Archive for the ‘Students’ Category

The OU in fifty objects: some suggestions made by staff and students

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Reminder of the 2018 strike by UCU members at the OU

People have proposed objects which tell a story about the distinctiveness of the OU and its approach to learning and teaching and have also suggested personal narratives. Alison sent a picture of a mug onto which had been printed a photo of University and College Union strikers from the OU in the Spring of 2018. Margaret (Mags) suggested the repurposed kitchen table or cupboard. One of the distinctive impacts of the POU has been to take higher education off the campus and put it into kitchens and onto buses and into prisons. It is often while at home that students receive both their first parcel of OU materials and, after they have completed an assignment have sat awaiting the results. Jon thought of both of those occasions when he proposed that ‘It had to be the fabled brown box that materials turned up in that caused equal fear and excitement (and latterly the frustration when I couldn’t find scissors fast enough to cut the plastic strapping!)’ He then added ‘Surely the F5 key has to get its own entry as well (as any student that has ever waited for results will tell you)’. Here is a blog from another student posted in 2011:

I always stress about test results; not so much before the test, but while I’m waiting to find out how I did. You’re alerted by the OU Student site when results are in.

<F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5><F5>

I’ve worn the letters off my F5 key.

Anyway – results are in. For TMA01, the assessment for Book 1 – Global Warming, I achieved…

*drum roll*

96 per cent!

*thud*

That was the sound of my jaw dropping. I’m absolutely delighted, to be honest.

The Open University does not just exist in people’s homes. It has also made use of university premises, for tutorials and summer schools. For his object Chris proposed ‘Residential school crates! Fanfold computer paper! Green pens! Yellow special circa folders!’. For those who have ever attended or indeed packed for, residential schools, and I have done both, this may help you recall the excitement, the enthusiasm, the learning, the discos of summer schools. Typically students would be in residence for typically one week. They would attend lecturers and seminars, work in the laboratories or go on field or gallery or museum trips. Here is Sally Ford’s recollection of her experiences of a residential school on the Nottingham University site. She studied SXR205, Exploring the molecular world:

The first day of activities was so hectic, I thought I would be left behind at times, but on voicing my worries to my fellow students I realised that everyone was in the same boat, and more importantly, we were all helping each other and working as a team instinctively. Over five- and-a-half days, I had written over 80 pages in my lab notebook. More importantly, I had put an awful lot of theory into practice, and got vital laboratory experience that I would not have been able to gain other- wise.

Looking forward to further ideas.

Radio Coventry and Warwickshire remembers the OU’s only nationwide awards ceremony

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

 

Here is the URL to BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire site available for 30 days. It is about the first degrees awarded by The Open University in 1973. STARTS – 02:28:28 | ENDS – 02:33:04]

 

Why OU graduation ceremonies are distinctive

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

If heaven is indeed a place on earth, I’d put money on it being an Open University graduation ceremony. There’s nothing quite so electrifying as watching families jump to their feet when mum, dad, or even great-gran takes to the stage. The years of juggled childcare, jobs and family finances melt away as the graduate beams down from the stage, amazed that their moment has come. And in the audience you see the cavalry: the proud partner who poured endless cups of tea, the parents who babysat, the children who hugged mum the morning of her exams and almost made her cry when they said: “We love you whatever”. This is the stuff that makes the Open University great.

So wrote Laura Mcinerney in the Guardian If you have interesting recollections of an OU graduation ceremony, please let us know.

Systems and students

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Often the OU is seen in terms of systems. It also needs to be understood in terms of students. (more…)

Hyde: parked at OU but roaring to go

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Jan Hyde has a job (as a Careers Employability Officer, Adviser and Coach) a spouse and five children plus one foster daughter. She has completed 14 OU modules and is, she says, ‘a little addicted to study’. When writing about her experience of the OU she started not with her first engagement with it in the 1990s but with the institution itself and its support for a wide range of learners.  Read her account here.

MOOC News

Friday, December 21st, 2012

There has been a lot of coverage of Massive Open Online Courses, MOOCs, of late. Stories have been run about the millions invested and the numbers interested in these free online courses open to all with electronic access.

MOOCs have also gained attention because the OU has joined with 11 other UK HE institutions to form a company, FutureLearn, which will offer a range of free, open and online courses on one learning platform. The OU’s Vice-Chancellor has declared that FutureLearn’s aim is to provide the “best quality student experience of any of the MOOCs on the planet’. (more…)

Unobservant journalism

Monday, November 12th, 2012

 Writing on 11th November journalist Carole Cadwalladr argued

When the Open University was launched in 1969, it was both radical and democratic. It came about because of improvements in technology – television – and it’s been at the forefront of educational innovation ever since. It has free content – on OpenLearn and iTunesU. But at its heart, it’s no longer radically democratic. From this year, fees are £5,000.

Her analysis of how the OU has supposedly lost its’ way is supported by personal testimony (more…)

Answers to the OUSA History of the OU quiz

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

 

1. Who is the Open University’s current Chancellor? (more…)

OUSA conference

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

The Open University Students Association (OUSA) is holding its conference 22-24 June on the Walton Hall campus.

There will opportunities  to learn about studying, careers, faculties, research and to meet the Vice Chancellor. There is also the History of the OU Quiz. You’ll be able to pick up copies when you come along to the talk about the history of the OU at 4pm in the Jennie Lee Building Room 1. Alternatively, you can pick up copies on the Campus History Tour. Meet at the OUSA Desk at 3pm. Both these events will take place on 22nd June. The quiz answers will appear on this blog on 27th June at two minutes past midnight.

Towering over the challenges

Friday, March 30th, 2012

The OU has long been in a league of its own. Many have seen it as rising above the others in a manner comparable to the way the inspirational tower associated with Blackpool is clearly far above the flat countryside of the Ipswich Town tractor boys. (more…)