I chose to study online so I could have the flexibility in my busy life to be able to manage studying, my children, my family, my husband, my life. Today is my day off and I also have my daughter with me. We decided to come down to the lake here and she's swimming and I'm catching up on some reading.
Studying online, it kind of packs up pretty easily into your life. You can just set yourself up in your living room and as long as your internet connection's all ready and you're confident that you're
going to be able to use that to get all your work in. Sort of find yourself a little corner, get your books organised and pretty much most materials are going to be contained on your little computer so it doesn't have to take over your life.
The tutorial's about to start but I can't log in at home because I need to drive to work so I've discovered that I can log in to the app on my mobile phone and Bluetooth the class to my stereo and that way I can listen on the way to work. Obviously I can't participate or take notes but I can still keep up-to-date with listening to what happened in the session and what the instructions for the next week are.
The great thing about the online environment is that you can access it at any time so catching up on work is just a matter of looking at recordings and tutorials or going back through the
discussion board and it's all recorded there for you. You don't have to look through messy notes that you may or may not know scribbled down during a lecture.
It's fantastic to be part of the live session. You'll constantly be getting feedback from your tutor, other classmates, getting involved and forming relationships with your fellow external students is really great. My first time speaking on the microphone in the blackboard session felt like I was on national radio I was so nervous.
So as the weeks progressed I realised that the best way was to prepare my questions and write them down before the blackboard session so things that had happened during the week or even things that were happening in that class at the time so when I was ready to speak I could just read my question.
I found the experience really engaging, I sort of remember uni as feeling quite isolated in big lecture halls. Putting your hand up this sort of pretty scary sometimes but in the online environment you've got all your resources right in front of you.
Any questions you have pretty much answered straight away either on the tutorial or if you email the lecturer they're always pretty prompt in getting back to you.
It's pretty awesome that you can utilise the tool the discussion board at anytime and the activities that are posted on there by your tutor are worth doing because they're all good preparation
for the assignments.
When you use the discussion board you see each other asking questions and so you learn from each other in that way and also you get to know your fellow students very well and quite quickly and lots of really strong relationships are built that way and they support each other in the learning process. I really enjoy teaching externally mainly because there are many ways that I can develop a strong relationship with you as a student. There's all kinds of tools that we use such as online tutorials which are called Blackboard Collaborate. I can see when you're doing well and I can equally see when you're not doing so well and need me to reach out to you and it's very easy for me to reach out to so I can do that by email or instant messaging or a number of other ways or simply replying to your posts on a discussion board and that way we can get to know what you need and what you need particularly from me.
I was a shy student when I enrolled in Preparing for Success but doing the course externally has given me more confidence to come in to the campus into a course next year.
I've got a really huge drive now to to want to succeed. It's surprising in a way how comfortable that made me feel how interesting it is and how it sort of expanded my horizons pretty quickly and me letting me know that this is something that I can actually do and fit into my life.
I think you really enjoy studying externally and I think you got a lot from it.