Friday, 20 December 2013

DD209 Running The Economy : Festive Break

2 week study break until the 4th January - or more likely time to catch up and revise.

So Festive Greetings and a Happy Hogmanay when it comes, 

Best wishes for 2014.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

DD209 Running The Economy : iCMA41 Marked and Returned

Without any sort of fanfare at all, and indeed effectively hiding the mark deep inside the course page (you can find it here DD209-13J/Assessment Resources/ iCMA 41) the marks have now limped, battered and bruised, into the light.

Over a week for a computer to mark a tick-test ? Maybe it needed rebooted or hadn't been turned on!

Even then the results do not appear on the Assessment table, but if you are lucky you may hear third hand that if you go searching back to the quiz you finished some time ago the mark may have appeared there. As a customer experience (for that is what we now are, 'customers'), pretty piss-poor really.

This quiz should have been easy, loads of time to do it, and able to do it with your books and the might of the internet at your disposal.

However, that said, I still managed to cock-up a multi-part question, but apart from that I'm broadly pleased with the outcome, and compared with Philosophy and Politics, Economics is really interesting and seems to have an actual relevance in the real world.

DD209 Running The Economy : TMA 03 relies on interaction in the Tutor Forum, should be interesting.

I've been looking ahead at the next TMA question (yeah already!) because the next TMA eassy looks as though it is worth more than the others, as the relative scoring is:
TMA01 - 7%; 
TMA 02 - 15%; 
TMA 03 - 20%; 
TMA 04 - 15%, 
TMA 05 - 15%; 
iCMAs 41-44 - 7% each

but having looked at the OU website I bit closer its not quite that simple.

The main 1600 essay is actually worth exactly the same as the other TMAs, i.e. 15%, the difference is that the other 5% of our total overall mark, or 25% of TMA04 is down to your interaction with the Tutor Forum.

The wording of the TMA blithely says,

"Now, as part of your TMA, copy and paste your forum post from (c) and at least one post you made under (d) into your TMA and write a short reflection about the Tutor Group Forum discussion, in particular whether the discussion reinforced or altered your original view. Note: if you do not include a copy of your posts in the TMA, you will not gain any marks for this question."

I guess they are expecting a level of participation in the Tutor Group for TMA03 the like of which we have yet to see. I'm not really sure how this part of the TMA is in any way academically taxing or how it is marked, but it will be interesting to see if everyone from the group actually joins in. I think in total so far, maybe 8 people have posted on the forum from a group of 20, so this will either flush them out of the woodwork or perhaps they will just not bother with this part of the TMA.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

DD309 registration opens 4th April 2014

I've decided my next course, and first at level 3 will be the Economics DD309.

This is partly to push on with economics and hopefully with this one fresh in my mind the next one should make a bit more sense from the start, but also because details are sketchy about the replacement politics and philosophy courses, and I don't fancy doing a brand new course again.

So, I'll sign up for DD309 in April and that's the decision on the last course put off for another year or so.

DD101 to run for last time Feb 2014

Just read on the OU website that DD101will start for the last time in Feb 2014. It will seem odd not having that course available as it has pretty much been the OU's most popular course for some time, and although I did it some time ago now, I can't see how it would become out of date.

I guess this is the same for DD131and DD132.

Looking back DD101was a really good introduction to social 'science' (although I don't think I'll ever fully accept it as a science), and a very sensible course to choose to get back into studying, so the OU will have a real job on their hands to design a suitable replacement.

It will be interesting to see what this course will be replaced by, but I can't see any information about the new course yet.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

DD209 Running The Economy : TMA02 Marked and Returned

TMA02 has just been returned and I'm very happy with the mark which I think was well deserved given the amount of effort put in to this essay.

The tutors comments after each paragraph were all positive and encouraging, and although they said they wanted more explanation on certain points, there was no hint to what should have been left out to accommodate these additional explanations. 

I was pretty much at the maximum word count and had edited and stripped all unnecessary words and phrases out of the essay, so I have no idea how I could have added this additional information without dropping paragraphs they had commented positively on.

Just got to get the iCMA back now, and as long as it has gone well I think I can pretty much say that I have monetary and fiscal policy nailed, and put that to bed for now.

 So tomorrow, time to get back to the books and to get on with the reading I was unable to get motivated for last week. 

