Transitioning to blended learning

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It’s funny, when I was first thinking of applying to this MA programme (around this time last year, actually!), I was set on staying at home in West Cork and working completely online. This was entirely for practical reasons. By the time the course rolled around though, I managed to secure part-time work in Limerick which allowed me to move back and study on campus.

Having attended nearly all of my classes on campus last semester, I was really comfortable with that setting. I enjoyed being there for the lectures, and it was great to really feel a part of such a close-knit, intelligent, optimistic (usually!) group of people.  That camaraderie can be so helpful when the stressful part of the semester hits. So when the timetable came out this semester and I realised I would only be able to attend 1 out of 4 modules on-campus, I really had to adjust my ideas about how I interact with the course.

The good:

  • The flexibility of this course means I can easily continue working, which I’m really grateful for
  • I was never very good for getting involved in the online discussions and would feel a little intimidated by the idea, but this semester I’m pushing myself to jump right in
  • I listened to a podcast the other day on the couch with a mug of tea and some biscuits, what’s not to like?

and the strange:

  • I always feel like I’m catching up, even though I’m generally looking at the resources as soon as they’re up
  • It would be nice to have someone to immediately turn to when I’m working with the new software applications
  • In Weeks 1 & 2  I felt very Not Involved. However, I took a step back, got myself organised and I’m feeling more of a balance moving into the third week

It’s an adjustment, but one that I think can only be for the best. Last semester I had to adjust from undergraduate to postgraduate studies, and this semester I’m learning what it really means to be in charge of my own studies. It’ll be grand!

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