Go The Distance: Academic Insights – Working with others

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1. Work with others for study success

Welcome back to Academic Insights – the series where we meet real distance learning tutors and get their top tips for successful studying. This time we're looking at a key area of distance learning: working with other people.

You might think that distance learning means you'll be working on your own – but the reality is often very different. Distance learners might have to collaborate – work together – with other students on their course. So, how to do this? Rebecca Ferguson is a distance learning lecturer in educational technology and she has the tips to get you working well together! Scroll down to watch the video!

2. 'Need to know' vocabulary

To help you understand Rebecca's video tips, take a look at these key words and phrases and their definitions:

  • employability – possessing the skills and abilities that make someone a good potential worker
  • collaborative – involving two or more people or groups working together to achieve a common goal
  • beneficial – helpful or useful

3. #6 things you really need to know

Working well together

Rebecca answers your top questions in 2 minutes.

To do

Scroll down to watch the video and find out:

  • # Why distance learning students need to work together
  • # What kinds of collaborative tasks distance learners might do
  • # How technology can help if you feel shy
  • And more!

4. Watch the video

User tips: Turn on subtitles by clicking on the 'S' button in the video player. Click on the 'expand' icon to view the video in full screen.

5. Rebecca's top tips for working together

Collaborate for success!

We hope you've picked up some good advice on how to work with other distance learners to achieve your academic goals. Let's recap the #6 things we've learned about collaboration in distance learning.

  1. Working with others has many benefits – gaining different perspectives; learning more effectively; and developing employability skills like teamwork.
  2. Collaborative tasks can range from engaging in a discussion forum to completing research projects with other students.
  3. Video conferences may be challenging for students who lack confidence, but they may be able to communicate more comfortably in discussion forums.
  4. Tutors usually encourage sharing and collaboration by asking students to talk about a familiar topic in the forum – this helps reduce student stress.
  5. Time management is crucial! Make sure everyone in your study group knows when you're available – and how long you can work for.
  6. Collaboration is an important skill to develop as a distance learner. Working with others is a part of everyday life in work and study situations.


You can find out more about Rebecca and get more tips about working well with others by visiting our partner The Open University – click on the link in the 'Where next?' area. Click on the 'Downloads' button to get the transcript of Rebecca's video.