The Distance Learning option allowed Shirley Bauman to realize her dream. Shirley sat down with us recently to discuss her experience with the program and describe how it improved her professional development.
- Could you describe what initially led you to Conestoga, and inspired you to further your education through Conestoga's Distance Learning program, Teacher of Adults - Literacy Educator program?
Moving back to Canada after years of living abroad, I was looking for a way to fit into Canadian life. While living overseas teaching adult literacy had been a big part of my life and I loved it. So becoming a volunteer tutor through The Literacy Group was a good fit for me. There I was introduced to the Teacher of Adults - Literacy Educator program when asking how I could get further training.
- Why did you choose to take a Distance Learning program instead of the traditional classroom format?
The Distance Learning program fit with where my life was at. Being tied to a classroom schedule would not have given me the flexibility I needed to be available for my family and my part-time job. This option allowed me to continue my everyday life responsibilities while still studying. Without the online option I would not have been able to realize this dream.
- What would you describe as some of the benefits of your Distance Learning experience at Conestoga?
Besides having learned so much about the field of Adult Literacy, the additional benefits to taking this course were learning to manage my time wisely, improving computer skills and improving my study skills. It has stretched me and taught me, and I know that I have come out stronger and more confident. Best of all, it has rekindled my love of learning.
- What was your favourite course in the program and why?
My favourite course in the program was Applied Strategies for Literacy and Numeracy. I like practical and this course seemed the most practical of them all. Applied Strategies drew from the learning of the preceding modules and asked me to apply it cohesively.
- If you could share advice with others considering taken this program what would it be?
All through the modules students are encouraged to be a volunteer tutor. My advice to anyone considering taking this course is to do just that, even prior to starting the course. Having somewhere to apply what is being taught in a real life situation with a real learner helps to clarify and cement the learning.
- What advice would you give someone who hasn't experienced Distance Learning but is considering it as an option to upgrade their skills?
My advice to those considering Distance Learning is "Try it!" Budget your time and treat the course as a real commitment. Learn to pace yourself and ask for help from the instructor and your fellow students. Last of all I say...enjoy the journey. Online learning is a great way to use hours that might otherwise be lost to less satisfying activities.