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Certificate of Higher Education Open - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

Choosing from a wide range of rewarding and enjoyable modules you can steer your studies to focus on, or combine, personal interests and career needs. The Certificate of Higher Education Open aims to provide you with:
  • the flexibility to study modules in one or more subjects
  • the opportunity to develop your skills, knowledge and capabilities through study at OU level 1
  • an appreciation of the development of knowledge and its application in your chosen subjects
  • the skills to learn independently, organise information and communicate effectively, whether for academic study, employment, or your own personal goals.

Learning outcomes

A Certificate of Higher Education Open allows you to select modules from across the curriculum so that the learning outcomes of your certificate will depend on a combination of outcomes from the modules you have studied. These will be described retrospectively in an academic transcript. As a student gaining a Certificate of Higher Education Open, you will have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate generic outcomes, including knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas.

Knowledge and understanding

You will be able to demonstrate:
  • an awareness of the body of knowledge that constitutes at least one subject/discipline
  • an understanding of the main concepts, theories or principles associated with at least one subject/discipline.

Cognitive skills

You will be able to demonstrate:
  • skills for the gathering, evaluation and interpretation of routine information and/or data within a clearly defined context, in accordance with the theories, concepts and principles of at least one subject/discipline
  • familiarity with some of the routine, subject-related materials, techniques and practices of at least one subject/discipline.

Practical and/or professional skills

You will be able to demonstrate:
  • an insight into personal goals, preferences and aptitudes
  • an ability to identify career/personal goals and study options and take steps to determine required qualifications and reflect on skills and experience
  • an ability to plan, monitor and evaluate your own learning and performance, being aware of your own learning styles, strengths and needs, as required for studying one or more subject/discipline.

Key skills

You will be able to demonstrate:
  • an ability to present or communicate routine information, ideas and concepts and quantitative and qualitative data within a clearly defined context, in a way that is appropriate to the purpose and audience
  • an ability to use a standard set of digital practices (including tools and resources) to find, use, create and share data, information and knowledge in at least one subject/discipline
  • an ability to comprehend and produce written and spoken texts in basic subject-specific language for a clearly defined range of academic purposes and audiences appropriate to the relevant subject/discipline, demonstrating an awareness that knowledge of the language and literacy conventions, practices or expectations of particular academic and professional audiences can be exploited in different contexts.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will acquire your knowledge and understanding through a combination of published distance-learning materials, study guides, a range of multimedia material, online tuition and feedback on your assignments. Some modules also include residential schools. The precise combination of methods that you will encounter will depend on your choice of modules.

Cognitive skills are taught cumulatively and in ways that will vary according to which modules you choose to study. They will include the use of written study materials, in-text questions, audio, visual and/or interactive material, carefully monitored feedback on assignments, as well as online tutorials and online forums.

The teaching, learning and assessment of key skills are also specific to the subjects you choose to include as part of your Certificate of Higher Education Open and in many modules are likely to be assessed indirectly.

Tutors will continuously assess your knowledge, understanding and skills using tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and, on some modules, using computer-marked assignments (CMAs). Tutors mark your TMAs using marking guides produced by the relevant module teams, and give you written feedback on your performance. For the majority of modules, final assessment is via either an examination or end-of-module assessment (EMA).