Monday, 3 October 2011

DD101 Introducing the Social Sciences - Course Finished

So the end of the DD101, what have I learned and what do I wish I'd know before it started.

For me, as I have never done any social science studies before, this was a good insight in to what is a vast and interesting subject. It has certainly go me thinking about identities, inequalities, consumerism and waste. The psychology and geography aspects of the course were also very interesting and nearly prompted a change in direction, but now I've paid for A222 Exploring Philosophy and its effectively started, its probably too late to change.

Pretty much every section of the course had something of interest and the TMA essays would not have been overly onerous if you were happy with just a pass, and as the result of this course does not effect any future degree classification, that is all that matters. However I don't really work that way and probably did spend a bit too much time on the essays.

If I had any advice regarding the TMAs it is that, IN MY OPINION, the essay questions are not being asked to find out what you think or think you have learned - they are to find out what you know of the course content, and so your essay has to reflect the text, the authors views and the quoted theorists, and if it doesn't you won't be answering the essay correctly.

I pretty much tried to identify every relevant theorist or idea needed to answer the essay question and then just made sure they were quoted or referenced in the essay. Also dragging in theorists from previous chapters also went down well with my tutor and as the 3 main course strands are inter-linked there is a lot of identity / consumerism / social order ideas through-out the course.

Also, what worked best for me was to work out an essay framework and a rough idea of what I wanted to cover and then using the on-line PDF of the books copy and paste chunks of text that I needed into a word document. Once I had everything in the word document I would start writing the essay from the top of the page and as I covered topics I would delete them from pasted text - this made sure I didn't miss anything and was a good reminder on what I thought needed to be covered.

This way also meant you can get a lot of words and ideas down quickly, and I found it more motivational to know you were over the word count and it was a case of refining language and dropping weaker ideas, than starting at the beginning with 1500 words to write and trying to do it in a linear fashion. I had an iterative repetitive process of writing, reading, refining until I was happy with the essay.

I also thought that the timetable for the course was really good and while ahead of the suggested timetable things seemed in control and there was time to do everything. During the last two TMAs life sort of caught up with me and I fell behind and it just seemed impossible to do everything, so my advice to anybody doing DD101, and what I will make sure I do on my future courses, is to stay a bit ahead of the suggested timetable, its just makes things so much easier.

So that is the end of the first 60 point course, 5 more to go, and looking at the new fee structure it is just as well I started when I did as the new fees would have meant I could not have afforded to even start this course.

Anyway, as we close the Chapter on DD101 (except for the TMA 07 result expected in December) this blog has received just over 10,000 page views which is far more than I ever thought it would receive.

With the end of course information we found out that 1865 students submitted ETMA 07, and the marks followed the pretty standard bell-curve of A-12%, B-30%, C-39%, D-14%, E-3%, F -2%, G-0%.


Steve Dunn said...

A great blog. I'm studying DD101 in October 2013.

The Accidental Student said...

Thanks Steve.

Hope you enjoy the course. I'm actually surprised at how useful the course has been and how it has made me consider things differently. So in retrospect it was a really good start to my studies with the OU.