Apart from this last year overall the experience has been very good and enjoyable. I have learned a lot and enjoyed the challenges in completing coursework and exams. This has increased my confidence.
There are careers sections on the website and a job site you can join but the actual course does not increase my employabilty.
I like the face to face tutorials but not the online tutorials and research projects are badly managed. The course content itself is good though one of the textbooks is badly written.
Not got energy though it seems to be a good union.
It is a distance course so I'm not sure about its facilities.
In the last year the support on offer has been very poor in terms of academic support and personal. It seems the Uni has become overwhelmed by trying to become a more online run facility instead of keeping face-to-face tutorials and exams in place. Before this the support in place was very good.
I would not recommend the OU to anyone, they are awful and dont care about the students, they are rude and unhelpful. They are like robots when asking something, they just say the same things to you over and over again. One person will tell you one thing and someone else will tell you another, it is confusing and frustrating
They make no efforts whatsoever, they dont seem to give a crap once they have your money!
Nothing, the books arent easy to follow at all and had to look elsewhere to grasp most of the concepts..most tutors are hard to get hold of and dont really give you any guidance
Not good at all
It is absolutely atrocious,they are useless, promise you all the support and help you need and then as soon as the fees are paid they suddenly start ignoring you!The so called support teams are rude, unhelpful and I am starting to wish that I had never heard of the OU
Really satisfied. Recommend it particularly if you are: 1. Currently working 2. Parent 3. Previous educational/ life experience You may struggle as a young or inexperienced student who needs more support.
To be honest not sure as was already working.
It's been an amazing experience have just completed final module of a humanities degree with art history specialism. The first year (first two modules) is pretty broad and fairly easy, but this is more to get you in the habit of study and understanding the habits and niggles of academia. It got much more interesting and challenging in the final two years. I loved the autonomy that I had though it was challenging managing workloads and working alongside. I think as with everything you have to be realistic, it is a different experience to bricks and mortar universities, however if you work hard you, don't fit the norm and want to achieve something for yourself, you will do well. I have experience studying at red brick though not a full qualification and I enjoyed both for different reasons. The OU is satisfying because mostly you really want to study if you are working full time and studying part time, I was grateful for the opportunity. I think if you treat it as a route to secure a job, in this current economy, you will be disappointed, however that probably applies to most regular universities and degree grades right now. All my tutors have been very helpful, supportive and engaging so very grateful for that. The tutorials were very useful but once I moved out of London I worked remotely on final year modules. Am planning to do an MA in a couple of years with the OU.
Didn't get involved with student association.
Remote distance learning - N/A though the OU centre tutorials in Camden were great.
London was amazing but expensive if you are a student ;)
Great support, but you are not spoon fed. OU is best suited for hardworking, independent and open minded individuals who want to get on and don't expect it to fall in their lap.
I have had some very weird experiences, and some terrible tutors, but also some courses I have enjoyed, and some good tutors. My current tutor so far is one of the best I have encountered, hoping that this is a sign the OU are trying to improve tutor quality. The last two modules I took, the tutor was absolutely abysmal. I have disability and health problems, and this tutor would not give me a single word in lieu or either physical or the online (audio which I cannot access owing to disability) tutorials which were delivered via the module web site and refused to give me a single word for the physical day school despite that study support staff instructed him to.
They have no schemes to increase employability, no work placements, or careers department. The OU states some basic or general transferrable skills across most of their modules, such as using computers/the web and written skills. Various modules have other transferrable skills such as research, investigating a certain subject; it really depends on the type of degree and module as to what transferrable skills are emphasised.
My current course is interesting, the tutor (they do not have proper lecturers, they have tutors, who are not teachers either). I have taken a number of other courses which were dry, boring, and difficult to get through.
There is no students union with the Open University. There is a student association, but in my experience are unsupportive and lacking in knowledge and experience. If there was a proper students union, I would get involved. I think it is long overdue that there is no proper students union to help and support students who may experience issues with the OU (such as help if things go wrong , or helping and supporting appeals, or shaping policies).
