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Paul Hollyer

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For nearly five years, I have been a tutor on two of the new optional law courses in Company law and Consumer & Business Transactions. These are 30 point Level two undergraduate courses.

Typically, the students are studying for the OU law degree (LLB (Hons)), but they also attract studying from a wide range of interests and disciplines, including business and accountancy. The courses are taught entirely online, so my tutor group can be drawn from almost anywhere within the British Isles. I have also had students based in mainland Europe. The tutorials are delivered over the internet using the new real-time Elluminate tutorial system.

My first contact with The Open University was as a student. Whilst working as a company commercial solicitor in private practice, I decided to learn about computing. Within 4 years, I had gained a degree in Computing and wanted to be more involved. I applied to tutor and was lucky enough to be appointed to the first presentation of the Consumer & Business Transactions (W222).

My work as a tutor compliments my professional work as a company/commercial solicitor. It helps me to develop and keep my knowledge up to date. Working with enthusiastic students really keeps me on my toes!

My courses last about 6 months. It is a lot easier to get to know the students, as I am now able to speak to them directly using the Elluminate system. This also helps the students get to know me better. This appears to make it easier to ask for assistance. This is important, because many fear that distance learning is a solitary experience. However, with the resources available, including tutor group forums, tutorials and personal contact with tutors, the modern distance learning student is never far away from help and assistance if needed.

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