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Can we have an OU thread?

Discussion in 'education & employment' started by radio_atomica, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. BoatieBird

    BoatieBird You can call me cupcake

    Yes, new fee structure takes effect for new students from September 2012.
    If you've already started your studies then you should be able to finish them on the lower fees.
  2. Cid

    Cid Degenerate Scum

    Hmm... Might look at maths contributing to law then. Give me an idea of whether I want to get back into something maths related (far more interested in maths than I was at school, but tbh lost a lot of specific knowledge). Law looks good at the moment though - kind of tempted to try and do both as I can write engineering off against tax, but that's probably hubris. Would help if they weren't both courses with a large amount of compulsory modules or restrictions on what you can take. Mainly I might be able to get started on engineering before course fee increases, but need to check up on how that will work properly.

    eta: ah, be too late for that by the looks of it.
  3. BoatieBird

    BoatieBird You can call me cupcake

    ETA: I've just read Quimcunx's post above and I think you need to ensure that the modules you're studying are linked to a qualification rather than 'stand alone' modules.
  4. stuff_it

    stuff_it Nerd burglar

    You just said. Now you have to do engineering as you can write it off against tax.

    No idea if you can blag the system by starting a short course this year in something you can link to the degree you want to do and work around it that way. You should ring them. Short courses start at least another time before the end of this academic year and most if not all the degrees Will let you count it towards a qualification. Dunno if it would work wrt fee structures though.
  5. hegley

    hegley new and improved 2.3

    Have to be doing at least 60 points (not sure if 2*30 counts).
  6. stuff_it

    stuff_it Nerd burglar

    Ah, didn't know that bit. I've always done over 60 points.
  7. Cid

    Cid Degenerate Scum

    Had first tutorial today, tutor seems nice, pretty basic for this one, just covering intros and stuff... People seem nice, although - this being law- some of them may be on a slightly different bit of the political spectrum from me. We shall leave that for now though...
  8. radio_atomica

    radio_atomica mrs vole the vet

    Most of the people on my first tutorial seemed to have chosen law because 'it seemed like a good idea at the time'. I had to do the ice breaker task with a guy who works in financial services. Needless to say, while everyone else was chatting away for half an hour we had 5 minutes of stilted conversation and then looked at our shoes. Have you had your TMA01 back yet? Mine just came through, I scored 67, which I think is okay. But upset with the comments because they just keep saying 'refer to your assesment guide if you're not sure how to do this bit' when I was referring to the assessment guide and (trying) to do what it said but I was clearly just a bit too thick to manage it.
    Meltingpot likes this.
  9. Cid

    Cid Degenerate Scum

    Just got it, 78 which I'm fairly happy with... technical errors and some missed opportunities for going over extra points. My feedback was good, told me exactly where I went wrong etc - be happy to send you a copy if you want. Do you like your tutor? I understand you can change, and this early in the course would probably be a good time if you don't feel the feedback is adequate.
  10. radio_atomica

    radio_atomica mrs vole the vet

    I don't know what to do tbh. The tutor I had on the openings course was really helpful and friendly and this one seems to be totally different. I don't want to change though because it will feel like being at school again and having to explain myself to teachers.
  11. radio_atomica

    radio_atomica mrs vole the vet

    Okay, I've re-read the feedback she gave me, and the tma questions and worked out where I went wrong. In the questions it says if they have committed an offence, clearly identify the sections and sub-sections etc. I took that to mean that if they haven't committed an offence, you have to say that and say why, but specifically referencing the sub-sections etc was not required, so I didn't go into as much detail where offences were not commited, as where they were. This is the bit that she hasn't given me credit for. Fucks sake :mad: The only bits where I was marked down on my openings course were where my answers deviated from the exact wording of the questions (e.g. addressing points in the question in a different order) so I was really careful to do exactly what the question said.
  12. Cid

    Cid Degenerate Scum

    Edit: missed last post.

    Hmm... That's actually perfectly valid criticism, I think the main reason for these questions is to get you used to framing legal answers clearly and fully, making absolutely sure you always give equal weight to any argument you make.

