Expectations vs Reality - Amber's experiences
Amber reflects on the first year of her Foundation Degree in Learning and Education.
I attended an informal online information session with the degree specific lead and some of the tutors and ambassadors for The Learning Institute (that I am now one of). When I initially signed up to the degree and enrolled with much trepidation, I was not expecting the lockdown to continue for as long as it did. So, the reality I had signed up for never materialised.
I was looking forward to meeting my cohort and enjoying some form of normality. The course and the conferences were all online. This meant I had to brush up on my IT skills quickly. After the first session a few of my peers created a group for us all to talk Uni matters on. The group was amazing and so supportive, sharing content and even being there to just vent about assignment stress and chat about course content.
I was so worried that I would not be able to cope with my workload, studying, being a mum and other commitments. I was questioning if I had done the right thing in signing up, and worrying that I would be spread too thin.
It took some time to get into a routine and time management was a big thing. With the support of my family, I managed to juggle my commitment even when it involved delegating on occasion.
Top tip: A slow cooker is your best friend on study days 😉
On reflection, the course delivery and availability of our Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) has been amazing as we have gone into different degree specific groups. Exploring the different strands of the modules mostly, it has been fascinating and engaging. The groups are mixed from different counties, and this has strengthened my subject understanding as I have the viewpoints and experiences of those in other settings, both rural and within cities, and this perspective has been eye-opening to say the least.
I can see the progression and improvement of my submissions using the feedback from the tutors. It has been a very challenging year but a rewarding one, and I have met some amazing people along the way.
The Learning Institute, the approach, and the way in which it is delivering learning at degree level, and with the amazing staff and support team is just phenomenal. I honestly believe that I would have deferred or just quit, had I been studying with another organisation. I have taken on many roles working with The Learning Institute to try and get a better understanding of how it all works. I am a co-course rep and my co-rep is totally amazing. I am now an ambassador, and I am also on the local governing board.
I am looking forward to level 5 in September, with a better idea of what to expect and contingency plans as we move forward in these uncertain times.
Take that leap of faith and just go for it!
Course Rep/Student Ambassador/Student Governor