I've been really grateful for the reaction I've had to my blog post of last week. I wrote the post first and foremost as a means of getting a few things off my chest and trying to articulate in my own mind why I felt the way I did. I posted a link to the blog in the tutor group forum and I also 'tweeted' a link, which is something I very rarely do. I've had responses through comments directly on the blog, through the tutor group forum, and even as a result of Twitter.
I'm beginning to appreciate the value of building up networks through the use of Web 2.0 technologies. Most people on the H800 course are, I think, quite experienced and self-motivated learners. Generally, we will all be capable of learning independently and thus we are able to operate successfully as distance learners. However, most people it would seem do go through low patches and it is at these times that we miss the mutual support that would traditionally be provided through face-to-face contact with other learners.
I've been following a hashtag (#H800) on Twitter for the past couple of weeks, which means I see all the Twitter postings that include the #H800 hashtag. It has been interesting to see the range of 'tweets' from students from all tutor groups. Some provide links to interesting resources, some are moans, some are lighthearted comments, but all help to reveal a picture of a diverse group of people coping in different ways with a demanding course of study.
All this has helped me to realise that I'm not on my own, and that lots of others are struggling along with me. Indeed other students are probably having to cope with the demands of the course in more difficult circumstances than myself. I wouldn't say that my enthusiasm has yet been reinvigorated, but at least I now feel a little bit more confident that I can get through the remainder of the course.
Thank you very much to everyone who responded with comments.