia. Speak with an ITAC student advisor if you live in a very remote area as there can be issues with the placement.
10. Is studying online popular?
Nearly 90% of all students choose to study their teacher aide course online - so yes, it is a very common way to gain a natioanlly recognised qualification. In fact, some providers don’t even offer class-based options anymore including several large TAFEs. Even class-based students expect some level of flexibility - hence we offer classes one day per week plus home study. Long gone are the days of being in class 5 days per week for years on end.
If you're thinking about enrolling in a teacher’s aide course online, there are a few key questions you need to ask yourself. Is studying online suitable for you? Are you comfortable studying online? Are classes available in my area?
You will need to select a provider carefully and ensure that they offer good quality resources (developed themselves is always best) as well as other services such as webinars, tutorials and the ability to contact an experienced trainer if you need help.
Also consider the true cost of studying online – choosing the cheapest course is not cost effective if it takes twice as long to complete and you miss out on months of work. It is best to speak with your provider, ask them as many questions as you can and make sure that you feel comfortable studying with them for the next 6-12 months.
Our final advice: the quality and reputation of your provider is more important than whether you choose online or class-based mode. Don’t settle for second best – your education is important and for many, gaining a qualification is a life-changing experience. Investing in your own education is the best thing that you can do for not only your future, but your family’s future as well.