|University of Dundee||#2|
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1 star FOR TERRIBLE ACADEMIC SUPPORT If you are struggling with a concept on the TMA (the assessment), as a matter of policy, they do not help at all! I guess if you can learn "everything" on your own, you will do fine at the OU but if you need academic support you will probably find the system irritating and not very sensible.
I enrolled with OU because of their reputation. What I found was a complete lack of support, no consistency in teaching standards, poor materials and part time tutors who are otherwise full time employed in another role. It's a bit of a postcode lottery with who and what you end up with. There's very little continuity in how the tutors grade and the external markers grade, which only exacerbates an already unfair overall marking system. The admin side of OU is abysmal and I've never felt more like 'just a number' before in my academic life. I studied at a brick and mortar university for a year prior and although everywhere has downfalls, I've felt so let down by OU throughout my study. The price is ridiculous for the service too, there's vastly better value for money at universities who offer distance learning WITH support & accountability beyond a website log in and some books. Research other institutions - OU is NOT your only option.
It pains me to be writing this review, because I had really high hopes for the Open University, but this has to be said. If you are seriously considering studying a degree, I urge you to go anywhere but the OU. Their customer service is appalling, and the uni seems to be managed and run by inexperienced people who have no clue how to use the internet, which is not particularly useful considering that the OU focuses mainly on distance learning. The course I chose to study was am Honours Degree in Astronomy and Planetary Sciences, but I had to stop after the first year, as it was extremely dull and had absolutely nothing to do with Astronomy or Physics, to the point that I genuinely believed I had mistakenly taken the wrong course (which I hadn't). The "TMAs" and marking systems are idiotic, and the timetables they set you for the modules are completely wrong, but they're hardly the biggest issues. So, in conclusion, do not waste your time and money with the OU.
Open University BSc (Hons) Open OVERALL UNIVERSITY RATING Tell us about your overall university experience so far. 17 Mar 17 I spent nine years part time studying here to get my degree and I have very mixed emotions about the place, even though I spent a lot of time and encountered quite a few issues some which were handled badly by the OU I will still try and keep this as brief as I can and unbiased. The main reason I choose the OU was I wasn’t fortunate enough to be in an environment leaving full time education that would have really supported me with further education, plus the fact I didn’t really apply myself as best as I could in school obviously due to many factors, however I decided later in life that perhaps I would like to see what the academic world was actually all about and as I have taken on other challenges I thought why not a degree, let’s see what it teaches and why sometimes people who have them have the better opportunities and jobs. Distance learning was practical
As a distance learning provider, some of the areas needing review are not appropriate (campus facilities etc). So I think its important to be aware of some significant differences to bricks and mortar universities: - The lowest mark overall is your module result. So if you score 80% over the year, but score 40% in the final piece of work, your module score is 40%. - The module result is affected by non-academic factors. So might score 35% which is a fail (because it’s under 40%), but actually get a pass 4 (40-49% bracket). - No past papers are given. You may not see any previous work whether students consent to it being shown or not. - There is limited time given to staff to provide feedback. So do not count on detailed feedback to improve the score on your next piece of work. End of module (EMA) feedback is also sparse and hardly covers the reasons why you scored the way you did. - Appeals are tightly restricted. You may not appeal their academic judgement.
Just finished my first module with the OU and I've been very impressed. I studied at a brick Uni for a year and decided to leave because of personal reasons, the OU was the only way I was going to get a degree after that. So far though, it's quality has exceeded the brick Uni I went to by far, the material is relevant and interesting, I love the self-directed study and my tutor has been really helpful and willing to go the extra mile to help me complete my assignments. Finally, I've actually learnt something, which I can't really say about the brick Uni I went to (Which, by the way, had been rated Gold for teaching excellence.)
I would like to remind any prospective OU students who are reading reviews here or anywhere that it is nearly always the disgruntled or those who did not do their research who have written such negative and quite rude reviews about the Open University. For every one bad review, there are hundreds of students who have enjoyed the OU but haven't thought to leave a review as the OU does not suggest it to students. Also, all university related review pages ask about campus facilities and other things that a distance learning university does not offer, understandably. The OU is a superb option for those who are working, suffer with chronic illness and/or are parents who wish to gain a qualification that allows them to get to the career they want eventually, without giving up their lifestyle now. From what I have seen, so many students have done this successfully and many come back to do postgrad. Visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheOpenUniversity/ for genuine responses!
The ratings system is not applicable to distance learning. ive done degrees at oxford london and edinburgh (ba/ma mb bs phd) before studying at open. i started with the intention of doing some modules that interested me. however the ou studying drew me in and i complteted my degree in 5 years. all the courses were clearly and thoughtfully organised, highlighting important areas of knowledge, thought processes and principles. all my tutors worked hard to provide constructive criticism. i found it was well worth attending face to face seminars. the ou community is wonderfully diverse, with particular groups represented being women whose children had left home, men who had finished being traditional breadwinners and young folk who hadnt gone straight to university then re evaluated things. however there were many other shades too. as this is distance learning tuturs can and do provide help and guidance. however it relies on the student to be sufficiently self organised and self motivate
I agree with all the previous reviews. The OU is a huge organization and they are unable to provide a personal service in spite of their efforts. They and their tutors are still working through and learning how to navigate through the online services whilst their students are quite knowledgeable about online services. Therefore the process is very frustrating for international students. When one fails the first credits for a course, there is no real follow up. I am/was on a course towards my Masters in Education and I failed my last assignment (what they call EMA, "External" marked assignment, a 100% assignment) although I passed all my TMA ("Teacher Marked Assignments"). I paid 3,000 UK pounds out of my own pocket money towards my MEd. The OU is just an online money making business. They don't care about their online students when they fail.
