Contacting your Lecturers
Should you have any difficulties with a module, you are expected to contact the Module Convenor/Lecturer for that module. You can do so by e-mail, SMS or telephone. Their contact details are provided at the back of this Handbook and in your Module Guide.
Sending Draft Assignments
Another important way to get support is to prepare a short draft of your assignment and to send it to your lecturer on the due date listed on an Assignment Schedule which will be sent to you by the Student Administrators. This process has been designed to give you feedback before you need to complete and submit your final assignment. A draft can simply be an outline of what you expect to do, or it can be used to check that your understanding of the assignment requirements is on track. You can then use the feedback you receive to finalise your assignment. No late draft assignments are accepted. There is more information about submitting Draft Assignments in Section 8.
Linking up with a Mentor
A mentor is someone who is readily available to meet with you, and can assist you with planning your studies, assignments and helping you to access resources. It would be ideal if you could approach someone in your institution or district to act as a mentor. Mentors should have more knowledge and experience than you. Mentors are not involved in marking assignments and would not need to know the module content in detail, but would be able to act as a sounding board and advisor.
It will be largely left to you to choose and approach such a person in your home area. The time commitment by the mentor should not be no more than about two hours every second week, and discussions should be held at a time and place that suits both of you.
Forming a Student Study Group or Network
On request, you will be provided with the contact details of other students registered for the same course, who live in your area. You are encouraged to meet, or to e-mail, fax or telephone each other. Study groups or peer groups have been shown to be powerful mechanisms for enhancing learning and sustaining motivation while studying at a distance. You are encouraged also to use the SOPH Online Discussion Forums as a means to network with your fellow students for mutual academic support.