Tuesday, 30 April 2013

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : TMA06 - Done !

I was going to give the TMA a trial run tonight, but I thought 'what's the point', and decided to go for it.

As a practice for the exam it was really useful, the time just flies past, and I'm going to have to re-think my essay plan. In just over 50 minutes, I wrote about 1000 words, and could only fit in two case study examples - which I guess is why they say a minimum of two case studies / arguments.

100 - 120 words - into.

150 - 180 words - definition

210 - 255 words - argument  A

210 - 255 words - argument B

120 - 145 words - conclusion

1000 Words in total

So, get it in the post tomorrow, and I can put my feet up for a week :-)

Monday, 29 April 2013

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : TMA06 - nearly ready......

I've been making notes for the TMA essay, but looking at them and taking into account that I am pretty sure that 1200 words will be an absolute maximum for the hand written essay, ther eis going to be far less in the essay answer than I would have liked.

The theme lecture videos are at least useful, and the lecture on Centre-Periphery ends with the advice than any answer has to consider these 4 points.

  • In what ways, and to what extent is the contemporary state to be regarded as the centre of power?
  • Do centres always dominate peripheries?
  • Is political power becoming more centralized or more diffuse?
  • How should centre–periphery relationships, both territorially and functionally, be organized and adjudicated?
 So, I think I'll give it a go tomorrow to get an idea what can actually be done in about 45 minutes and then go for it for real on Thursday. Get it over and done with before the weekend, have the weekend off and then start studying again..........

Saturday, 27 April 2013

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : Week 29

27 Apr
  • Activity: Discussion Audio G, 'Reading across'; Theme Lecture 1, 'Powers and structures'; Specimen Examination Paper; Theme Lecture 2, 'Centre and periphery'

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : Handwriting Speed, therefore length of exam answers.

My tutor advised that we have a go at handwriting a section of text to get an idea of how much we can write in the exam, giving that the handwriting has to be legible and you need a bit of time to plan and some thinking time mid-essay.

I managed 120 words in five minutes copying a section of text, it wasn't as legible as it could have been, but it wasn't too bad.

So if I work on 10 minutes to read the question and set out the essay plan and ideas, 5 minutes during writing as thinking time and 5 minutes at the end to read and if necessary edit/add, that leaves me about 40 minutes of writing, which is effectively 1000 words.

100 - 120 words - into.

150 - 180 words - definition

210 - 255 words - argument  A

210 - 255 words - argument B

210 - 255 words - argument  C

120 - 145 words - conclusion

1000 - 1210 Words in total.

So, this week and over the weekend I'll get the materials needed for TMA06 together, and then the following week I'll see how realistic this schedule really is.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : TMA06 & Exam Tutorial

We had a useful tutorial today, with some interesting and lively discussions. However, I'm not sure I'm any happier about the next TMA especially as it has to be hand written.

On the plus side, being limited to an hour to write the TMA means this isn't going to take the amount of time all the others have, especially with the editing and re-writing that usually goes on, which won't be possible with a hand written essay.

I think I have narrowed down the subjects that I will be studying for the exam.

From Section A of the Exam Paper 2 Questions from

Part 1 - What is Politics
Part 2 - Exploring Political Worlds
Part 3 - Politics and Power in the UK
(Not doing Part 4 - Living Political Ideas or Part 5 - Making Policy Shaping Lives)

From Section B of the Exam Paper 1 Question from either,

Theme 1 - Powers & Structures
These 5 - Evidence & Argument

So, first to get the TMA sent off before the 9th May and then study as much as possible for the day school later in the month, then the exam in June..... easy !

Saturday, 20 April 2013

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : Week 28

20 Apr
  • Module Part 6: DD203 Review and Conclusion
  • Activity: Discussion Audio F, 'Reading down'; Specimen Examination Paper

Monday, 15 April 2013

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : TMA 6 & Revision

Decided to make an early start on the last TMA and the revision. The most striking thing is that I should have been using these revision videos at the end of each book before writing each of the previous TMAs, I seriously think I missed a trick in not reading ahead and spotting the potential that these video lectures had to concisely summarise each of the chapters and bring out the most useful points.

Oh well..... too late now.

We have a tutorial this weekend and I think the main points I want to get out of that tutorial are revision stratgeies for the exam.

We know there will be 5 questions, 1 from each of the course books in Section A, and 4 Questions from each of the themes (not center-periphery as that is TMA6) in Part B - chose 3 questions at least 1 from each section.

At present I'm thinking about revising 3 of 5 books and 2 themes.

The problem is that I'm not sure which books to revise. Book 1 is nice and short, Book 2 was about comparative politics, Book 3 about the UK politics, Book 4 was theory and ideology and Book 5 was Policy.

Or which themes are Power and Structures, Participation and Descent, Equality and Difference and Evidence and Argument.

Hopefully, it will become clear at the tutorial.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Open University Degree Class Calculator

The Open University's Working Out Your Class of Honours document will not be winning any awards from the Campaign for Real English - it is somewhat confusing.

So it is a good job that some nice person has developed an on-line Class Calculator

I think that with PPE it is easier than with some degree as after the Level 1 course (which doesn't count towards the final result) there is 3 compulsory Level 2 courses and 2 Level 3 courses to get the degree.

So for a First Class Honours I think you require 2 Distinctions at Level 2 and the rest Grade 2, or one Distinction at Level 3 and the rest Grade 2.

Monday, 8 April 2013

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : TMA05 Marked and Returned

Worst mark so far, pretty much in the middle of the Pass2 range, but considering the enviroment in which I was studying and writting this essay, I suppose it is a pretty accepable result.

Apparently, I failed to fully answer the question as I did not give enough examples from the learning material, although I obviously thought I was alluding to these examples in the essay, I did not site and quote from the study material enough.

So, in order to have an overall TMA score as a Pass1, I need the final essay to be a Pass1, but with the last TMA a exam style essay, I think this is going to be extremely unlikely.

Saturday, 6 April 2013