Around this time of year, I would normally expect to be restarting my studies. This year, however, I have decided to take a break from the course. This is for a number of reasons, but most of all it’s because I feel that I would benefit at this point from some more practical experience in order to put the skills which I have learned to use in real situations. My studies have involved a lot of work on sample classifications, reports on imaginary scenarios and a lot of thinking about the theoretical side of knowledge organisation, but applying these is a very different skill. Luckily there is an archive reasonably close to where I live, and back in July they just happened to be asking for volunteers to help catalogue some of their small collection.
Yes, results are finally in and I’m relieved to say that I’ve passed the first year! I could exit now with a graduate certificate, but I’m opting to carry on to the next year for the diploma, and then hopefully onto the final year for the full masters. That means that in September it’s going to start all over again, but hopefully this time with a bit more knowledge and experience under my belt.
Well, this blog has suffered a small lapse! What with starting my course in September, reading what felt like hundreds of books’ worth of materials and completing two 3000-word assignments, there hasn’t been a lot of time left over. However, with Christmas out of the way I’m now between semesters, so I finally have a bit more time for an update before the next one starts in February.
As a prelude to starting my course, I recently enrolled on a separate Information Science course with Coursera. They host MOOCs in a variety of subjects, all provided free by various universities around the world. There’s been a lot said about MOOCs, and depending on whom you believe they are either the future of learning or yet another sign pointing to the end of civilisation. Of course I’m biased, having just signed up to an online Masters, but I do think there is something to be said for online courses. The traditional attendance-based way of learning is of course very good but for those who can’t attend because of time pressures or just practicalities, the online mode provides a vital access point to education which they wouldn’t otherwise have.