Back in the swing of it and the distance learning debate

Apologies for the gap in posting. I spent the last week concentrating on finishing my essay on visual methodololgy and then decided to have a little break from studying before the next module. I was also quite aware that my last posting was a big topic and I felt a little like I have to top that in this one. I don’t think that will happen straight away though.

My essay was successfully submitted on time, after some double checking, proof reading and amending.  I can’t say how well I did but I hope that all the work I put into it will pay off.  I have been told that my next module will not be arriving until next week so I can enjoy the sun while it is here!  I also took advantage of a couple of days off work and going to Alton Towers and Twycross Zoo.  It was like a mini summer holiday.

There is currently a debate going on here, it isn’t a big world changing debate but it is relevant to this blog in a way.  I deal with campus based master’s students in my line of work.  For the most part they are full time students committed to their programme.  I also have a few part-time students who have to juggle other responsibilites with their studies.  They are not afforded any special treatement when it comes to deadlines, but I will say that I spend a little more time with them when they choose their modules and structure their timetable.  This works well, it means that they can manage their time and there are no issues with their timetables clashing with their other commitments.   I am myself a distance learning student, and there is some conversation going on about distance learning students needing to be handled differently to campus based students to take into account their responsibilites outside of the course.   This is mainly in relation to flexibilty with deadlines due to many distance learning students working full time (this is a generalisation rather than the majority).  I don’t feel like I have been given any more flexibility on either of my distance learning programmes in this way, which is not a bad thing.  I also disagree that distance learning students should be treated any differently.  When you sign up for the programme, you make a commitment and I feel that you are expected to meet that as best you can.  The whole point of the distance learning programmes are that you have more time to complete the work and coursework compared to campus based students, which is how you can fit it in around your daily workload.    Distance learning should not be an easy option compared to campus based learning, or it will be devalued.  It should be an alternative way of completing a course when there isn’t an option to study on campus.

Anyway, that’s my two-pence.

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