Margaret T. Campbell

Due to a keen interest in literature and the realisation that she'd never taken a course outside the study of law, Margaret, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Legal studies at Husson University in Bangor, Maine, enrolled on our Jane Austen online course.

'I have been an attorney in Maine for over 30 years, and am now an Associate Professor and Coordinator of Legal Studies at Husson University in Bangor, Maine. I have always been interested in literature courses, and have always read a wide range of novels in my free time. However, I have not taken any courses outside the study of law since I was in college. Studying at Oxford was a lifelong dream, and I started looking at courses after encouragement from a work colleague who studied at Oxford after law school. When I saw this online course I decided to enrol.

'I found the most challenging aspect to be the citation style for the papers. Legal writing and citation are so ingrained, I experienced quite a learning curve. My first paper had many constructive comments about what types of sources should be referenced as well as the different format for the citations. Dr Cox was very understanding and helpful, and through her guidance, I was able to adapt and progress. She was also very understanding with spelling differences – for example, my Word program thinks “programme” is incorrect. I did find myself having to think twice about spelling after taking the course because I became used to the English spelling!

'Collaboration with students from several different countries with varied backgrounds opened new and unexpected areas for discussion. There were even attorneys from two other countries in the course, which was very unexpected as it was a course on literature. In addition to the course material, I also learned a great deal about effective online teaching. The way Dr Cox presented the material and guided the discussions made the course much more vibrant that one would expect from an online course being delivered and discussed among vastly different time zones. I was fortunate to have such an excellent example of online teaching, and I will be incorporating some of her approaches in my own online course this semester. In particular, the way she responded to discussion posts encouraged much more student engagement than is typical in an online course.

'I will definitely be enrolling in more courses in the future. I will be looking for offerings taught by Dr Cox, as well as other offerings in secondary education methods that will improve my own teaching. My advice to other potential students is to not wait as long as I did to take courses for enjoyment!'

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