Following eighteen months of study I am now entering the home straight of my Modular course Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Leicester. This I am studying by Distance Learning. Distance Learning is a flexible way to study and achieve globally-recognised qualifications whilst remaining in your workplace – or wherever else you need to be.
Having now covered the bulk of my learning Modules, I would like to offer a few tips to prospective students and to Freshers who might be starting similar study shotrtly. These tips are the product of both experience and from listening to fellow students.
- Keep on track with your timetable, or even slightly ahead of it. This gives you the opportunity to take a rest should you feel that you need one.
- If possible, attend the Study School opportunities in Leicester. These give you a connection to those who present and run the course plus an opportunity to enjoy being on and around the campus. These Schools are delivered in modern conferencing facilities in Leicester.
- Establish a good working relationship with you tutor.
- Remain aware of key dates in your programme. These might include: assignment submission dates; Study School dates and when results are due.
- Take notice of tutor and marker feedback. These are opportunities for someone else to comment on your work. Use them – you have paid for this expert analysis.
- Use online forums and Q&A sessions or Drop In sessions when you needed them. These can be opportunities for speedy advice and watching other students having their questions addressed.
- Practice using the online digital library. You will need this more as you progress through your Modules.
- Check your Blackboard and email accounts regularly.
- Be ruthless with your reading. You will receive parcels with many large books during your studies. Trying to read and consume every word may be a mistake. Instead, find what you need for your knowledge or assignment. Use the contents pages and the index. Follow reading advice from your Reading List provided to you.
- Draft your assignment essays. That is to say do not try to produce a finalised piece of writing in one single session. Write a draft, reflect on it, improve it. If you can find someone to read and critique your draft work this will be a massive bonus. A friend or colleague perhaps. But they need to be aware of how important that this is to you. The last thing you need is for your work to be dismissed by them or for someone to just say “ok, that’s fine”. You need helpful, positive critique.
- Lastly, find time for yourself.