Find­ing a bal­ance leads to suc­cess

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - WORK & STUDY -

Through these plat­forms, adult learn­ers can make ap­point­ments with tu­tors, dis­cuss ed­u­ca­tional or per­sonal is­sues with peers, sub­mit as­sign­ments, post com­plaints and check sched­ules.

Dr Choong from ATC says the blend­edlearn­ing modes at on­line learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions have be­come the pre­ferred choice for many adult learn­ers.

In­sti­tu­tions such as Monash pre­pare their learn­ers from the on­set of the pro­gramme. Dur­ing the first two days, Monash learn­ers are ori­ented and eased back into a learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment with as much help as pos­si­ble.

They com­plete a unit on crit­i­cal think­ing to pre­pare them for the year’s in­ten­sive study. The unit pro­vides learn­ers with best prac­tices and ef­fec­tive learn­ing strate­gies to help them use their time more pro­duc­tively. as­sign­ments and re­vi­sions, and cov­er­ing for un­avoid­able ab­sences or late sub­mis­sions can strengthen the bonds be­tween peers. As you progress in life, the pull of var­i­ous com­mit­ments be­comes stronger es­pe­cially when you are in the work­force. This can cause you to loosen your grip on the com­mit­ment of friend­ships. Hence, when you are work­ing and study­ing, de­pend­ing on your­self is some­what sec­ond na­ture along with de­pend­ing on the aca­demic staff of your pro­gramme. This is es­pe­cially so for those who take up dis­tance or fully on­line learn­ing as course­mates may be hun­dreds of miles away and the only con­tact they might ever make with each other is a brief one dur­ing con­vo­ca­tion. Thus, they most prob­a­bly would not ex­pe­ri­ence a strong bond with their class­mates. How­ever, Prof Lee says that although on­line learn­ing is per­ma­nently im­printed in to­day’s ed­u­ca­tion land­scape, the phys­i­cal and so­cial in­ter­ac­tion be­tween mem­bers of the co­hort and the in­struc­tor adds a cru­cial di­men­sion to learn­ing. Feel­ing left out, be­ing stumped on as­sign­ment ques­tions, miss­ing ex­am­i­na­tion dates or not com­pletely un­der­stand­ing some the­o­ries does not only hap­pen to young­sters. It can hap­pen to any­one, re­gard­less of age and cir­cum­stances. Dr Choong says that aca­demic dis­course with the tu­tor and course­mates is im­per­a­tive to achieve ef­fec­tive learn­ing.

Pos­si­ble ap­proach

Re­search and use the best of so­cial media or mes­sag­ing apps that con­nect you to your course­mates.

There are so­cial media groups, uni­ver­sity and ex­ter­nal fo­rums, chats, or on­line dis­cus­sions that you can ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in. This can be your best source of an­nounce­ments, up­dates, clar­i­fi­ca­tions, help and even an­swers.

These tools are es­pe­cially im­por­tant to in­di­vid­u­als who do not make friends eas­ily, do not have the time to be phys­i­cally present or are far away ge­o­graph­i­cally.

Also, try your best to make it for sched­uled meet­ings, sem­i­nars, classes and hang­out ses­sions dur­ing your on­line or part- time learn­ing jour­ney.

If there are not many such events in your pro­gramme or ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tion, ini­ti­ate one your­self. You can plan to meet up or study with a few of your course­mates in a li­brary or cafes that are work- or child­friendly.

These places give you the chance to meet and min­gle with others who are in the same boat as you are.

You will be sur­prised by how much you can gain from hav­ing a sup­port sys­tem. To have your course­mates as your compatriots is vi­tal in gain­ing in­sight into how you can ace your stud­ies. f work and fam­ily as well.

Tak­ing on new projects, as­sign­ments and com­mit­ments at work or at home dur­ing the course of your stud­ies may cause un­nec­es­sary strain on your­self and re­la­tion­ships in your life, whether per­sonal or busi­ness.

There are ways to mo­ti­vate your­self, but to bite off more than you can chew may cause you to be un­suc­cess­ful in cer­tain ar­eas of your work, stud­ies or fam­ily re­la­tion­ships.

Pos­si­ble ap­proach

Take the re­quired num­ber of sub­jects – or less if you have to. Many uni­ver­si­ties even al­low only one sub­ject to be taken per se­mes­ter.

This kind of flex­i­bil­ity not only al­lows you to pass ev­ery course to­wards the com­ple­tion of the pro­gramme, but to prop­erly gain the knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence you signed up for.

At the home or work front, as much as pos­si­ble, sched­ule large com­mit­ments such as mov­ing house, hav­ing a child, get­ting a new car or chang­ing your jobs around your ex­am­i­na­tions or sub­mis­sions.

Prof Lee says this in­cludes dis­cussing with your em­ployer and sig­nif­i­cant other about your ca­reer goals and your in­ten­tion to fur­ther your stud­ies so that they will be in the know when you de­cline an in­vi­ta­tion or com­mit­ment to work- re­lated mat­ters.

When adult learn­ers em­bark on a pro­gramme, they do not en­ter this jour­ney alone as the peo­ple they work and live with will be af­fected, too.

How­ever, it is im­por­tant that they have the sup­port of their em­ployer, spouse and fam­ily.

Fin­ish­ing first and fast is not the an­swer in any as­pect of your life. It is more im­por­tant to fin­ish the race well re­gard­less of the amount of time you take.

Keep­ing in touch and min­gling with course­mates help build a strong sup­port sys­tem to help you through your jour­ney.

Dr Danny Choong.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.