An Open University Update

I am now a few weeks into my final year with the Open University, so I thought it was time to share a little update on how it’s going.

The materials came nice and early this year so as soon as the kids went to school in September, I made a head start. With two modules this year, I wanted to ensure I was running ahead, and I like to allow for unexpected changes to my schedule. If the kids are poorly, I can easily lose a few hours worth of study time, and I want to make sure I’m there for them and not worrying about falling behind. So I get ahead, and then do my very best to stay ahead!

So far, so good. I have now submitted my first assignments for both of my modules, AA100 and A332. Hopefully I’ll have the results back in a couple of weeks or so and be able to build on my tutors’ feedback for the next assignments.

It was two 500 word pieces for AA100, covering Cleopatra and Cezanne. When I first sat down to cover Cezanne and the art history chapter I was lost! I very nearly called up my best mate, an Art History graduate, for a little help! But I’d say looking back now that that was the chapter that I have actually enjoyed the most so far as it’s the one that I learned the most from. I went into it with a basic knowledge of artists and movements mentioned, and I now feel I can understand some of the basic terms and techniques to make sense of it. I have just had this one back from my tutor and I’m pleased with the score and the feedback is really constructive so I can build on that for my next assignment.

Then my A332 piece was broken down into a 1500 word essay followed by a 300 word exercise in source work. I floundered at first with the essay as it was so broad and all-encompassing, but once I started to write down initial thoughts, then formulate it into some structure, it came together quite well. I am really enjoying every aspect of this module, the topics covered, the tone of the chapters, the extra reading and the way that it encourages independent study and research. So far I have read Block 1, Controversial Figures, and have just made a start on Controversial Practices. Religious Studies has always fascinated me, and I am enjoying getting back into it. I am just waiting on feedback and marks back on this first assignment.

As to managing the two modules together, I am finding that I need to fully immerse myself in one, then the other. I don’t flit between the two each week, I work solidly on one and then the other. I read through and wrote my AA100 assignment, and then I started on my A332 books. This is working so far, I’ll just have to see if I can stay on track doing it this way.

I have another AA100 piece due in 2-3 weeks and then my second A332 assignment is due in early January, but I’ll see if I can get ahead and get it at least drafted up before the Christmas break. That’s the plan anyway!

So far I am happy and enjoying both modules, long may it continue!

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4 thoughts on “An Open University Update”

  1. It’ll be fab when it is all accomplished! I’m waiting for my final grade of my final paper to come back.. I’d already passed the paper even before the 30% exam though. I’ve quit work and am going fulltime to another university in January 2018 to do the graduate teaching diploma for primary schools. Fulltime uni will be interesting and attending lectures too, as like you, 95% of my degree has been by distance.

    1. Oh wow, sounds brilliant! I’m sure it’ll be a real change from distance learning, but a positive one, hope it goes well x

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