Right at the centre of our approach to open distance learning are the materials that we produce. Following best open learning practice we try to ensure that our modules are written in a clear and straightforward style. We break up the material into easily assimilated 'chunks' and each of these is followed by activities which help you to assess your grasp of the subject. You will not be faced by pages and pages of close typed dry text. Incorporating plenty of illustrations and wide margins for your notes you will find the printed modules easily understood and convenient to read anywhere.
VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)
We use Blackboard which provides a very easy way for all our distance learners to keep in touch with staff and with each other.
Our area on the Blackboard contains its own messaging system, along with support areas for all our courses and for every module. This way we can keep you up to date on amendments, module availability, study school timetables and new readings. Its also easy for you to keep up with how others on your course are getting on and to share moans, groans and ideas. You receive a notification when we receive your assignments. Your grades are posted there as soon as we know them. The many discussion areas cover the social, administrative and educational aspects of your course.
Every student is assigned a personal tutor who can advise, inform and be an advocate on their behalf.
Whilst any tutor can initially be approached, each student on the programme is allocated a Personal Tutor for overall academic and pastoral counselling. The Personal Tutor will arrange periodic meetings to exchange information and provide feedback; but you should initiate contact whenever the need arises. The personal tutor should be informed of any problems or circumstances which could effect your studies and progress; so that as the tutor who knows most about you they will be able to contribute to discussions on your progress at exam boards, and write references.
As well as helping directly, Personal Tutors can direct you to the best person to solve a problem, including professional counselling services offered by the University and Student's Union.
Hugh Owen Library
The collections can be searched using the Primo Library catalogue http://primo.aber.ac.uk/
For further details visit the Distance Learners support page: http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/help/distancelearners/
Access to Electronic Resources
All the electronic resources for Information Studies can be found through Primo http://primo.aber.ac.uk/ where you can discover individual resources or cross-search a number of them at once. Primo includes key resources such as citation databases, e-journals and e-books, selected websites, subject gateways, data and media resources, news, reference materials and library catalogues. Visit the Information Studies subject page to discover how to access and get started:
We hold progress meetings once a year in which every student's progress is examined and appropriate action taken. Students are not left on their own to sink or swim, we pride ourselves that we take great care to assist those students who fall behind for whatever reason. We try to be as flexible as possible and offer periods of deferral (or 'time out' from the course) where circumstances are sufficient to prevent a student from making progress. This might be as a result of some illness or family trauma.