Wednesday 19 July 2017

OU PPE Course Review

So I have the results of my 6 courses and am just waiting on the final award being made.

DD101: Introduction to OU study and Social Science. Not the most exciting course and at times a bit pedestrian, but it was vital in developing essay writing skills and study technique.

A222: Philosophy was not my favourite choice so decided to get it out of the way quickly. Reasonably interesting, but not earth shattering, highlight was that it had a good section on political philosophy. The exam at the end was difficult and I think I had some bad advice on exam technique, and as a result probably under performed on the exam.

DD203: Politics: Really enjoyed all of this. Great stuff and a good tutor. Exam wasn't too much of a drama.

DD209: First time out for this course and it had some issues - poor website and errors in text, which when doing formula is a real problem. The content however was really interesting. The main problem for me as that as a first ever exam they had one example practice exam and some of those questions or very close to them ended up in the real exam. I'd gambled that they wouldn't do this so concentrated on other parts of the course.

DD309: Another great economics course. No exam, but the project at the end was really intense. It helped that I found an idea to pursue that really panned out, and allowed me to disprove an existing idea (for the data I had) and propose an alternative point of view.

DD306: A mixed course, highs and lows. I somehow managed to completely miss judge the final project and to a spectacular extent, which is extremely disappointing.

Tuesday 18 July 2017

DD306 - Living Political Lives - Final Project Score

My final project mark is an absolute disaster, and I don't understand what could have gone so wrong, but it has.

I've never had a TMA score or Exam score anywhere close to this low, so at present I am just a bit stunned.

Nothing I can do now, time to move on to something new.....

On the positive side, well done to everyone who finished their degree today, and congratulations to everyone who got what they wanted. It has been a long hard road, but completing a degree while contending with work, family and all that life throws at you is not easy - so time for reflection and celebration.

Tuesday 30 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Lives : Course Review

Well that is the end of my PPE, and almost 7 years of association with the Open University, but I suppose a reflection on the entire course should come later, this post will concentrate on DD306.

DD306, completed over 2 years due to a deferral after TMA04 in favour of an alternative project.

Looking back on what has been an amazing two years in terms of UK and international politics, DD306 really had little to offer in terms of adding to the debate or understanding of real politics.

The course broke down into.....

The Entry Room looked at the Cold War
Room 1 was Representing the people
Room 2 was Political Animals
Room 3 was Religion in Politics
Room 4 was Body in Politics
Room 5 was Violence in Politics

Can'r remember learning anything new from the Entry Room.
Can't remember anything from Room 1.
Political Animals was at best a philosophical discussion - a bit too abstract to be useful.
Religion in Politics, far too narrow a discussion - probably for fear of offending religious folk.
Body in Politics, more of a history lesson on how discriminated against sections of our community got rights.
Violence in Politics - lessons from history.

This course was not nearly as enjoyable as the Economics module, but preferable to another Philosophy module. I have received very good marks on all TMAs, which makes me question the rigour of the subject, but I can't really point to anything that I can take away from this course as a real eye opener or incredible learning experience.

It has just been about churning the TMAs out and getting the marks I require for the level of degree I wish, but even that seems a bit lacking of luster.

We its over now - just the EMA score to come, then the award of the degree.

DD306 - Living Political,Lives : Well that's that then.

Well, that's that then.

Nearly seven years association with the OU is complete, I have submitted the final EMA.

I am not sure if I am ready for this. OU Student has been part of my identity for so long that I don't want to let go...... But I have no choice the journey has ended.

In the end th EMA was very stress free. 5 evenings writing, after a lot of preparation set up the basic EMA essay. I have then had two weeks relative stress free reflection to refine the essay.

I have to say, IF, and I emphasise, IF I have met the examiners question requirements I think I have nailed this.

I would like a distinction on this module, I was mark short on TMAs - but grade boundaries can shift, and I think this essay should certainly meet the absolute 70% requirement, but hopefully a lot more.

Well, I can do no more, except wait and hope I've done enough.

I believe will know by 19th July.......

Saturday 13 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Ideas : TMA06 Marked and Returned

Tantalisingly close to a Pass 1, which makes my overall OCAS equally tantalisingly close to a Pass 1, but alas not.

Unfortunetly, no idea what the comments are as I can't open them on my mobile device.

I suspect that the overall course grade boundaries are a bit flexible so not the end of the world.

So, just the EMA to get marked.

Friday 12 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Lives : Disappointed? Just a bit.

TMA06 deadline is just 3 weeks before the EMA deadline.

I submitted TMA06 over a week early.

Tutor knows I am going on holiday.

But here we are a couple of hours before I head to the airport and still no TMA06 returned marked.

Its not that I expect, or want, special treatment, but you'd think that by submitting extremely early you'd both get nearer to the front of the marking queue and give the tutor extra time to mark. Some students already have their TMA06 back which gives them a huge advantage towards finishing the EMA over folk that get it back with only a week to go.

As I have never found a way to download, and then open and display, the feedback zip file to my ipad, I may know the mark some time in the next week or so, but reading the feedback will have to wait until the 29th May.

The phrases 'cutting it fine' and 'taking it to the wire' spring to mind.

Thursday 11 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Ideas : The Final Leg

So, I have submitted an EMA.

I now have to prioritise my time...... And to be honest unless the mark for TMA06 is a disaster, I will probably prioritise my time canvassing for Labour over any adjustments to the EMA.

The leaked Labour manifesto is superb. Corbyn is taking us towards a country I want to live in where we look after those who are vunerable, the better off pay a bit more and we give everyone an equal chance and most importantly of all..... Hope.

Targeting loneliness in the elderly is so important, what other party has looked at that.

I think JC is going to peak at the right time, Mrs May and her auto-bot responses may have a fight on her hands.

Let our politics drift towards Scandinavia, not Trump's USA.

Wednesday 10 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Lives : The Last Leg (5)

F I N I S H E D ! ! ! !

OK, maybe not exactly, but very close.

4,420 words - so some slight editing to do.

My main worry now is have I answered the question they asked or a question I wanted to answer.

"The state as a solution to violence as a living political idea".

I have a good intro, definitions and living ideas.

I have a good set up / theoretical section on the state and violence.

I have examples of the state and violence and legitimacy.

I have a section using the case studies.

I have a conclusion

Why am I doubting myself.

I am going to edit 21 words out, call it submission v1 and send it.

Revisions to come after a period of reflection, the return of my TMA, some thinking time whe on holiday and a panicked 48 hours when I return.

If I submit now and get hit by a bus tomorrow - it will do.

But I think there is some twists ad turns to come - still the wife will be happy.