The OU provide websites to deliver their modules. They are generally very well laid out and easy to navigate. There aren't really any facilities as it is distance learning.
The OU is distance learning, so cannot comment on this. It depends where you live, but my advice is to not bother with city life but to get on studying as much as possible to get as good a grade as possible, when degree completed to the best of your ability and time, then have time to explore city life.
The OU does not offer counselling. IF things go wrong in personal life unexpected circumstances that adversely affect your studies, there is no counselling whatsoever. My experience here that the OU is a complete let down. I had two years in a row with relative with cancer, and another had a house fire, then severe illness myself. This caused me to withdraw from 2 modules. The OU were informed, but then months later when I was taking a another module successfully, they decided to put me under suspension for withdrawing from 2 modules in a row for adverse circumstances of which they had been informed in writing. This caused me no end of stress and disrupted my current course which I was enjoying with great tutor and I felt ill. The OU ended up allowing me to appeal which they accepted. They then strangely withdrew me from my current course, but said they would refund the money only to put onto another course in future. (Weird or what!) I stopped studying thoroughly put off, but then started again a year later. My lovely course was no longer available, discontinued, but I chose T218 which was very good (Design).
Wish I had not wasted my time or money. If you have any cash travel the world and get life experiences. Don't waste your time with the OU or indeed any University.
None at all Zero
when it ended
very poor just want your money
I hate it with a passion. I regret ever signing up to the OU and have applied elsewhere hoping to transfer my credits, but these credits are worthless. There have been multiple mishaps on the Uni's part whilst completing my degree, that even caused me to transfer to another course or face resitting a year as they let me proceed without a prerequisite course without ever stating it was necessary for the 3rd year.
Many jobs will state that they do not accept Open Uni degrees. Aside from that, you will inevitably lack the skills and knowledge necessary to work in any technical field. Their courses are not comprehensive, up to date, accurate, or well taught. They offered no assistance in making myself more employable.
There is little to praise. The tutors are not allowed to teach by providing examples, so if you are unable to quite hit their vague and useless marking rubrics they can only give unspecific comments on how to change your style. They can not give any direct comments towards specific points or any actual guidance. Furthermore, the input you actually receive them is an online tutorial every 2 months or so, with 20+ other learners present. You will struggle to get any actual guidance during this time and any time you get them to try and answer a question it is like talking to a politician who won't make any absolute statements and doesn't actually want to talk to you. As for the course, it will be outdated, poorly constructed, and not with you or your career in mind. You will be paying regular uni fees for a handful of books that you will teach to yourself with no tutor input. I have about 15 books that cost me 15, 000 pounds. Its absurd and disgraceful.
poor, ambiguous, vague, sporadic
I have hated every minute of it. This is the only way I can continue to degree level without giving up my job. If I could have my fees back I would go to a bricks and mortar uni, honestly feel like this business has robbed me. Every year they get worse increasing fees and reducing benefits. I have felt support is non-existent and most the courses I do seem to have a copy and paste your weekly work to prove you have done it aspect.
Only by gaining the qualification.
Spam emails about rubbish events that aren't linked to my studies.
Lack of student support, hard to contact tutors and very shallow knowledge in areas.
Terrible, you are lucky if they respond to an email and getting them on the phone is next to impossible. Customer service team is obsessed with deferring units. Wouldn't be surprised if they are on commission.
First class. Couldn't fault the OU. I have been to bricks and mortar universities too and their quality of teaching and material doesn't come close to what the OU offer.
Has a careers and employability dept and advisers
Self study, do things as and when suits. Lectures are on video, DVD or online and so can watch again if need be to make sure it is understood. Course material is of excellent quality and is accessible in advance. Course tutors are available via email or at the end of a phone. They also (depending on the course) either have face to face tutorials which questions can be asked or online tutorials (like a Skype multiuser call with a drawing board for explaining things)
Not really involved as not on campus.
