I asked a question today on the OCA’s student forum, regarding the requirement (or otherwise) to write a book review as part of the course. I received two very helpful replies – one from a student and the other a tutor – that I’d like to share with anyone who, like me, is new to Higher Education and the way the student/tutor relationship works.
Firstly, from fellow student (albeit far advanced) clk55pete
[…]To help you begin the journey the courses have exercises and reading lists but when I describe the course I often say that the it provides a framework for me to build my self directed learning on. The benefit of such an approach is that you – the student – can select subject matter to research and bend the course to fit in with your interests or use it as a springboard for exploration (or both). […]
And from tutor peterjh:
[…]The learning log is a personal thing in which you should, as well as perhaps recording the exercises or at least the pertinent (to you) bits of them, continue a conversation with yourself about you and photography (painting, writing etc), life the universe and everything. Don’t expect of find instruction in the modules materials, there will be some but in general there is suggestion for directions you might like to take, it is up to you to decide which and to find more, some will be the right roads and some wrong ones and your tutor will point out to you. the tutor/student relationship is very different from the teacher/learner relationship in schools so beloved of our current administration. It is collaborative and equally active for both parties, the student searches and explores, the tutor comments, offers corrective, critical and supportive comment though this support may well be in terms of adverse criticism, if the work is rubbish the most supportive comment is to point this out followed by, where possible and it isn’t always possible, suggestions as to why and how to rectify it.
My previous education, at school, college and in my working life since has been very much the one way conversation Peter mentions. I’ve listened and read until I remembered enough to pass a test at the end. The idea of a collaborative development of my understanding and gaining the confidence to take my photography where I want it to go, is extremely exciting. I just need to break some old habits…