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Personal and Professional Development


The beauty of online and blended learning is that you can access the online modules whenever you have time and from wherever you have access to a computer and internet. In order to make the most of your learning, you might find it useful to consider what your objective is for accessing the online material - do you want to find out a quick tip or method for doing something or do you want more in depth information and practical exercises to consolidate your knowledge to enable you to plan your time?

Set aside time

It is important to treat online learning as seriously as you would treat going off to a face-to-face development event. This means allocating a realistic amount of time to go through the materials, to carry out any activities and, where offered, attend a face-to-face session if it will help you consolidate your learning. Having allocated yourself some time, keep to it and don't allow yourself to get diverted. Switch off your phone and email notifications.

Do it in short sessions

Another benefit of accessing online learning is that you can do as much or as little as feels right for you at any one time. Some of the shorter modules you may find best to tackle in one go. Others, perhaps the longer ones or those that have activities relating to your work, may be best tackled in shorter sessions. You will be able to select to re-start the course where you left it.

Find a quiet place

It is important to be able to concentrate on the online material and be free from interruption by colleagues, telephone and other disturbances. If possible find a quite area to work. Alternatively, consider asking a colleague to swap desks or take a laptop to an alternative location.

If you are unable to find somewhere quiet, another option is to use headphones. Using these will mean that you will not disturb others working close to you and will help you to concentrate.

If you don't have access to a computer at work

There are a number of places you can, as a member of University staff/student, access a computer, for instance in the University Library, the University Computing Centre or use a Managed Cluster room. You could also check if there are any times when computers are not needed by other staff in your area e.g. during annual leave, meetings etc.