As an external student it is not difficult to feel somewhat detached from University life. As you sit working away on your computer at home you become cocooned in your own thoughts and experiences. Giving and receiving feedback from my peers whilst working on this subject was a valuable way to feel less disconnected. I was able to take a step back from my own work and focus on what others were doing. This allowed me to confirm that I was on the right track and the opportunity to review other group member’s blogs was a great experience in becoming more aware of shortcomings in my own writing and presentation of ideas. The informal feedback process that I engaged in with my group members , emailing each other and discussing concerns and questions, was particularly useful to become aware that I was not the only one experiencing some of the affective feelings discussed by Kuhlthau et al. in the Information Search Process (1997, p.19). During the Exploration stage we were all experiencing feelings of confusion, frustration and doubt and the realisation that my feelings were not unique made me feel less overwhelmed by them.

As previously discussed in my analysis of inquiry models, my experiences mostly paralleled The Alberta Inquiry Model (Alberta. 2004, ch.2, p.10). Reviewing the process is at the core of this model and is essential at every step. The opportunity to review other students work and receive feedback on mine particularly fits in with the ‘Information Processing and Information Sharing’ section of this model. In the Information Sharing stage students present the research product in a way that is meaningful for a particular audience. There is also opportunity for the students to consider the role of the audience members in enhancing the sharing experience (Oberg, 1999, Para. 14.).This occurred when I published my blog posts and received feedback, from there I was again able to review and consider whether changes were needed before the final findings were presented.


Alberta.(2004). Alberta Learning. Learning and Teaching Resources Branch.

Focus on inquiry: a teacher’s guide to implementing inquiry-based learning.

Focus on Inquiry Chapter 2 p. 9 Alberta Learning, Alberta, Canada 2004 Retrieved September 8, 2012 from

Kuhlthau, C., Maniotes, L. And Caspari, A. (2007) Guided Inquiry: learning in the 21st century     school. Westport: Greenwood. Retrieved September 8 from

Oberg, D. (1999). Teaching the research process – for discovery and personal growth.

In 65th International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Council and General Conference Bangkok, Thailand, August 20 – August 28, 1999 Retrieved September 8, 2012 from


2 responses »

  1. Yes! thats exactly how I felt! I get what I call ‘Click fatigue’- where your day consists of just click click click and you forget that there are other living, breathing people in the same situation as you. I agree its nice to have some sort of connection and feel a bit less isolated. I think if I had the choice, I would definitely prefer internal studies, even for a nice, debreifing coffee at the end of the day!

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