Can you talk a little bit about yourself and your background?
Prior to the course, my experience had been mixed. I had moved between primary and secondary positions. I had experienced leadership on a number of levels but found little consistency between schools and the cultures within as well as little consistency between what schools regarded as good practice.The school leadership I had experienced was on the whole uninspiring. For that reason, I hoped to find some solid basis for what would be regarded as good practice across different areas of schools.
What prompted you to pursue an online programme with University of Exeter? Specifically, why was online appealing to you?
The online course appealed to me because it allowed me to continue working whilst undertaking my further studies. Once I began my online studies, I found the wide range of activities as well as the ability to collaborate with others, including mentors, inspiring. For me it was the perfect way to study.
What has the experience been like? Was it what you thought it would be like and has it met your expectations?
There is no doubt it has been a challenging course but I did not expect for a moment I would learn so much. Each module was presented in a different way, which made the course continuously stimulating. I did have some initial concerns that by undertaking an online course, I would lose the personal contact I had on my bachelor’s degree. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I felt there was more 1:1 contact on the course than I had when I pursued my initial degree.
If you were giving someone who was considering an online course advice, what would it be?
If I were to give some advice to somebody embarking on an online course, my advice would be to pace yourself. Be organised and plan ahead. If you have free time, use it. Find ways to discuss the texts or activities with others, be it online or through setting up a WhatsApp group. If you have any questions, discuss them with others in a forum so that you are always supporting one another. You will be surprised how open others are to group discussions and group activities because, quite simply, they work. If you find you feel a bit lost, don't hesitate to email course tutors. They are more than willing to help.
If you need help outside course, it is always there. When I needed help regarding matters that did not concern course- content, Oliver Taylor, my Student Support advisor, was an amazing help. When I doubted myself because I was seriously ill and had a dissertation to complete, Dr Walshe was incredibly helpful and understanding. The staff were just perfect.
Would you recommend the Exeter programme and if so what aspects of the course do you find appealing?
I would recommend the Exeter programme without any hesitation. There was so much variety in the activities we undertook. I felt constantly supported. The material was superb and the format worked really well.
Is there anything you’d like to add or anything you’d like to talk about that we did not touch on?
I could never have imagined learning as much as I did on the course at Exeter. By the time the course had finished, I felt so confident about so many areas of education. I don’t regret undertaking the course at Exeter for one minute and quite frankly, I can’t imagine a better postgraduate course in education anywhere.