Accessibility Statement for Earth science (S209)
Mode of study
All of this module’s study materials are online. Online materials are composed of pages of text with images, they also include audio and video clips of various lengths (all with transcripts or subtitles). The module also contains a substantial number of diagrams, some interactive media and multiple choice self-assessed quizzes. Online materials also include links to external resources, online forums and online tutorial rooms.
This module provides a range of online learning events. Although not compulsory, attendance at online tutorials will help you consolidate your learning. All online tutorial sessions are recorded and the recordings available for viewing later.
Working with others
You will occasionally be required to work with other students, but these are optional activities undertaken within tutor groups or with others at the optional residential school.
You will be required to complete a small independent project. Two categories of projects are available, the first involves attending a residential school whilst the second option is to complete an investigation at home. The written report on the science investigation project forms a required component of assessment. The module introduces you to the use of an online laboratory and you will be required to work with a digital rock kit and virtual microscope.
This module contains an optional residential school for which there are home based alternatives available. If you choose to attend the residential school you will be asked to work with others. The residential school involves visits to quarries and other geological exposures with walks of up to 8km in a day over uneven and exposed terrain.
Mathematical and scientific expressions and notations
Mathematical and scientific symbols and expressions are used throughout the module and you will be required to use such notation within assessment.
Diagrams and other visual content
The study materials contain a considerable number of diagrams, graphs and photographs. Reading, interpreting and producing examples of these are an important part of the study of this module and are assessed. Figure descriptions are provided for some figures.
You will search for information on the internet as part of some activities and as part of your practical investigation; some of this may be assessed, e.g. researching unfamiliar minerals and writing up your practical investigation.
Specialist reading material
In this module you will be working with reading materials that uses scientific and mathematical notation. These are delivered online.
This module has 6 tutor-marked assignments (5 TMAs and a final emTMA), which must be submitted online via the OU electronic TMA system. TMA01 to 05 assess the module text and occasionally the activities incorporated within the module. The final assessment, emTMA06, is the substantive, overarching assessment for this module and consists of a project write up and a skills portfolio question.
You will receive feedback from your tutor on your submitted Tutor-Marked Assignments (TMAs). This will help you to reflect on your TMA performance. You should refer to it to help you prepare for your next assignment.
All Open University modules are structured according to a set timetable and you will need time‑management skills to keep your studies on track. You will be supported in developing these skills.
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This module requires use of a digital rock kit and a virtual microscope to view and investigate various properties of rocks and minerals, and may not be fully accessible as a result. Other specialist software (for analysing images, conducting a virtual field trip, exploring the virtual globe and investigating three-dimensional structures online) is used for a few activities, many of which are optional.