Sometimes I think studying by distance education sucks! I have never completed any of my undergrad or postgrad studies in house however so I really have no comparison.
There are some positive things about studying by distance however:
1. I get to do it from home – obviously. I can study in my jarmies or my daggies and no one knows any better.
2. I save time and money not travelling; my uni is in North Ryde so about an hour by train and an hour by car (without traffic).
3. I don’t have to try and match up tutorials and lectures so that I’m not going here there and everywhere for my subjects. I just do all readings, tutorial work and lectures on the same allocated day each week, that way my mind frame stays on that subject for that day.
4. I can somewhat be flexible with it and manage it around my life, however taking 3 subjects means I do really have to treat it seriously and treat it like a part time job; put plenty of time into it and give it decent preference. In saying that it is getting more like a full time job hours as they suggest at minimum 9 hours per subject per week.
5. I have been able to utilise it to be flexible around the births of our bubbas. I deferred for six months for the birth of Bethenny and then Brooklyn. It’s funny as both times I’ve been due I would have been due to physically attend uni for the mandatory (2 days per subject per semester) on campus sessions. I remember with Bethenny I considered taking a subject until they told me even if I was in labour/had just had Bethenny I still wouldn’t be excused from the on campus sessions LOL – are they crazy? So I had no choice really but to defer! On both occasions I was actually still pregnant but really heffa-ish so travelling to uni would not have been ideal. Especially second pregnancy where I was housebound on bed rest.
Anyway, I have diverged.. so back to what I was saying..
Basically my HECs is deducted **so grateful for HECS** but I pay $1-$3K from what I have seen per subject and I really have to question what I get for that (apart from the amazing career I want at the end of it). But on top of that I buy textbooks $$$, they just tell me what to read, I go read that, then they issue assessments, I do those assessments to the best of my knowledge, submit them feel good about them or hope for the best them BAM results; either good or bad.. you can think you were really on track and were going to receive a decent mark but be totally gobsmacked to receive a really bad mark and not even know where you’ve gone wrong (that happened to me last semester!).
There is not a lot of support. There is an online forum but hardly anyone really uses them these days. Some convenors are really good and will actively participate and assist which is great but others don’t care to so nobody writes anything OR it’s the blind leading the blind.
Last semester I actually managed to have a phone info session with the convenor however and that was really helpful so I will try and get the most out of what should be offered again this semester.
I have just finished two assessments now and it’s that regular feeling, I ‘think’ I should go okay and maybe even good, but crap.. how the hell do I know, not until I get that email with those marks. I hold my breath until then.