Active learning (1/5)

Uploaded by OUlife on 20.08.2009

Hi, I'm Georgia.
I'm a civil servant and a student at the Open University.
This year, I start introduction to Social Sciences.
I'm a trained scientist who found myself with a new career,
where I have to use a lot of written words.
I have to learn how to write better.
I prefer studying with the Open University
as opposed to any other institution, because I carry on my career.
A lot of people think that being an Open University student
you work on your own, you're absolutely isolated.
This is not true.
I have attended summer schools, which were fantastic,
a week away from life, if you like,
just concentrating on whatever I'm studying,
nothing else matters.
And I've also attended a deaf awareness weekend
which the Open University organised,
the idea being that students with hearing impairment
are going to tell tutors exactly what we need.
I am treated the way I would like to be treated,
as a hard of hearing person.
We have a tutor who's always there to advise you,
either over the telephone or we have the choice,
we can go and interact with other students.
We spend quite a lot of time together despite the fact that he does study a lot,
and especially in the run-up to examinations, tests and tutorials.
If you plan it right, you get along fine.
Find out how to learn best.
I work in London, that's a couple of hours on the train,
at least, every day.
This is my two hours studying.
So, my books are full of wobbly lines,
and my notebooks are full of wobbly notes.
But I still have to do some work at home.
I am a scientist, I'm more used to using symbols.
So, obviously, looking a textbook full of words with no formulas,
nothing, it was terrifying.
Thankfully, I had the workbooks of the Open University to help me along.
Get support.
Attending tutorials to me, is very important,
because I get feedback from other students.
My first tutorial was a nightmare.
I was terrified to open my mouth in case all the wrong things came out.
The best thing is when I can hear other students
asking the very same question that I wanted to ask,
therefore I'm not stupid, we're all the same level, really.
Family, how do they exercise power?
You either do it or else.
She's much more confident in expressing her views, her opinions,
in the whole group.
Whereas, before, it would be more in the small groups, the pairs.
My role as a tutor is to be there to clarify anything that they're not clear on,
to go over a few key points with them and to develop their study skills.
They do like to be in the company of other students and feel that they are
part of a university.
When I'm stuck.
Somebody might say the right word which will help this point to sink in.
I can also get some practical advice from them,
how do we keep with demanding bosses at work,
because we all lead very busy lives,
and Open University is yet another thing in our hectic lives.
Coming out of a tutorial, usually, I'm exhausted, I'm totally brain-dead,
but I'm always elated.
I always enjoy open days, because the atmosphere is terrific.
I come to the open day because I want to find out material for next year,
the next course.
Go to the library, have a look at the materials,
ask all my questions to tutors there.
Usually, they come up with the right answers.
It's a good thing, actually, to see the different perspective of the course.
I see the material and I feel very motivated.
I can't wait to start my next course.
My main weakness is that I tend to get easily distracted.
It's very difficult sometimes just to do work.
I will always find something else to do, instead of finishing my assignment,
like a bit of cross-stitching here, a bit of knitting there.
Studying is not the only thing I do in life.
And I do have a husband I have to share this house with.
So, we have to give and take a bit.
Each of us is very used to having our own time and space.
I've got plenty of things I can get on with,
and she does her studying she can get on with.
And I spend a lot of the time doing the ironing.
Bless him.
Use feedback.
My fear was writing essays.
So, the very first assignment, a short essay, about six hundred words.
It took me forever to write it.
The TMA came back,
she very kindly sent me a whole page full of her comments.
And her comments, it's a lot more than what I actually sent.
But I found very useful.
I applied all the things that come out of my first assignment,
I applied to this third assignment.
Would you believe a thousand words?
Lo and behold, it comes back, a great big mark,
much fewer comments this time.
He said there's things for improvement there,
all in the space of three TMAs. Brilliant.
You have to find your own method to study best,
then there are the tutorials,
and above all, sit back and enjoy it.