Massey University CareerplaNZ

Career and student learning issues brought to you by Massey University’s Careers Service – New Zealand

Archive for January, 2008

I want to be alone

Posted by John Ross on January 15, 2008

In this blog we’ve looked at why people become students and why some choose to do so from a distance.  Surprise, surprise – few choose distance studies citing “I want to be alone”.  Just how alone would you be though?  What support is out there to counter feelings of isolation?

Here at Massey we talk of the ‘extramural campus’ (if truth be told, as a committed Europhile I prefer ‘campus sans frontieres’).  Our distance students are spread throughout NZ and the world (even France!) but are part of a nineteen-thousand strong community (so that’s what the bloke next door does).

This sense of community might not be at the forefront of their minds as they grapple with exam and assignment deadlines but perhaps it should be – indeed, a sort of shared suffering!  We’re in this together! Who can ease your suffering then?

Well for starters there’s the Extramural Students’ Society (EXMSS).  If you’re a Massey student EXMSS may be able to put you in touch with students in your area doing the same papers – so that you can work together in study groups – or help you to set them up.  They also have a network of Area Representatives around the country – students like you who live in your area.

Then there is support available from the university’s counselling services – either face-to-face; by email or by ‘phone. Also at Massey, the online learning environment is increasingly being used.  Massey Online offers distance students access to the latest happenings in their subject, course notes and presentations, exercises and quizzes and a way of sharing and exchanging ideas with fellow students and tutors.  Most Massey Online units use an online learning environment called WebCT.  This helps to address any sense of isolation and to develop a sense of community.

The Student Learning Centre (SLC) offers Massey students a vast range of help and support with study and exam skills – on-line; face-to-face on Massey’s campuses and through regional visits the length and breadth of the country.  These SLC regional workshops and the Contact Courses that are integral to many of Massey’s distance papers can be a great way of meeting other distance students facing similar issues and concerns.

Don’t forget though, that if you’re a Massey extramural student based near any of Massey’s campuses (or are visiting those cities) you can use the student services based there.  To find out about these, take a look at this brief student services presentation. 

Posted in Blogs, Career, Choosing a course, Distance Education, Distance Learning, Happiness, Massey University, New Zealand, Student, Studying, Tertiary Education, Thinking of study, Uncategorized, University | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Distance but not distant

Posted by John Ross on January 8, 2008

When night hath set her silver lamp high, then is the time for study (Philip James Bailey). 

See – can you tell that I loved English at school? Actually, this is a really neat quote for me as I work with our extramural – or distance – students.  These are students who rarely, if at all, come onto campus.  Rather, they study at home or at work. Hence the reference to night being the time for study!

Opting to study at a distance is not chosen lightly, but the rewards can be as great as the challenges. In this blog posting I’ll be looking at the challenges, in the next at ways of coping with them. Challenges and concerns include:

Coping alone – isolation is usually the biggest concern for our distance learners – isolation from tutors and other students.

Confidence – will I be able to cope? Am I ‘bright’ enough?  What if I fail?

Commitment – can I spare the time?  When will I finish?  Will I see it through to the end?Choice – the sheer quantity and range of papers and programmes to choose from can be daunting for many.Co-ordination – how can I balance study with my other commitments of family, friends, work and everything else that fills my day?

Clarity – why am I studying at all?  Why these papers or this programme?  What do I hope to gain from the experience?

See, can you tell that I not only loved English but that I also got stuck at ‘C’ in my book of the alphabet?  

Posted in Blogs, Career, Distance Education, Distance Learning, Massey University, New Zealand, Student, Studying, Tertiary Education, Thinking of study, Uncategorized, University | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »