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OpenMinds - What did you think?

19 replies [Last post]
- Mon, 24/06/2013 - 15:13

Did you find OpenMinds journal interesting and thought provoking? Have you talked about any of the articles with friends or family? What did you enjoy the most? How can we make the journal even better in the future?

This area is a chance to share your views on the journal including the content and design, start debates with one another or simply to ask us questions.

Your feedback will help us continue to improve communications with you and we look forward to hearing your comments.

The Open University Alumni Team

 

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Simon Mealing - Wed, 26/06/2013 - 12:59

My feedback would be that I would much prefer it if you reduced my fees instead of wasting money and natural resources on mailing me this crap. 

I have repeatedly requested an e-book only course material option which is unlikely to happen any time soon, but silly magazines are definitely something that I could live without. 

Susan Ackroyd - Wed, 26/06/2013 - 15:39

The above comment is completely and unnecessarily offensive.  It is unbecoming of an OU student and should be removed from the website. I hope the OU take appropriate action.

Simon Mealing - Wed, 26/06/2013 - 16:18

I'm sorry Susan, I appreciate your feedback but I'm afraid I can't agree with you. 

Essentially, the Open University has partially become what it set out to defeat in the first place as the undergraduate module fees are atrocious and will be off-limits to large numbers of the population who are looking for a means to better themselves. 

Like many other Universities, the OU attempt to justify this by blaming changes in government policy but the costs assocated with creating, printing and dispatching this material will not be cheap. Obviously the OU is now dealing with an additional surplus of income which it has to invent new ways to spend. 

I don't need this magazine and I don't want this magazine. All that I want is to be able to study in peace without being forced to worry about how I'm going to be able to pay the bills at the same time. The OU's blatant disregard for their student's hard earned money quite frankly disgusts me. 

I apologise again Susan if my comments have offended you or anyone else but sadly I feel that these comments had to be made. When I found this magazine in my mailbox the other day it quite literally angered me and if nobody speaks up then nothing ever changes. 

 

Lindsey Smith - Thu, 27/06/2013 - 12:38

Dear Simon,

We do our best to respond to individual preferences by contacting alumni in advance of the OpenMinds mailing to ensure that we only send the printed magazine to those who would like to receive it. I am sorry that this check did not work for you on this occasion. Please be assured that your details have been amended and, in future, you will be invited to enjoy the digital versions of OpenMinds instead.

Kind regards,
Lindsey
Platform team

 

Margaretta Vauls - Wed, 26/06/2013 - 13:51

 I haven't quite read it all through yet but what I have has been useful and interesting so far. 

I was glad to read about Priority access for carers, as a single parent carer to children with autism I managed to complete a BSc in psychology with OU which kept me sane and gave me a tremendous sense of achievement and will hopefully help me to gain employment when some of my caring responsibilities trail off, without the opportunity I think life would have passed me by. I refer many people to OU-I did attempt some study in a brick uni thinking I would benefit from working in a group but it was inferior in every respect to my experience with OU it's such a shame that fees will now prove such a restriction.

So I read with interest the article about the launch of FutureLearn which I have signed up for hoping to be able to keep in touch with this medium of teaching and learning even though I cannot presently afford the fees to take on more of the modules that interest me. I am grateful for the OpenMinds publication as it reminds me of the remarkable journey through education and the achievement that I would not otherwise have had and hopefully it will continue to inspire me in future.

 

Sheila Clarkson - Wed, 26/06/2013 - 14:13

I enjoyed this edition of Open Minds with its wide-ranging features and have registered to learn more about FutureLearn.

I still appreciate information in this format all the while it is economical to print it. 

David Kennedy - Wed, 26/06/2013 - 21:15

 What a mixed responce! I don't mind looking through the magazine but would probably prefer to receive it as an email/ PDF or link to an online publication.

John Petrie - Wed, 26/06/2013 - 22:36

I thought it was pretty good and appreciate a paper copy I can read on the bus. I'll recycle it when I'm finished.

If non-dinosaurs want it in electronic format, I don't see why they can't opt for it.

David Kelsall - Thu, 27/06/2013 - 13:33

As a former student I like to be kept in touch with what is going on at the OU. However the current delivery channel seems somewhat limiting to me. I can't use ITunes on my tablet (which is a Microsoft Surface) and the other link in Roz's email brings me to a portal inviting my comments but apparently no easy link to a PDF file for me to read what might be the content. Oh dear! Even if I could form an opinion, I don't want to comment on something I can't read.

So for me this edition of OpenMinds represents a failed AMA (Alumni Marked Assessment

David Kelsall - Thu, 27/06/2013 - 13:49

I take some of what I said back. After logging into this portal, clicking onto a link, and noticing another link about reading the current edition, I found my way to http://public.edition-on.net/links/6968_2013.asp. This is the link I could have done with on the email notice from Roz.

