Welcome to the third edition of our distance learning tutor interviews. We would like to provide our learners with further information on distance learning from the perspective of the tutor. We hope you enjoy these articles written personally by your tutors:
How long have you been an online tutor with Oxford College?
I have been a tutor with Oxford College for four years; prior to this time I produced two courses for Oxford College which remain available for students as an introduction to English studies.
What subject do you teach and why do you like it?
I teach English Literature A Level for Oxford College. On a full time basis I teach English Language and Literature but specialise in Literature for Oxford. I love teaching English as I believe it is the core subject that students need to comprehend in order to develop their skills of research and structured responses. In the current technological age I believe that reading is an essential skill which can be applied to all areas of life and it is exciting to see students develop their understanding of the human condition through literature via the set texts and wider reading that is suggested.
What attracted you to being an online tutor?
In addition to full time lecturing I do some private tuition but it is very localised in my geographical area. Therefore distance learning via the online course route allows me to work with students with varying needs and goals that transcend geographical boundaries. I took my degree and my MA via the distance learning route and I was able to work at the same time and gradually progress into a teaching career. During my distance learning education I had some tutors who were extremely supportive and I felt that I had developed the skills and had an understanding of studying this way. I appreciate the time restraints that distance learning students have to contend with and I believe that I add a considerable amount to the education process as an online tutor.
What do you like most about your job as an online tutor?
What I enjoy most about my role as an online tutor is that I can work at any time and for students who are not in the UK I basically offer a 24 hour support service because of the time differences. It is particularly enjoyable to assist students in their academic development.
In what ways do you think distance learning plays an important role in higher education today?
I believe that distance learning is a critical part of higher education today as funding is diminishing. Therefore students can gain qualifications that can determine how they progress in a work environment and also facilitate mature students entry to full time university degree courses. For many students distance learning is a means to identifying their academic strengths and employers are particularly impressed with people who have worked and studied via this means.