BLOCK 3 here I come.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

DD209 Running The Economy : Week 11

14 Dec
  •  Week 11: Monetary policy in an inflation-targeting model 

    This is how I feel.......

    I submitted the iCMA THREE (3) weeks ago, and the TMA ONE (1) week ago. Both deadlines were FOUR (4) days ago, and I still have not got anything back yet, this is killing me !!!

    Especially as,
    i. The iCMA is computer marked ? What can possibly take so long. Its inexplicable !
    ii. My TMA was submitted early with encouraging noises from tutor that they may start marking before deadline. Obviously not !
    iii. Others on the course have had their TMA marks back within 48 hours - again ........

    Consequently, pretty much nothing has been done last week or is likely to be done this week either.

    I want my marks back.... NOW !!!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

DD209 Running The Economy : iCMA Disappointment and Frustration

What a massive disappointment. Midnight came and went without the iCMA fairies putting in an appearance, and still nothing this morning at 10 o'clock.

What is the point in having a practice iCMA as part of this course that returns instant results when that is not what is going to happen in practice. Would it not be better to put a deadline date on the practice iCMA and then make everyone wait unnecessarily for whatever arbitrary period of time the OU wish to keep us hanging on for. It would at least set reasonable expectations regarding what will happen in practice.

....... and nothing yet from my tutor either :-(

Disappointed, frustrated, annoyed ......... I'm supposed to be doing this for fun.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

DD209 Running The Economy : Twas iCMA Eve

It's a bit like the excitement of Xmas Eve when you were young, wondering what is going to happen at midnight.

The iCMA deadline is midnight today, never done one of these before so I have no idea what to expect after the deadline. With any luck a second or so after the witching hour our computer marked iCMA scores should appear, as if by magic.

It would just be so unbelievably frustrating if they were not immediately available. I'm also hopeful that my early submission of the TMA will result in a prompt return.

Who knows maybe all my Xmases will come at once, and I'll get both marks at the same time....... yeah probably not.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

DD209 Running The Economy : Week 10

Week 10

7 Dec


  • Assignment: TMA 02 (cut-off date 10 Dec)
  • Assignment: iCMA 41 (cut-off date 10 Dec at 23:59)   
F I N I S H E D ! ! !
What a relief, the iCMA got submitted some time ago, and I've just submitted TMA02.

In the end I managed to edit it down and leave it a whisker under the 1760 maximum word count. At this stage I'm pretty pleased with it, but that will all change if the marks are disappointing. Considering the amount of time spent one this it really needs to be a high mark or it will be a bit disheartening .

The challenge now is to get motivated and get ahead in the next block, but lack of the TMA result and the festive period could put a stop to that.

Bring on supply side economics......

Thursday, 5 December 2013

DD209 Running The Economy : Easiest TMA to write, most difficult to edit :-(

This TMA seemed, at least initially, to be possibly one of the easiest to write. The course text and tutorial material has been pretty well presented (bar some of the maths equations) and the TMA question is pretty clear.

The problem has been that with a maximum of 1760 words I am having huge difficulty editing it down. I am currently about 100 words over and haven't written a full conclusion yet. What I have been doing though is going through trying to reduce word count while retaining the meaning. This hasn't been too successful as I started at one point with just under 1900 words, went through making changes and ending up with just over 1900 words - not sure how that happened.

 It is also very difficult to separate the economic from the political, especially as the decision to use some, all or none of the policies will necessarily be tied, in some way, to political ideology.

Its now got to the point where I need to re-analyse the question, be ruthless with what may be unnecessary and hope there is enough there to get a good mark. The problem is that this TMA seems more like a simple regurgitation of the course material with no opportunity to explore alternative strategies that could have been more successful.

So 5 more days to trim the word count and finish it and then  its pretty much easy street to Xmas.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

The festive periodiod is upon us.........

Count down has begun to Christmas, Wintermas or the birthday of the unconquerable SUN god variously known as Tammuz, Mithra, Saturn, Adonis or BAAL.

However you wish to spend the festive period, spread a little cheer with the Bad Religion "Christmas Songs" CD, or just listen to them on YouTube - Little Drummer Boy is especially good....

If the YouTube video doesn't appear above try these links,

There are a couple of other Xmas sounds, all available on iTunes or via the Bad Religion website.