Wednesday, 12 June 2013

UH Online Student Blog Archives: Gareth - the first semester..

Gareth - an online student at the University of HertfordshireGareth started his MSc Computer Science (online) in Autumn 2011, we asked him to capture his distance learning experience through a series of blogs, here is his post about his first semester..

Having almost come to the end of my first module, I thought it would be interesting to share with you guys how I’m finding things in the world of online learning so far – hopefully I can pass on some useful tips from my experience too!

Since starting, I’ve been working on creating a dynamic, database driven Web 2.0 website for the Web Scripting & Content Creation module. The learning has centered on the programming language ( and the development software package, Microsoft Visual Studio.

The teaching has largely been delivered through examples in video tutorials, which works really well for this content. By the end of the module, we are expected to apply the techniques taught to our own site. One warning I’d give is to not assume that you have a full understanding just from watching the tutorials – you need to try it for yourself! I found following along with the tutorial, pausing it and then trying the code before continuing worked best for me. Another tip is to comment your code as you go – not only does this help you understand your work when you come back to it, it also makes sure you understand the code as you write it – it’s too easy to just mindlessly copy from the video.

Each tutorial gives you enough understanding to implement the basics, along with the tools to go out and use other recommended resources to further your understanding to add some flair to your project. This is where Safari Books Online has come in handy; it’s a virtually unlimited collection of IT reference books, all available to access online for free via your university login - really impressive.
Speaking of which, I’d better go...I’ve got a website to finish!

Until next time…



Gareth is from Belper in Derbyshire, UK and studied MSc Computer Science (Online) with the University of Hertfordshire.

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