Home » E-Learning » e-Assessment » Deeply disappointed and feeling let down by the OU … or the course

Deeply disappointed and feeling let down by the OU … or the course


Somehow despite my best efforts to understand fully what was required for TMA03 I still didn’t follow the question apparently … frankly fellow students and I tied ourselves in knots trying to understand what was required of us. Coming away from this I eventually felt sure I had understood what it would take and with confidence pressed on.

Coming down to the reflection, this is what I did. Eleven drafts, constantly checking back against the TMA and tutor’s messages … yet still, apparently, I am way off brief. This is my reflection, not my tutor’s. This is what I think, what I took from the exercise … my view and it should have been recognised as such.

Earlier in this course I described a TMA as ‘making a tapestry.’ I thought at least it would be MY tapestry, as I have no desire to make someonelse’s . This has reduced academic thinking to playing puppet with others pulling the strings.

Considerably demotivated as a result and not at all happy.

TMA03 doesn’t work. It is demonstrably complex and specific in its requirements, yet a simple request to see an example answer, probably the only way to understand what was expected was turned down.

A futile exercise on which I expended a vast amount of effort collating 34 messages to get down to 10, and sifted through the 300+ points/references collated in MyStuff.

The ultimate failure is the system. Pure e-learning is NOT to be recommended if it is a the price of poor communication. Because this is what it is. A face to face meeting with my tutor would have resolved the issues … maybe I cannot understand anything unless I can read the person and their mind as well as their words.

I recall in various workshops asking questions and finding that both the tutor and I are left befuddled; seeing this a fellow student steps in, sees where there is a breakdown in communication and offers and answer that makes sense. On reflection, I should have pressed on, despite the failings of the system, and kept saying …

But I don’t understand. What I didn’t need is do this, say this, and join the dots. I needed to understand WHY? What was TMA03 driving at? Is it indeed even possible to answer the questions … which isn’t a question at all.

Ultimately far too much of it is a value judgement by the person reading the TMA and I believe a very different mark would come from a second or a third reader – all higher.


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