The first thing that comes to my mind when I remember the last semester is The Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein. A bit strange, isn’t it? Absolutely not, because when you have tones of jobs to do in a small period of time, the time shrinks. Absolutely the same happened with me the last semester. A full-time English teacher, a class-teacher, an English Olympiad preparation teacher, and a distance master’s degree student seem a bit too much for one person, isn’t it? Probably it is. Many times I even have thought of dropping-out of the university or taking an academic break to have more time to write thesis but I also didn’t want give up studies in the half way. So, this is a story of my journey last semester.
Everything happened so fast that I even could not recollect at first what I have learnt so far in this course. Sometimes I even thought that it was just distracting me from writing thesis and my job. However, now with a clear mind I can state that I have gained a very useful experience during the course. As it is said that a man never comes out the same from a book as he used to be. This is probably my case. At first I could not observe any progress in my studies, and especially in writing. Receiving the same comments on my mistakes really irritated me. However, later, while completing my mini-thesis project I paid tribute to my instructor because of her forewarning. I believe this experience will be useful while completing my thesis project. The other and probably the most useful was the practice of writing a mini scale but a complete thesis. I experienced writing Findings and Discussion sections for the first time. I believe this provides with valuable practice.
Apparently I showed an evident improvement, especially in writing, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. The first thing that I have to work on is writing voluminous works. I usually express the ideas too concisely. Another direction for improvement is to enrich the methodological knowledge of research. Probably the biggest challenge in writing thesis is related to time. The concern is not related to time-management, but to time itself. I think I need to find out some more time to devote for studying. Overall, I think I still need to improve many aspects of my writing.
The improvement should be the goal of any activity, and especially in education. In order to improve online learning experience, I would suggest blending some elements of face-to-face learning with online learning. Another suggestion is to show students the instructors’ real support. I believe instructors’ support is crucial for student satisfaction. Student satisfaction is a predictor of student achievement.
Being a student yourself, it is difficult to provide some objective suggestions for improvements. From the point of view of a student, I would suggest to add some synchronous meetings to provide face-to-face instructions.
To sum up, this was a challenging time. We passed a long, and useful journey. However there is a lot to improve.