Studying in your seventies: John's story
“It's important to keep the intellect alive in later years and completing a course and receiving the accreditation acts as a tremendous boost to one's mental health.”
John, 74, South Gloucestershire
John has studied a number of courses over a period of five years with Open Study College. Several of his other courses were based on printed booklet materials that were sent through the post in the form of a study pack, but he has found the online courses that Open Study College offers are in some ways more convenient.
John comments: “The big advantage of distance learning is that you can manage your own time. You are not constrained by having to attend evening classes or having to find set times to link up with other students.
“Open Study College, for example, gives plenty of time for the courses to be completed so you can base your work around your other activities and spend as much time on your studies as you wish during any given day, week or month. It has of course been particularly welcome during periods of lockdown. There is a limit to reading, boxsets, television, film, daily exercise, housework, etc., so studying online has proved not only to be educationally stimulating but has also filled important gaps during the day.
John’s career was centred around education after spending over forty years teaching full-time and then part-time in different educational establishments and has also worked in educational publishing.
“I have written a number of books for teachers and am still producing resources for teachers, pupils and parents through online resource banks and in magazines. Researching material for the resources I have been writing has always been a keen interest of mine and this has continued by following the courses.”
When asked about both the positive benefits and challenges when undertaking courses with Open Study College, John said:
“As mentioned previously, I find the most enjoyable thing about distance learning is that you can manage your own affairs. You are in charge of the amount of input you want to make, how far you want to push yourself intellectually and the speed at which you want your learning to go.
“What I find the most challenging, particularly in my history topics, is to weigh up all the views and evidence provided (and there is a lot out there on the internet these days), and to form your own viewpoint about an event, person or situation. You may come down on one side of an argument or the other or take a more balanced middle view.
“Working with Open Study College, I have always found them most supportive. The student support team have always been very helpful, enrolling on courses is easy to do in a single phone call with a course adviser and I am assigned a tutor who is always available for help and advice as well as marking assignments constructively.
“I would strongly recommend students of my age to think seriously about distance learning, especially during the times in which we live when we have been more restricted to our own homes. It's important to keep the intellect alive in later years and completing a course and receiving the accreditation acts as a tremendous boost to one's mental health.”