Distance learning seems to bring its advantages and disadvantages. One of the hardest parts I have found is being able to measure my learning, to gauge that I am understanding information correctly. You don’t have the community of a classroom to hear different ideas, or regular interaction that you do on campus with staff and other students. Distance learning does come with its own benefits though. It lets you schedule your own study, to fit it around work and home life, giving you the power (and responsibility) of choosing when to study, and the pace to go at. I have found this incredibly useful when I know I’ve had busier and quieter weekends I can take advantage of, or alternately, let study go on pause when work or life are just a bit too busy.
I gave myself a goal of completing the draft of the first assignment by the start of February. I put the heaviest study onto quieter times – January is a good time for me. Students at work are focusing on exams, so work is quieter. I used leave and free weekends (I’m an early bird, so find evening study after work is doable but not as effective), and am proud that I reached February with a finished draft.
It will need tweaking and improving ahead of the deadline, and referencing to make sense of, but I felt a huge satisfaction to find all the winter evenings and weekends spent reading could result in 5000 words on the topic of career development theory.
However, with the disadvantage of not having regular interaction as you would on campus, I was wary my assignment might show a poor understanding of the theories. Luckily, the course is great at encouraging a tutorial to discuss the assignment, and I wanted to use this as an opportunity to get some initial feedback on whether I was wildly off topic and would need to rethink the whole 5000 words. So last week I completed a phone tutorial with my module leader, and am really glad I did. I was able to discuss particular sections of the draft, and get advice and comments. This has given me some good points to work through on improving and finalising the draft. It also gave me some clarity on referencing and formatting – both things that feel daunting after many years of not writing assignments!
Wishing everyone on Career Development Theories right now the best of luck with your assignment in the coming weeks!
About the author
Rose Leek is a paid blogger for CLL.
I relocated back near my hometown last year in Surrey, after a decade living near the sea in East Kent. I work in a University Employability & Careers Centre, assisting engineering and science students onto a placement year as part of their degree, and providing administrative support to their academic tutors.
I started the Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education (CEIGHE) in October 2017 and am looking forward to developing a wider awareness of the service I work within, and increasing my confidence and understanding.
I have experienced a year with lots of change, and it is both exciting and daunting to be adding studying back into my life. I have never written a blog and my reasoning for doing so is the hope that it will help me to better reflect on, and share, my experience as a CEIGHE student. My course is mainly distance taught, with a few residential workshops per year. I wanted to also try to share the perspective of being a distance student, and how I will (hopefully!) learn to juggle the balance of study, work and home.
I look forward to the journey ahead!
And if all else fails, maybe the cat can do some of my studying for me?