Access to Higher Education, Mature learners, Student Experience, Widening Participation

On campus and online: life as a student on Go Higher by Claire Jones

Since our students are only on campus for one day on a Wednesday, on Go Higher we use a range of strategies to support them during the rest of the week when they may be working, at home looking after a family or doing other things. In this way, we can provide teaching and contact to help students complete any research and assignments they need to complete for class. One of our most vital tools is VITAL – The University’s online platform for learning (view one of our online lectures below).

On VITAL,  students can access from home all their course materials, communicate with staff and fellow students in discussion forums (general ones and others for posting homework), follow links to resources on the web, listen to podcasts and, for some modules, view  lectures.

The emphasis on Go Higher is preparing students to go on to undergraduate degree programmes, in single or combined subjects, across a range of arts, humanities and social sciences (for example English, History, Sociology, Business, Philosophy, Criminology, Egyptology, Law and more).  We use Online teaching to support face-to-face learning in the classroom and it is also one of the ways that we make connections across these  topic areas. Go Higher modules in in the first Semester are multidisciplinary, so students get an introduction to a range of subjects and have enough knowledge to make an informed choice of degree.

In Semester One (October to Christmas) students study a combined Social Science module and a combined Arts module. The Arts module, Understanding Cultures, is a mix of English, History and Philosophy and we use short online video lectures to make links between these different aspects of the module. Here is one that asks students to reflect on the way that Literature and History connect – after viewing this, students discuss with each other and tutors in an online forum.

Of course, some Go Higher students are able to come on to campus any time to use the library and University computers and so on, but many are busy during the week. Online activities in addition to our main face-to-face classroom sessions are a really effective and engaging way to stay in touch and keep learning all week,  whether you can easily get on to campus or not.

Image Left: Apollo & Daphne (Ovid Metamorphoses): John William Waterhouse:

4 thoughts on “On campus and online: life as a student on Go Higher by Claire Jones

  1. Go Higher gave me the confidence to go to University. Starting my degree at LJMU in criminal justice was a very daunting challenge as a mature student I was concerned about being the old man of the course,and while this is true I don’t feel any different to my fellow students.

    As was said in Claire’s post vital is vital, but more important to me was talking to other students and lecturers about anything, the course, content and concerns.

    Ovid’s Metamorphoses was my transformation if you will, I used to think reading or looking at a painting was just that. I was shown by some amazing lecturers and tutors how to look further into words and imagery. And although I have gone onto Criminal Justice and essay’s that need to be very structured and referenced being creative is an element I will continue to apply.

    I would like to thank the whole team at Go Higher for all the support and encouragement. If you are lucky I may consider doing my PhD there.

  2. Looking back at the go higher blog brings fantastic memories, and to think how far we have all come since last year.
    After the fantastic help from the go higher team I’m on to my second semester at the philosophy department studying my ba and I couldn’t have been where I am today without the support of the all of the staff

    Wednesday’s will never be the same. Good luck to everyone during the 2014/2015 go higher programme, go higher really does change your life.

  3. Reading the Go Higher blog takes me back to when I studied on Go Higher in 2008-2009. The Go Higher team where brilliant at making you believe that you can go as far as you want. I am currently one year into a Irish Studies Masters program and I would not have been able to achieve what I have without the dedication of the Go Higher staff and mentors.

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