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You will need only some basic skills to start your study with the OU. However having confidence that you can at least use word processing software and access materials online is important for students on most modules. Here are a few more details of what you are likely to need to do, to help identify any computer skills you might want to develop.
You will find
Although some modules send you printed materials, other study is done entirely online. Some materials are sent on a CD or DVD.
As an OU student you can use a computer and the internet to keep in touch with your tutor and fellow students. You might use emails, which are like sending electronic letters. You can send a message at any time and the recipient can reply at a time that suits them.
Online forums work in a similar way, and OU forums are an integral part of keeping in touch with other students. You can use your computer to post messages to a module forum and engage in dialogue with other students. See Forums for more information.
Some OU modules require you to use a word processor for your assignments. Word processing is often more convenient than handwriting because you can
As a student you have a StudentHome page that holds your module information and study records, and is where you can send in your assignments online. You can also collect your assignment and exam results as soon as they are ready, so even when you are away from home you can still get what you need.
The OU uses emails and bulletin board messages to keep students up to date. Your module has its own website for news and resources.
There is lots of online help and information available to
You can also book modules or residential schools and deal with other administrative issues online.
There are lots of different online tools available to help you to communicate with other students and keep organised during your study. These include a
Some modules use an audio conferencing tool. The OU Computing Guide has more information on all of these different online tools (see previous Computing Guide or new Computing Guide - depending on whether your module uses the new or the previous OU website type. Both require login details).