David recent posted a paper to his blog titled Computing by Distance Education: Problems and Solutions , and in it he states "the circumstances under which distance students study can also generate problems that lead to poor performance... include workload, family commitments, illness, economic situation, geographic location and general lack of time." I think I can tick all these boxes over the last couple of weeks, and these elements certainly haven't been conducive to study recently.
Two messy points for me at the moment with NETGL:
1) I am feeling 'lost' without a 'central point' really. At this point in my formal studies I am finding it very difficult to switch from a central point (Study Desk) to the networked concept in this subject, being one of my last in my Masters program. All 7 other subjects had a centralised point of learning that I could flit in and out of, and know where I finished up last time around. I do understand that these subjects weren't 'NETGL' but merely replacing physical course material to an online context. However this late in my study program, it is proving difficult to change my mindset.
Perhaps it is the concept of 'transactional distance' that David talks about in his paper, being the psychological distance between the learner and the teacher, with the effect of the extent of the dialogue between student and teacher, and the responsiveness of the subject to an individual learner’s need, outlining the length of this distance.
2) Although upon reflecting on point (1), I am perfectly capable of learning, and enjoy, and do not find stressful, learning in this decentralised, networked way when I am wanting to learn about a topic of personal interest. So why am I struggling so much with this concept for this formal online study course? Why am I struggling for motivation? Why does it all seem so incredibly hard and why do I feel I am failing?
Perhaps I am at the point in the semester like Rebecca White notes as the tipping point in the semester, or perhaps my 'Octopus tentacles' as referenced by Lisa are just not doing their thing and making connections. The connections are there and working, but somehow not for the box titled 'NETGL'.