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My tertiary education journey

Posted by Open Polytechnic , 21 April 2016 · 2474 views

Open Polytechnic Online and distance learning Tertiary education
My tertiary education journey I joined the Open Polytechnic more than a decade ago, upon completion of my Master’s thesis in philosophy at the University of Canterbury. I am the course leader for 71203 Business Ethics and 71135 Personal and Organisational Learning, and for the ethics modules of 78102 Management in Context. My role is to guide and support students in these courses, working with them to help them both succeed at and enjoy their course. In addition, my role is comprised of writing and updating the course content, writing the assessments, and doing research.

Business ethics is my largest course in terms of student numbers. It is a broad and fascinating subject, dealing with macro-level issues such as the general social responsibility of business, as well as smaller-scale questions such as whether a company should implement an affirmative action policy. I feel privileged to be able to interact with students on these questions, and to help them to assess their experiences and perspectives in light of the theories and arguments discussed in the course.

I would say my passion would have to be the discipline of philosophy which involves the critical thinking and evaluation of arguments for strengths or weaknesses. Philosophy opens my mind to the deeper issues that underlie the problems in my areas of interest, in the fields of applied ethics and education. I have particular interests in the ethics of discrimination; employment, and public policy ethics; and in the field of education, I am particularly interested in tertiary education, especially distance and online teaching, and critical thinking. You can read more about my research activities on my Academia.edu webpage.

I thoroughly enjoy my profession in tertiary teaching as I am often captivated by research and practice in the field of education, teaching and learning. In 2011, I completed the Open Polytechnic's certificate in e-learning. Since 2013, I have been studying a PhD part-time at Victoria University, and am aiming to complete it this year. My PhD is on the ethics of organisations discriminating against applicants on the basis of statistics. I am looking at the ethical issues regarding rejecting people or treating them worse simply based on which group they belong to. As a distance learner myself, I am well-placed to sympathise with the general study difficulties that can afflict us!

What helps me succeed in my studies is focusing on time management and making a priority of study, which is not always easy to do when trying to juggle the rest of life’s commitments. I am sure that is the case for many of you too!

Best wishes on your own journey of study :-)

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Vanessa Scholes is a senior management lecturer in the School of Business & Enterprise at Open Polytechnic.

March 2019

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