Please be careful. I would advise anyone to go ANYWHERE but the Open University. I know they can be convenient but it is a corrupt organisation that masquerades as a reputable education provider. Their courses are not cheap, I broke my back saving for mine and was so excited to start. From the beginning my tutor ignored my questions and made it clear they didn't want to be involved in my study at all. I tried to do my best anyway and managed to pass all but the final module despite being driven to tears on a couple of occasions frustrated and confused by my tutor outright ignoring my short, polite questions about issues I didn't understand. I failed my final by one mark on an area I had pleaded for help with. After being stuck in the complaints process for a year they were told I couldn't get a refund, resit my exam or resit the course, so they took my money and left me with absolutely nothing. I didn't think it could happen to me as I'm a good student and work really hard. Be careful.
I am writing this review as I feel my son has been ripped off by open university! A few years ago he attempted to do a course alongside a full time job, within 8 weeks he realised that it was too hard for him so he quit after ringing them up and posting a letter. It seems that the OU continued getti g funding and now years later he is expected to pay £1500 back deducted from his wages before he receives them. No problem with paying for the books sent or 8 weeks minimal online tuition, but what about a cooling off period? He has been in touch but seeems there is no get out! So future students be aware £1500 for 8 weeks I would avoid at all costs.
I began studying with the open university as i thought they would be flexible for people who work full-time. However, I have found to my cost they are not. Only interested in taking your money. Dont study with them. You will find a brick university offers more flexibility for part-time students.
I started my Masters in November 17 and here I am in January ’18 feeling completely discouraged and seriously considering not going any further. The tutor is completely useless - sends one line responses to emails if she bothers to respond at all, tells you to one thing for a TMA (demonstrate understanding of the models and relate to work experience) and then you get it back with a crappy mark with feedback that you shouldn't have focussed on the models or related to your work experience. I have studied as an undergrad at 2 Russell Group universities and have never experience anything like it. I thought the OU would be the ideal solution to studying around a full time career but have already realised it wouldn't be worth the paper it is written on - time to find another Russell Group Uni that takes my £10k investment seriously. My advice ... DON'T bother. It is a lot of money for supremely crappy and indifferent service and less than mediocre quality teaching.
Open University is a joke. The course materials are either their own or some outdated (10years) lecture texts that carries an amazon review of 1 star. Start off with module, coming from the IT COMPUTING DEGREE areas. Ok, some of the material is enjoyable, and just when you think you ready to CRACK the TMA, surprise! The TMA is worded so confusingly, that almost everytime there is an errata that follows. Then, the TMA looks like nothing you have read and practiced beforehand. So you are up sh*creek. I get the feeling, the TMA outsourced. And whoever draws these things up doesn't take into account if the tasks being requested are in fact covered. Now, you will here, well its a university, you supposed to research your studies. Ok, but not research on the Internet and stackoverflow. Bottom line, the modules are lacking what is required for you to succeed in the course. But, if you already know everything about IT and programming, well you will probably be just fine.
Ok, so I started my degree with OU a couple of years ago. The materials and online services OU provide are of good quality. However, the issues start to appear once you are asked to complete your tasks and assignments. The tasks are of very poor quality and I'm shocked that they get away with it. Commonly your first assignment consists of 1.000 words, yep 1.000 words. This is, they ask you to read a whole book but usually they only expect you to use one of the sections of the book to answer the TMA questions. This is once you are at level 1 or 2, the word counting at the entry level is even smaller. Because the assignments are so small you feel like you are not getting the service you are paying for. The word counting is clearly designed to make tutors life easier. If you think you can get away with it by putting extra information on the appendix, forget it!Tutors will take points off, even if you show that you clearly understood the subject. My advice? AVOID IT!
The Open University can be summed up in very few words. Reactive NOT Proactive. They make the same mistakes over and over again and can only be described as complacent. Poor in ALL ADMINISTRATIVE AREAS which causes stress and upset to Students and Tutors alike. Disorganised poorly managed departments
Don't go to The Open University!!!! Nothing good about this University. They just want your money without any student support, any information provided. If you have any problem, they won't help you especially if you are postgraduate student. You can send to them complaint but they will ignore you anyway. There are many new- excellent Universities who provide distance learning, just don't go to the Open because you will regret your decision like me. Maybe they were good 20 years ago but not anymore.
This used to be a fantastic institution. Sadly it appears to have gone the way of many focusing on process over humanity. If you can at all spare the time do not use the OU. If you have absolutely no choice then go in with your eyes open, For the lack of support and lack of quality and availability of tutors you are much, much better studying yourself.
Despite being an online university, the staff are very supportive and give exemplary feedback that really allows you to learn and fulfill your potential. Tutors have an understanding of the needs of mature students who are working full-time and studying simultaneously. The books and online study materials are of a very high standard. I am very proud to be an OU student and would recommend it over any "brick university" that I have previously attended.