Sunday, October 5, 2008

Studying via distance education

Finally today, I would like to share some words about studying via distance education.

It's different from studying in a regular classroom. There's just you. There's no physical teacher, no classmates to bounce ideas off of.

Therefore, it's important to have the motivation to study when necessary - and get assignments handed in on time. When I took my two distance education courses, Introduction to Libraries and Basic Library Procedures, it was important to know when my assignments were due, and what information I needed to have studied in preparation.

One of my disadvantages studying was that the mailing time between me and the city varied. I've received letters within 2, 3, 4 days of it being mailed. I've also had things that have taken a week. Therefore, knowing a average time it takes for the mail to be sent is important. There's no point in sending something off two days before it's due because it may arrive on time. It may be delayed - and doesn't necessarily make you look good.

You have to be determined to succeed, and to balance your education and your personal life. I would study in the mornings, and on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, volunteer at the local school. I made the effort to study, to read notes and to gather insight.

With my courses, my instructors only ever saw the assignments I completed. They don't necessarily have any idea whether I read the material provided to me, although for some assignments it was absolutely mandatory - answers were based on how well you had understood what had been provided.

Above all, you have to be determined to succeed. I managed to get an A and a B through distance education, although that's not to say that I would have done as well with other courses. I put a lot of hard work into my studying and it paid off.

It's no cheaper than taking a regular course through a educational institution. However, it can lighten an otherwise heavy course load and give you the opportunity for some more hours a week to dedicate to other courses.

We will see how my work schedule permits me this week to blog - I hope it's not quite as hectic, but of course it won't be known tomorrow morning.

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