A Freshman’s First Experience With The MA Education Distance Learning

Worried Bernard

Worried Bernard!

Although learning is a continuous process over our entire lifespan, it’s been some time since I’ve had formal training.  Being a business consultant and more recently, a business management teacher in an IB World School, I’m pretty nervous being a student.  I mean, the tables are turned on me now!  Moreover, it’s distance learning.  Doubts on its effectiveness clouded my mind.  So, why did I sign up in the first place?  From a business perspective, it’s branding and the value of the product won me over.  The University of London and the Institute of Education reputations in the global education industry is second to none as far as I’m concerned.  Decision made – I must endure all hardships and whatever the course throws at me.

Mentally prepared but still feeling anxious is what I felt when I finally went through the registration process.  Then I found the Pre-course reading list.  Overwhelmed is the word that aptly describes my state of mind when I saw it.  I later found that my other course mates felt exactly the same way I did.  Nice to know that I’m not alone.

One of the first things we were brought through is the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) Induction.  After taking all the baby steps through the VLE, I must say that it really eases my nerves.  I’m not alone now.  There is now an emotional bond between the university and I.  In fact, I’ve also got to see the other course mates, their self-introductions, and their views about education.

Our very first assignment is to write down our answers to questions about education.  My God!  It’s going to be very embarrassing isn’t it?  However, it’s been stressed that we are to write down what comes to our minds that very instance and it’s not important to get it right.  At the end of the course, we can compare and see how different it is.  This approach is very good as I am totally relaxed and everyone is not afraid of making mistakes.  We let ourselves go and I’m already seeing the things that I’m learning from this course even before the first core module is over!

Well, before the first online lecture there were required readings and recommended readings to do and boy did I start reading as fast as I could!  The result?  I didn’t finish reading even the required reading list when the first lecture started.  Obviously, I cringed when the online lecture started.  Here goes nothing!

The online recording started 15 minutes before the actual lecture.  During this time I interacted with other course mates, thanks to Blackboard Collaborate!  Interaction between course mates is important as we can exchange views with each other; thus accelerating the learning process and making it more fun too.  Clare Brooks, Fiona, and many of the lecturers are all adept in what they do.  No more anxieties.  I felt totally at ease from the first online lecture in fact!

My motivation after the first online lecture?  I now push myself not because I feel that I need to finish all the readings but because I want to contribute and interact during the online sessions.  I must say that the MA Education distance learning has been a very rewarding experience for me so far and I give it a 5-star rating (out of 5 stars).  Absolutely marvellous!

Bernard is studying the MA Education by distance learning in Beijing, China.

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