Taking your first steps into higher education
Taking your first steps into higher education

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Taking your first steps into higher education

7 Summary

The course team hope that you have surprised yourself by what you have done over the last eight weeks and that you are equally surprised with the point you have reached. Reaching unexpected points is very much part of the fun and excitement of learning at university level and we hope that this will be just the start for you.

In this final video John and Jonathan summarise what they hope are the key things you will take from the course:

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Transcript

Jonathan Hughes - author
Well by this point, students will have done 24 hours’ study, and although we looked at some of the differences between different sorts of subjects, I think there are some big ideas that underpin the whole eight weeks. Do you think that’s right?
John Butcher - author
I think that’s right, Jon, and I think one of the really big things is students have had a chance to really think about what kind of mode of study they most enjoy. In a way, what our students have had is a chance to just see what it’s like to be an Open University student for eight weeks. So they’ve been a proper distance learner, they’ve had to do some online assessment, they’ve had to manage their own time, they’ve had to think about what it means to study in a sense without a tutor as well. So I think in many ways that’s going to be a particularly helpful lesson for students to get to this point.
Jonathan Hughes - author
And do you think that 24 hours is enough to get the idea, get the impression that learning at university level can be quite different from what people might be used to perhaps at school?
John Butcher - author
Yeah, well as you know that was an important idea for us behind this course, and I hope it has come through, and I think for me it’s about two things really. It’s about students new to higher education thinking hard about the kind of critical thinking they need to bring to bear in their more advanced studies, and secondly it’s the importance really of backing up their opinions with evidence really, using evidence to help make an argument. So if they’ve learned nothing else, they're two really important skills, I think.
Jonathan Hughes - author
No, I think that’s right. Often the main reason for going to university is presented as one of get a better job or change your career, do you think that’s the message we've been trying to get across?
John Butcher - author
Well, I hope it’s not, but equally we have to admit, and all the research tells us this, that many adult students take courses of higher education to do precisely that. They're looking perhaps to get into employment or to start a new job, or perhaps to change to a better job, so we mustn’t undervalue that, but I think even more important is the opportunity higher education provides to really transform people’s lives. It enables people to ask difficult questions, ask challenging questions, to think much more carefully about some of the ideas they might have rather taken for granted before, and that seems to me important.
Jonathan Hughes - author
And for anybody listening to this video who agrees with that, what would be a good next step for them?
John Butcher - author
Well, I hope many students will think about continuing their progression into higher education. I think they will certainly be in a position to think about whether they wanted to continue with the Open University as a distance learning student. For others, they might really think about some part-time higher education study at a face to face institution, like their local university or even a local college of further education. And for many students they might perhaps be thinking actually now I know I'm ready for a course of full-time higher education, and as we know there are many, many choices to be made across a whole range of different institutions. So for me I just hope students feel really empowered to make a really good decision about what their next step is.
Jonathan Hughes - author
Yeah, and I think that’s right. Thank you for that, John. And I hope you'll agree with that, that you're now in a much better position to make decisions about your future.
End transcript
 
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