    I'd talk it over with her though, I mean you have to forget about the whole pupil-teacher relationship, one of the main points in a university education is (or should be) to move you from rote learning into self-directed study and to get you used to analysing work critically (especially with law). That means discussing things with your tutor, having the confidence to explain any problems you think you're having etc. It can be hard, but you're there to learn and in order to do that you have to get as much out of your tutor as you can.
  13. radio_atomica

    radio_atomica mrs vole the vet

    That's fair enough, but what is annoying me is that all my notes, my essay plan, the process through which is answered the question and my first draft used that process and if the question had been worded along the lines of 'whether or not an offence has been commited, cleary identify the relevent sections and subsections etc etc' then my answer would have been the one they wanted. I only changed it on the final draft so as to be in line with the actual wording of the question, because in my openings course I was told to be very specific to the wording of the question.

    It was not obvious to me that I'd left something out that was supposed to be there because my word count was within 10% of the maximum, and she says on the feedback 'good use of word count', so if I have made a glaring error and clearly left something out, it wasn't a good use of word count, because I've obviously put something else in that doesn't need to be there in order for the word count to be near enough correct anyway.
  14. Cid

    Cid Degenerate Scum

    Yeah, I think the assessment guide is pretty badly worded at times... I think I ended up talking through all the non-crimes simply because I was nowhere near the word count. Also the first question kind of sets you up to the idea that you'll have to do that. Since any reference to an act has to be done in full (our tutor stressed this a fair bit), that's what I did. The next question (which we can't discuss) is utterly bizarre in some ways - 'answer this question with examples, but don't make any reference to work outside the units and don't quote from them'. :hmm:
  15. radio_atomica

    radio_atomica mrs vole the vet

    With regard to word count, our tutor indicated at the first tutorial that word counts were set to allow people who are very succinct, and people who like to waffle to all have the same chance at getting a good mark, so not to worry too much if you know you're quite succinct and your word count is on the low side.
  16. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Untermensch, and proud!

    I used to be terrible for this, until a tutor said to me "sit down, look at the question, then on paper break it down into the components, noting what they refer to, then, if you're still a bit unsure, ask me, but usually if you unpick the question it'll all make sense and you won't have to". He was right. I haven't done it once in the ensuing decades. :)
    Don't be mad at yourself. It's a new subject, and for a first assignment, 67 is entirely respectable, given that 40 is a bare pass and 85+ is a distinction, and you're far nearer the latter than the former. Oh, and use the OU's online forums, if for nothing more than reassurance that yes, there are other people (in fact often the majority of students!) who've made the same small error that you did!
  17. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Untermensch, and proud!

    Simply means "don't use material from outside the course materials for your examples, and don't directly quote from the course materials. In other words, paraphrase but still attribute. Something like this - "Smith mentions the effects of chronic masturbation on criminality in the course reader" (Smith et al, p.213. 2001), IYSWIM.
  18. Cid

    Cid Degenerate Scum

    Yeah, I thought it would be something like that... They don't really make it very clear though. I suppose it's just because I find it a bit odd referencing from a course rather than directly fro texts... Been a while since I did that too. Will be sure to badger you in future.
  19. Thora

    Thora Differently Ethical

    I struggle with getting close enough to the word count, always have even when I was at school. I'd like to think it is that I'm succinct rather than just a lack of knowledge.

    I haven't done my first TMA yet, it's due the 16th March. Luckily the question is fairly similar to coursework I did in my second year (at a different uni) so lots of relevant passages are already highlighted in my books :D

    My tutorial group was slightly intimidating, as most others seemed more professional than me. Someone who was recently my line manager but has moved to a different centre was there.
  20. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Untermensch, and proud!

