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Thoughts On Open University


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Hi, I'm working full time in foundation and am interested in signing up for a foundation degree. I've been looking at studying through OU and was wondering what kind of experiences people have had taking this course instead of studying at college/uni. Also as I know pretty much nothing about OU I'd like to know if all work is emailed of if I'd have to go into a learning centre.

 

Thanks in advance :o

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Welcome to the Forum, alibongo and congratulations on making your first post. I don't 'do OU' but we have several passionate advocates of study OU-style on here who will no doubt be along soon to give encouragement and advice!

 

However you study, I can't recommend the foundation degree highly enough!

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Thank you for the welcome xD

 

I've talked myself into and out of signing myself up for the foundation degree quite a few times already but the more I read of everyone's achievements on here the more I would love that to be me too! :o

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Hi

I am currently studying with the OU. For me it works as I like the flexibility of studying when I want to so evenings/week-ends when I can. They give you a study calender to work too so you keep on track The modules are made up of a series of assignents that have to be put in by a certain date then you have a big end of module assignment or some have exams. You have tutor support, and can attend tutorials throughout the courses. they are 2 hours long also there is an online forum. Most of the assignments have to be sent in electronicly through the OU system.

I really think it depends how you learn if it works for you, some people need to have the discipline of going into college/uni etc but like I said for me it works as I can fit it around my work/family.

 

Tink69

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Tink thanks so much for the reply, :o

I too really like the idea of the flexibility that's what has drawn me to OU rather than college/uni path. I've been looking online to see if there's anywhere near me to attend for the tutorials but I can't find anything in the Lincoln area, think that's going to be the only setback for me. Oh well at least I've still got plenty of time to think about it xD

 

Ali

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I think Tink has said it all. I am currently in final part of getting my degree through OU. I have found times hard but luckily found a friend who was also doing it so can share thoughts. There are online forums like this that you can talk to other people with which I find useful. It does take longer through ou but def more flexible.

 

I chose Ou instead of college so I was not tied to going each week.

 

I will hopefully start my EYPS next Jan.

 

good luck

Buttercup

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My journey with the OU started in 2003 when a leaflet fell out of Nursery World! At that time I had an NNEB that I gained in the 70's and though I have always worked in early years I had been thinking about updating my formal qualifications. I started with the OU to study for their 'Certificate in Early Years Practice' which is a recognised level 4 qualification. I was very apprehensive not having studied for so many years but within a short space of time I was hooked. I loved it, loved it, loved it :o I decided to carry on and did the Foundatioin Degree with the OU and cannot recommend it highly enough. Yes, I got behind with my study at times due to 'life' getting in the way but then I made time to catch up - that's the beauty of having the flexibility. I just could not commit to going to university on a given day/time each week but understand we are all different and some need that discipline to enable them to study.

 

Having graduated with my Foundation Degree guess what? I carried on to BA in Early Years and then still with the OU I graduated in December 2009 with a BA (hons) in Early years. Oh I had a few tears and tantrums along the way but overall my experience has been nothing but a positive one.

I have learnt so very much and made some lifelong friends along the way xD

 

I am now studying with the OU and doing their course on Autistic Spectrum disorders - not for any particular qualification just out of interest and just for fun and because I confess to being an OU addict.

 

THey have a great children's literature course which is fairly new and lots of people are raving about that so it's on my list of possibles !!

 

I think if you really want to do it then it will work for you - you do have to be quite organised at times. The study calendar is a great guide of where you should be with your study at any given point in the course but providing you get your assignments in on time it is really up to you how and when you study. If things go pear shaped you can get an extension on assignment deadlines but they are not really handy out without good reason.

 

The OU have recently updated two of the main modules for the Foundation Degree, i was involved in their production (in a small way!) and they are both excellent, right up to date and the only other thing I can say is

 

Go for it! you won't regret it :(:(:( It is one of the best decisions i have made

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Just a thought- I know many students who couldn't or didn't want to attend tutorials - they are not compulsory. Where tutorials are held is not decided until the OU have a 'geographical idea' of students registered for the modules. Then they organise where tutorials will be. If you are lucky they will be close to home, if not they may be further away. Mine were about an hours drive but that was OK for me and it was only about 4 tutorials during the course (lovely put opposite that did great food for lunch afterwards too :o )

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Not sure how it compares with university fees. There is funding you can claim from Ou I got £60 off my first course. They will let you pay monthly as well. I was fortunate to get the graduate leader fund so that really helped. Think its been stopped though.

 

I too did NNEB many moons ago. FD is great for anyone wanting to update and definatly justified.

 

Buttercup

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Guest rainyjaney

Having taken courses with OU and am now on Foundation Degree at a local uni, I would recommend uni over OU every time if it is practicel distance wise.

Some of the tutors I had at OU were brilliant but not all. The opportunity to meet regularly with fellow students at uni has been great. And lunch in the canteen a highlight of my week!

