Creative Arts student, Jennifer Wallace, talks about how she is making good use of the Students Location map:
When the Location map was added to oca-student.com, I thought it was a great idea. I’m using it and it works.
From searching the area of the UK that I live in, I know I’m one of 3 students in the town. I emailed the other two and have met up and talked for hours with one of them. We’re on different courses, but talking through our shared experiences worked and we’ll definitely meet up again. We’re both in one of the Facebook OCA groups and it makes a difference that we can actually now put real faces to each other’s names.
I found another student in the neighbouring county, day-trip distance away. We’re overlapping in courses and have not just met up and shared experiences, we’ve shared assessment work as it was returned, going through the feedback together, and now we regularly look at each other’s work and chunter over the tutor feedback. And on the lighter side, we’ve met up to go off to exhibitions and spent time out with sketchbooks together. It makes this so much less of an isolated experience and we do actually learn from each other.
I’m disappointed that the OCA doesn’t automatically put something on the map when each of us signs up. They say data privacy prohibits that, but even a coloured dot with no details would send me off searching if it showed there was another one of us on my own doorstep. I’m disappointed that not all students put themselves on the map. Is there really a minority who want to keep away from the rest of us? I suspect more people are not there because they’ve not even found the map, let alone thought what a difference it could make. Distance learning seems to be an extreme form of self-help and we need every bit of support that might be out there.
(BA Creative Arts – Level 1)