    I strongly suspect that the reason they're doing this is to help surreptitiously instill a fear of plagiarism in students. The OU doesn't get anywhere near as many recoded incidents of it as bricks 'n' mortar unis do, but still enough to want to give people the idea that direct citation should be sparse.
    It also neatly solves the problem of most early essays, where students tend to rely too heavily on citations to bulk out their scribblings. :)
  21. radio_atomica

    radio_atomica mrs vole the vet

    I have emailed her to ask what I should do on future questions to avoid making similar mistakes. To be honest, I did sit down and unpick the question, I took note of what the learning outcomes were, as well as what the question was asking, and based my final answer on the information available to me in the assessment booklet. I clearly interpreted part of the question wrongly, which is fine, but the only previous guidence I've had on how to understand and interperete a question is 'do exactly what the question asks, don't put more in, remember not to leave out'.

    Although Cid said above "I think the main reason for these questions is to get you used to framing legal answers clearly and fully, making absolutely sure you always give equal weight to any argument you make", that isn't what the learning outcomes say, and its not something that was said by my tutor at the tutorial so I went from the information that I had in front of me. The only examples were for answers where a crime had been committed, so it was not possible to look at how they would have answered for a crime that hadn't been committed and go 'oh look, they want you to do into that particular bit of detail too, i better make sure i do that'. If they wanted you to answer in the same way, e.g. to talk through exactly what all the crimes would/would not have been, depending on different circumstances, why did the wording of the question indicate that they wanted something different if a crime had been committed than if it hadn't?
  22. radio_atomica

    radio_atomica mrs vole the vet

    also, regarding the forums, nobody posts on the regional forum, well, there have been a few threads but its just people wanting to discuss their work so it gets deleted by moderators anyway.
  23. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Untermensch, and proud!

    The way it was explained to me (bulking out, so to speak) was that you need to write as though explaining the argument you're making (in answering the question) to someone who doesn't really understand the subject.

    Cool! :cool:
  24. radio_atomica

    radio_atomica mrs vole the vet

    Well, I'm not really sure I think this uni lark is for me after all :(
  25. Thora

    Thora Differently Ethical

    Why not? If you got 67 on your first TMA that sounds pretty good to me. Is this the first time you've done a degree level course?
  26. Cid

    Cid Degenerate Scum

    You got 67% on your first module without even a GCSE to your name and you think that's bad? :D

    I've already done a couple of years of a degree and most of my mates are humanities graduates, got an A at English A-level too... Still only got 11% more. If you're not finding it at all interesting that's another thing, but if it's just that you feel you misunderstood the first question a bit, stick at it. You misunderstood it and still did well, these early eTMAs are there to get us used to this kind of study anyway, getting a bit of it wrong isn't a problem. As VP says if you look at the forums or join the W100 Facebook page you'll see there are a lot of people who aren't nearly as engaged with the course as you (appear to be).
    quimcunx likes this.
  27. radio_atomica

    radio_atomica mrs vole the vet

    Yeah, its not that I can't do the work, its just how its made me feel. The openings course was very confidence boosting and positive, even though I made glaring errors in parts of that too, the way the tutor gave feedback didn't make me feel like I couldn't improve on it next time. This time I have felt bad about myself not like I've done well and can improve next time.

    e2a: And also, it probably has dredged up bad feelings going back to school and having to explain myself to teachers and despite getting good marks constantly being told 'not good enough'. When I emailed the tutor her response was to say 'well I understand it can all be very confusing at first'. I didn't think I was confused, I thought I had misunderstood part of the question, had worked out why I'd misunderstood it and was asking for further clarification and guidence on how to avoid making a similar mistake in future. Just seems a bit patronising.
  28. Thora

    Thora Differently Ethical

    Maybe partly you're expecting too much from your tutor - more input/feedback than she is prepared to give?
  29. radio_atomica

    radio_atomica mrs vole the vet

    probably, i guess i just struck lucky with the tutor on the openings course. then again, if they were like this one on the openings courses nobody would bother doing the degree bits after haha!
  30. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Untermensch, and proud!

    You're feeling the same fear/worry that probably 50% of all students, whatever their university, feel. The first half a year is the hardest, because things feel like an uphill struggle, and then all of a sudden you realise that you're more than halfway through the first year, you're on the downhill part of the years' course and whaddya know? You've achieve decent marks in all your assignments!
    Seriously, if you can score 67 even though you misinterpreted part of the question, you've got nowt to worry about in terms of intellectual prowess!

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