When Christopher Weaver was considering graduate school to facilitate a career change, he knew it would be a challenge.
“I had concerns with the time I had to spare as I work full time as well,” said Weaver, a 30-year-old from Yorkshire who works as a structural surveyor.
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors directed him to University College of Estate Management, where Christopher found a program that would work for him. UCEM records lectures, so Christopher was able to fit them around his work commitments. After their live broadcast, lectures are made available to students via links in the virtual learning environment alongside core learning materials such as eTextbooks.
This is where VitalSource became part of Christopher’s academic journey. The availability and functionality of eTextbooks helped him manage his learning.
“If I’m waiting somewhere, in the car or something, I’ll pick up my phone. It definitely helps me get more reading done,” said Christopher. “I like the search feature with the digital materials—you don’t have that with a print book. Normally if I’m referencing back to a certain part of the book, I can just use the search and it’ll take me straight to that part.”
Lecturers also use notes and highlights to focus students on the most relevant material and enhance the content in order to drive improved learning outcomes. Christopher finds this a useful tool to maximise his study time.
“It saves time and it does focus you on that particular part. They are pointing me here for a reason, so I tend to take that content in more,” he added.
For Christopher, UCEM’s digital learning approach was essential. He noted, “Without that, I don’t see how I’d have been able to do it and work as well.”
Christopher’s experience backs up the positive student feedback received by UCEM staff. Students at UCEM have anecdotally provided feedback that they find digital learning fits with their lifestyles.They appreciate the ability to learn both synchronously and asynchronously, and value the eTextbook tools that help direct their learning.