Archive for October 20th, 2011

Facing the social sciences

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

As part of a pilot scheme with The Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University has launched a Social Sciences fan page on Facebook.  This new platform is an opportunity for all Social Sciences students to network outside of their Tutor Group Forums and current study module/s with other Faculty students within the Facebook community. There are nearly 6,000 fans, some of whom have commented on their learning experiences. Here, for example is one:

It’s a journey – enjoy it. I like the ‘big picture’ concepts in OU Social Sciences especially, and a thoughtful tutor, which both help us stand back from the day-to-day. (And ignore the ironing, which is waiting in my kitchen here as I write my first TMA of DD301 for tomorrow’s deadline

Othrs at the OU have used social media to support learning. The History of The Open University Project is still collecting tales from staff, students and alumni, see here  and is running a forum on student experiences, see here.

Grandad, you’re lovely

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Writing in the THES on 6th October 2011, Martin Bean argued that the ‘vital work’ of the OU was to support widening participation and social mobility. He went on to refer to the history of the OU, using a familial image:

I recently heard The Open University described as the “grandaddy” of widening participation into education. The title was gratifying, but being the grandaddy brings with it a responsibility to work with the rest of the higher education sector and the government to ensure that we do what is necessary to provide the best possible opportunities – and outcomes – for future generations…. we must redouble our efforts to ensure that all of those who wish to study are able to do so.