Anne-Marie Harmsworth, Online MA Education Student Testimonial
Can you talk a little bit about yourself and your background?
I am 41 and Course Leader and Lecturer for students with Learning Disabilities at Inverness College UHI in the Highlands of Scotland. I have worked at the Learning Disabilities charity Mencap previously where I undertook my PGCE part time as a Trainee Tutor. I have also worked as a Broadcast Journalist at the BBC. I am mum to a 6-year-old boy.
What prompted you to pursue an online programme with University of Exeter? Specifically, why was online appealing to you?
I kept seeing the adverts for the MA online course pop up on social media and took it as a sign! I was aware of the excellent reputation Exeter has for Educational teaching and research and thought the online delivery would suit my busy, hectic life. On a personal note my father is an alumni, so it is special to be following in his footsteps.
What has the experience been like? Was it what you thought it would be like and has it met your expectations?
The course has exceeded my expectations. It has challenged me intellectually, but I have never felt out of my depth. There are scaffolded steps and support amongst your peers to debate, discuss or clarify your thoughts. The course content is varied, creative and engaging. I have a much deeper understanding with key theoretical concepts and knowledge of the most up to date research. I have particularly enjoyed the move into SEN specialism and it has already affected my choice of teaching and learning strategies in the classroom and requests for future professional development.
If you were giving someone who was considering an online course advice, what would it be?
Be disciplined with your schedule, make sure you book in when you are going to study and complete your tasks and assignments and stick to it. Explain to family (especially children) that this is very important to you and one day they will get to see you in a cap and gown and celebrate together!
Would you recommend the Exeter programme and if so what aspects of the course do you find appealing?
I would not hesitate to recommend this course to someone looking to be challenged and gain further knowledge regarding Education.
It has increased my confidence in my role as Course Leader and Lecturer and I have been able to contribute to discussions and decision making at an intrinsic level as a result of my increased and up to date knowledge of policy, practice and teaching and learning strategies. If you have had a gap in your learning like I had don’t worry, you will succeed and there is support to become familiar with those study skills again.
Is there anything you’d like to add or anything you’d like to talk about that we did not touch on?
The support of a studies advisor has been invaluable, particularly in COVID-19. I have found the personable link between course Tutors and myself extremely reassuring and effective, thank you.