How ever you decide to do it, I wish you the best of luck.

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Geraldine, why does no one ever mention that the foundation degree can be broken up into the Certificate on the way. Sounds much more achievable.

 

Honey

 

I really don't know!

 

I think it is a great way to dip your feet in to test the water so to speak! I certainly had no intial intention of studying any further when I set out, I kind of got the study bug and just kept going.

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Thanks everyone for your replies, it's interesting to hear everyone's different views. The more I hear the more I feel this is something I want to do. Whether through ou or uni i'm definately looking at starting a foundation degree in the next academic year..........i hope :o

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Hi, everyone, I am a NNEB having trained in the 1980's I felt I needed to update my skills and am at present studying with the OU. In the second year of the Certificate in Early Years, the best decision I have ever made.Not sure if I will continue to study for the degree,small steps! The course calender keeps me on track and I like to be able to study in my own time.

 

Hope I have been of some help to you. :o

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  • 4 weeks later...
Hi, I'm working full time in foundation and am interested in signing up for a foundation degree. I've been looking at studying through OU and was wondering what kind of experiences people have had taking this course instead of studying at college/uni. Also as I know pretty much nothing about OU I'd like to know if all work is emailed of if I'd have to go into a learning centre.

 

Thanks in advance :o

 

Hi, I have recently completed the Diploma in Early Years Practice as part of the Foundation Degree with the OU. During the first year although the course had some interesting elements, I did experience some difficulty with receiving marked assignments in terms of having to chase them up as it seemed to take ages to receive them back. I felt that it was important to receive feedback as soon as possible as the time between assignments was demanding and you needed to know whether you were on the right track or not. Not all my queries were answered and although there are tutorials and day schools it can be difficult attending every one due to other commitments. Tutorial notes were not automatically passed on to students who were unable to attend and I felt at times completely unsupported. Anyone considering distance learning needs to think very carefully about their learning styles, home commitments and work commitments as the feeling of falling behind can be very stressful.

 

Good luck and every success in your chosen route.

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Well, a bit late here but just wanted to add my two pennorth!!

 

I graduated with the Foundation degree through OU last October - it was a fantastic day and they really make you feel special!! Which of course you are! Some people manage to fit that study (and it's REAL study!) around full-time work, a home to run and children/husbands... I was lucky, I work only 20 hours a week spread over three days and my children have long grown up, so I appreciate how hard it can be. That said, the support offered by the OU is brilliant - I had five different tutors (one per Unit) and of them four were absolutely brilliant :o . We won't dwell on the fifth - but that was my last Unit, I had a supportive tutor group and a very helpful FSF buddy (You know who you are xx) so I was ok.

 

Whatever you decide, don't forget you can always come here for support, celebration or commiseration!

 

Sue

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I also studied with OU for 4 years and have just started another course. It works for me because i love the flexibility. I have had a mixture of tutors - some good and some not so good - however that is probably the same in a brick built uni. Perhaps if I hadn't been working full time I might have preferred a brick built uni but the OU works for me. Its a very supportive environment!!!!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am currently on the fourth assignment on the Certificate in Early Years Practice course with the OU. I have this one and the final end of module assignment left to do. I did think that I would leave it at this and just get my level 4 qualification, but yesterday I pre-registered for the next module on my way to the foundation degree.

I work 18 hours a week over 3 days, have 2 children (the eldest will be doing his GCSE's as I am working on finishing this course) and a husband who works all the hours there are! Studying is hard and finding time can be difficult, but if you are determined you will be ok studying with the OU. My tutor is really good and I find the tutorials helpful, but if you can't get there then my tutor puts her notes on our tutor group forum. I have been pleasantly surprised by the marks I received for my first 2 assignments and am currently waiting for the marks for the third one. I only need to scrape a pass on the fourth assignment to pass that bit of the course and then a pass on the end of module assignment and a pass is 40% so not too hard to do!

I wish you well if you decide to study for the foundation degree, either at uni or through the OU. Good luck

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

 

Well this is my opinion I started my foundation degree with the OU, but unfortunately my computer got stolen along with my work I was given an extension of 2 days but unfortunately I could not do my work in the short space of time. Other than that I found the OU to br very organised in regards to reading material but I did not find a very good support network.

 

So I tried again and I'm currently in my second year at Wolverhampton Uni achieving a's and B's and I believe this is because of the support every student receives.

 

Good luck in which every route you take both with be hard work :) x

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks again for all your replies, sorry I've not replied on this thread sooner but I'm a bit dizzy and couldn't log on because I had convinced myself i had a different user name!

I've decided to give the OU a try by doing the Understanding Children unit as a taster, I'm pretty sure a regular Uni isn't going to be an option for me as my work load is set to increase in september so release from school won't be an option. I figure I'll never know if the OU route suits me if I never try!!

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