3.2 Amanda sets her learning goals
To begin with Amanda sets herself a rough learning goal: namely that she wishes to learn more about the new educational related tools that are on offer in her course e.g. wikis, blogs, discussion boards and so on. Ultimately these learning tools should support her in the progress of her studies by helping her consider different strategies to organise her learning journey throughout the course.
Figure 6: Amanda sets her learning goals
In addition the Biology course requires a lot of reading to take place both online and offline. She understands that she is also supposed to write a variety of reports of significant length for course assessments too. She hopes that the learning tools online course will provide some fresh ideas as well as new aids to help her through the Biology course more easily.
Amanda finds it a little daunting to locate appropriate learning tools so she visits an associated OU website that has been suggested to her by her course tutor. It is called OpenLearn and contains Open Educational Resources (OER) learning materials and tools that are available freely from the OU for anybody to use. Once she has narrowed down the relevant learning tools she then creates a ranking list to help her decide which tool fits her purpose best. After selecting her study unit and associated learning tools she takes an overview of the content whilst trying to assess the effort she may have to spend to successfully complete the course of study.
Fortunately every OpenLearn study unit is clearly labeled with the study time required, the academic level equivalent (Introductory, Advanced or Masters) and can be downloaded in many different formats including printing the content. All the study units contain self assessment opportunities too. So even though she will not be formally assessed, Amanda wants to maintain her high standards and make the most of this new learning opportunity. It seems that the OpenLearn course will take her approximately 3 study hours to complete.
As a consequence of her diligence in researching the most appropriate OpenLearn study unit and associated learning tools she has been able to set her learning goals. The following day Amanda is then able to create a personalised learning plan. She records all of the regular Biology course appointments, such as key dates and important time slots, into her own calendar. She estimates that she will have to allocate at least one and a half hours for designated study time each day. She realises that she may have to be flexible with this initial plan but for the time being Amanda is quite happy with the schedule she has set herself.