Written on: 11/08/2012
There are a lot of plusses about the OU - very helpful customer service staff; highly absorbing materials; a structure to the courses that is both easy to understand and segment; strong community support. The only thing that has let it down in my eyes is the academic ability of the tutors. Some of them, well, aren't very capable. These may well know their subject, but often aren't up to the job when it comes to other aspects of the job: such as a proper understanding of the vagaries and intricacies of the English language. There have been some truly embarrassing moments in my assignments when a tutor has questioned the use of a word simply because they hadn't properly understood which particular facet of a homonym I was utilising. I have also lost points in assignments for not spelling things out in a manner which, to be perfectly blunt, I would find insulting as a reader. In one particular case, when I was asked to describe what I had learned from a certain group discussion, I lost one of the potential five points because I hadn't used the words "I have learned that...". Seriously, I haven't written in such an elementary manner since I was in middle school!
Rant over. I have generally enjoyed the OU experience, but just don't expect to be stretched if you are looking for a genuinely academic experience. Instead expect the functional and the pedestrian. It's a means to an end.
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