Yesterday I visited The Centre for Online Health at the University of Queensland, Brisbane. It is through COH that I have my PhD enrollment. It is not easy being a distance student and my visit yesterday really brought home the value of face-to-face interaction and how difficult it is being a distance student. It is not so much the supervision that I find difficult by distance-I speak to my supervisor by email and that works relatively well as long as I am motivated to write the email. What I really miss is the fellowship with fellow students and like-minded scholars. My visit re-energized and re-motivated me, just like that plant being watered after months of drought. This is something we really must remember when we are planning distance programs. How do we provide that re-energisation to students who cannot have face-to-face meetings with teachers, and more importantly, fellow students?
As for my PhD, I am having issues with recruiting participants and getting them to participate in the e-mentoring system but do not want to write about it at the moment because I must do some thinking and make some decisions about where to go from here. I wish I had known about Gilly Salmon's e-moderator theory before I started my e-mentoring project. Never mind! It's all about the journey I am told!!!