Excellent. Study from home and exams are held locally. Saves wasting time and expense of traveling to and from a campus and also don't have to be away from home in a house of multiple occupancy with people with alcohol issues
Great, stay at home so what could be better. Or if home isn't where you'd like to stay then stay anywhere you like..
No idea, never joined any
Very good. Tutors are at the end of a phone and very supportive
While most of my courses have been through the Faculty of Computing and Maths my experience has been very poor. I think that the quality of the courses have been shockingly bad. Poor quality control , outdated material and badly written. With the Open Uni you gain very little practical experience, if any. The Degree in no way prepares you for the real world of work. I would only recommend that you study through the OU if you already work in the field and just need a piece of paper to advance your career.
The OU has a general careers dept that provide generic advise to students in all faculty's. Its not very helpful and of little use when you need more specialized advise for your chosen field.
Funnily enough you find that most of the real learning comes from interaction with other students on the forums. OU lectures are really of such poor quality that hardly anyone attends them
OU students Union is just the PR dept for the University. They never tackle any real issues or fight for improving standards.
There are no facilities at the OU its a distance learning institution.
The OU admin staff are pretty switched on. With your Tutor its just blind luck. You can get some good ones but there are also a lot of very bad ones who make no effort at all. Most of the time you are your own at the Open Uni and if you need help you find the best place to get it is by talking to other students on the forums.
I never would have been able to do a degree without the Open Uni. It's done wonders for my confidence and made me realise what I am capable of. I used to think I wouldn't be smart enough to do a degree - but I have received a distinction for every module I have done so far and I hope to get a First eventually. I have studied the Biology pathway and it's been incredibly interesting and rewarding. I do feel that the University cares for us - however we do have to work to earn our grades. You need to be self-motivated and manage your time to achieve your goals - but then the whole point of this exercise is to train you for work in the real life, where you will need these skills anyway. You won't get spoonfed like many brick Uni's. However there is plenty of support for those who are willing to engage and be taught. You will need 8-16 hours a week to do part-time study, but honestly in the whole first year I could complete my weekly reading generally in under 8 hours. It get's a bit more difficult and time-consuming once you are in Level 2, but if you paid attention in Level 1 you will be fine. This is perfect for you if you're not bothered or don't need the personal development/social/(hardcore drinking) side of University and just want to work hard and learn. It worked for me.
They do work activities which increase employability skills into the activities you do - being able to write and communicate in a professional manner, managing your time, being able to work in a group, etc, etc. You don't always realise when you're being taught these things. I'm halfway through my degree so I've not had a good look at the careers service yet, but there is one. There are also away days/weekend workshops to gain practical skills.
Freedom to do them when I want, plus we are treated as adults. My lectures are live online, but if I can't be there when they are broadcast then I can watch the recording later. To be honest I learn better reading from the books that are supplied. The course material in my Biology course are interesting and current. I usually feel that the activities reinforce the course material well. The tutors are always available, although YOU have to take the initiative and ask for help if you need it. They can't see you physically, so if you have problems you need to engage to sort them out. Much like real life really!
I don't get involved due to the physical distance, however I am always being invited to events and receiving newsletters.
I live at home with my husband - no halls/accommodation for me.
The online facilities are well thought out for the most part. The IT systems are reliable and allow you to find the information you need - you do need to spend sometime familiarising yourself with your StudentHome website though before the course starts. It's not that hard though. BlackBoard is used to allow students to remotely watch online lectures - it's a handy tool. Submitting assignments is also very quick and easy.
Don't really get involved! Haven't heard of many though
I've had no need for counselling, but you receive written feedback after each assignment. You can reach tutors by email or phone to get further feedback if you need something explained better. The feedback has always been fair and helpful. There's also the student forum for answers too. There are services for counselling as well as teams helping with using the Library, IT, etc.