As a distance learning student with Oxford Home Schooling, you should know about the importance of keeping in touch with your tutors. It is one of the best ways of helping tutors with monitoring your progress and will support you with making sure you are successful. Writing effectively is a skill for life – whether you are applying for a job or e-mailing to ask someone about something important. So, always make sure you follow these steps:
• Don’t jump right in! Instead, think about your reader. It is polite to start an e-mail with ‘Dear…’ or ‘Hello’ before your actual message begins. This gives a positive impression to your reader.
• All’s well that ends well: Make sure you sign off your message – you could end with ‘Kind regards’ or ‘Thank you’. If you know the name of your reader, you could end with ‘Yours sincerely’. For example, if you start with ‘Dear Jenny’, signing off with ‘Yours sincerely’ is a great way to end the message.
• Clarity is key! Check that your message makes sense and states what you are writing about. If you are querying a task or assignment, it is helpful to be specific – use a page number, for example. Then, your reader can help you more easily.
• Dreaded deadlines: Having a deadline is important – we might not always like having to finish something by a certain time, but it does help with moving forward. If you struggle with deadlines, set yourself a timetable and prioritise what needs doing and when. And, if you don’t think you are going to get something finished in time, let your tutor know. They are understanding – and really appreciate being kept informed.
• Keeping on track: Essentially, if you are going to be a successful home learner, you need to keep on top of your work and deadlines. Sometimes, you might think it is easier to bury your head in the sand and hope something will go away – such as a TMA deadline or an e-mail request from your tutor. It won’t! It is better to deal with work or reply to a message then and there – you can then go and do something else with a sense of achievement.
• Being thoughtful = being helpful: Tutors really appreciate you helping them when you submit work. Make sure your TMA has a title and a date. If you are submitting it as an attachment, that’s great, but if you don’t have Microsoft Word or similar, please consider how your tutor will access your work. If you are copying and pasting work into an e-mail, the more information you can provide for your tutor, the better.
So, that’s it. If you keep this in mind when studying from home, you’ll be well on the way to being a successful Oxford Home Schooling student – and everyone will be happy.