England.  Change location

Accessibility Statement for Design essentials (T217)

Mode of study

The module uses a mixture of online and printed materials. Online materials are composed of pages of text with images, audio/video clips of up to 25 minutes long (all with transcripts/subtitles), diagrams, interactive media and some multiple-choice self-assessed quizzes. Online materials also include links to external resources, online forums and online tutorial rooms. The module also includes online activities using OpenDesignStudio, a social network site developed at the Open University for sharing and discussing module work. Printed materials consist of five printed books and a modelling workbook.

Tuition strategy

This module has online tutorials. Although not compulsory, tutorials will help you consolidate your learning.

Working with others

You will not be required to work with other students. However, you will be required to look at and comment on other students' work on OpenDesignStudio, as well as reflect on others’ comments on your work.

Practical work

This module includes practical work throughout. It makes extensive use of tools such as pencils, pens and paper, and asks you sketch and make physical models using materials such as card and sticky tape. You will also be required to use a digital camera to record your work and communicate it with others. Some students who are blind/partially sighted or have mobility or manual dexterity difficulties may need assistance with the practical work. Additionally, some activities and sections within the assessments require you to carry out user research. User research will include observing users and understanding their needs by using techniques such as interviewing. This module introduces you to the use of an online design studio.

Diagrams and other visual content

The study materials contain a considerable number of photographs. Reflecting and producing examples of these is an important part of the study of this module and is assessed. Figure descriptions are provided for all figures.

Finding information

You may be required to search for, and make use of, third-party material online and in print, and this is assessed. Alternatives for required/assessed research material can be provided to enable you to meet the Learning Outcomes of the module.


This module has Tutor-Marked Assignments (TMAs), which must be submitted online via the OU electronic system and an exam that you will take remotely.


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 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.

Specialist software

As part of this module you have access to a professional database: the CES EduPack materials and processes database. Its use is not a requirement and is not assessed. CES is third-party software and may not be fully accessible as a result. The database must be downloaded and installed on a Windows PC. It can run on Apple Mac if an emulator such as VM Fusion or Parallel Desktop is first downloaded. It does not run on an iPad or Android tablet. A web-based alternative is available from a link on the module website.

As part of this module you will also be encouraged to use a free 3D-modelling software called SketchUp Make. This is third-party software and may not be fully accessible as a result. The use of this software is optional and, as is the case with the CES database, it is not required for the TMAs or exam. SketchUp Make can be installed on Windows PCs and Apple Macs. It cannot be used on iPad or Android tablets.

« Back to Design essentials