Gavin Wallace - Fri, 28/06/2013 - 21:31

 I was interested in the article about FutureLearn, and have followed that up - it should also help with the issue of fees as it will be free. It also stimulated an interest in MOOCs until FutureLearn opens later this year.

Mark Pilling - Sat, 29/06/2013 - 16:43

 Hi

 

I think OpenMinds is brilliant, except I am disappointed that Apple get not only the downloadable version but also additional material.  Because I use android and Wndows, like I daresay a large percentage of students/alumni, I would appreciate if for example a pdf version mere made available for us to use.

 

Thanks

Jenny Bond - Sun, 30/06/2013 - 14:20

Hi Mark

Thank you for your comments. A digimag is available to you which should be accessible on the system you are using.

Jenny
Platform team

 

Catherine Todd - Sat, 29/06/2013 - 22:29

I am glad that I have had an opportunity to respond to your annual mailing of Open Minds. I received it and was extremely upset to read on your cover "Who Cares? When it comes to dementia, finding a cure is not the most pressing issue."

I can only think that whoever wrote that heading has not had the misfortune of having a close family member suffer and then die from this terrible disease which affects nearly a million people. Of course it is important that the care people with dementia are given during their illness is first rate and that carers are given a higher status than they appear to have at the moment. It is, however vital that a cure is found so that no more people have to suffer. There would, rightly, be uproar if you had an article on cancer saying "Who Cares? When it comes to cancer, finding a cure is not the most pressing issue."

My beautiful mother suffered for over ten years with dementia with Lewy Bodies. It started with her just being forgetful and went through each stage until she was bedridden for two years and died weighing just five stones, having been in good health quite a plump woman. My Dad cared for her and when he was no longer able to do so due to her physical needs, he visited her every day. She remained until the end the warm, kind person she had always been and would greet us with a beautiful special smile.

She died aged 79 having been ill since she was 66, so this illness does not just affect the very old.

Shame on you, Open University.

I would appreciate a reply to this post from the editor of the magazine, explaining why such a thoughtless title was used[don't tell me that you were trying to make people think, you wouldn't have used the same title for an article on cancer as you would want to protect peoples feelings.]

Jenny Bond - Sun, 30/06/2013 - 14:11

Hi Catherine

Thank you for your comments. I will ask the editor to respond to you.

Jenny
Platform team

 

Jenny Bond - Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:02

Catherine, please see below a response from the editor: Lucian Hudson.
 

Dear Ms Todd,

Dementia is an important and emotional subject that the university believes merits much attention. I am sorry that the title to our article upset you, but please be assured we gave this significant consideration and thought prior to publishing. As you recognised the emphasis of this article was on the need to support early diagnosis of this disease, ensuring the best and most appropriate levels of care and supporting those informal carers who support the largest proportion of dementia sufferers.

Clearly a cure is indeed of priority and much has been achieved in recent years to get this firmly placed on political and social agendas. What this article served to highlight is the very real and present challenge of caring for and supporting the significant and growing number of dementia sufferers. Our title deliberately challenged people to consider this element of Dementia care. “Who cares?” referring to who is doing the caring.

As with all articles we publish we consulted with our expert academics specialising in this subject, in addition to members of our own team with relatives affected by Dementia, to ensure the appropriate levels of sensitivity were displayed. I can only apologise if you feel we failed to achieve this.

Warm regards,

Lucian

 

Yolande Smith - Sun, 30/06/2013 - 17:18

 I found the Open Minds journal most interesting.  I gained my BSc with the OU in 1996 when the OU was only beginning to utilise cumputers.  Few students at that time had access to a computer and dial-up or modems were incredibly slow.  Many tutors were almost as ignorant of the new medium as were many students.  The web was difficult to access.

It is obvious now from your journal that things are very different now.  I was interested to read the article "not in the least retiring" but I have to comment that little seems to have changed in spite of the 2006 Act.  (I was 64 in 1996 so could not benefit from the Act.)  I was also horrified to find out the cost of courses and wonder how older people could afford to re-career" via an OU degree.

I shall be looking forward to more use of FutureLearn which appears to be going to be free.

 

Jenny Bond - Mon, 01/07/2013 - 08:31

Hi Yolande

Thank you for your email. You might live to look at OpenLearn where you will find lots of free OU course material/courses to try out.

Jenny
Platform team

 

Yolande Smith - Sun, 30/06/2013 - 17:20

 I found the Open Minds journal most interesting.  I gained my BSc with the OU in 1996 when the OU was only beginning to utilise computers.  Few students at that time had access to a computer and dial-up or modems were incredibly slow.  Many tutors were almost as ignorant of the new medium as were many students.  The web was difficult to access.

It is obvious now from your journal that things are very different now.  I was interested to read the article "not in the least retiring" but I have to comment that little seems to have changed in spite of the 2006 Act.  (I was 64 in 1996 so could not benefit from the Act.)  I was also horrified to find out the cost of courses and wonder how older people could afford to re-career" via an OU degree.

I shall be looking forward to more use of FutureLearn which appears to be going to be free.