If you (or someone you know) are considering taking on distance learning or it sounds good/bad/you’re not sure, keep reading. If you have nothing to do with distance learning and are simply just here, by all means carry on reading, and maybe I will inspire you to take a step further in your career! I am now over a year in to my online degree through the Open University so I have given distance learning more than enough time to know what it’s about.
O V E R V I E W
The whole point of the OU is to allow eager students to broaden their knowledge within a subject or just simply gain extra qualifications, from just about anywhere they are. The OU allows you to choose between doing a full time or a part time degree, and just like with most Universities, it welcomes students of all ages – except you only ever meet the other students and/or your tutors if you wish to do so.
‘But what does that mean? What about lectures and seminars?’ you are allocated to a tutor group forum based on the modules you have picked to enrol with, as well as your degree forum – i.e if you’re doing a Business Management degree, you are part of a Business Management forum, and as that degree comprises of a certain number of modules, you are automatically allocated to a forum for every one of those modules. That is how you communicate with your tutor and other students, apart from the obvious means of communication, e-mail.
S T U D Y : L I F E R A T I O
You work in your own time – you can allocate time specifically for work, or just pop your module book in your bag and learn on the go. All OU books can be accessed online as well as hard copies – I like to make plenty of notes in my hard copies and study on my way to and from work, as well as at lunchtimes, weekends, time off work etc. Upon registering the OU will go through time allowance with you in detail, explaining how much weekly time each of the two types of degrees will require – it is then up to you whether you want to exceed that time allowance. It is recommended to do at least the maximum of the recommended time allowance a week, to ensure you do not fall behind with your studies.
T E C H N I C A L I T I E S
Assignments are submitted online or by post – I personally prefer to submit those online as I write quite a bit at work and my hands and wrists are not as good as they were at 15/16, when I could write for hours on end and not be in pain:(
Online tutorials set out as weeks and any extra material is super easy to locate on the website, especially when you find you spend quite a bit of time on there. I did find it a good idea to actually have a flick through the OU website to ensure I can understand my StudentHome, the Library and all the other bits such as the Open, where you can do additional courses for free!!! That’s right – additional little courses for free. There’s so many to choose from and as we all know, I love freebies and education so put the two and two together and here we are.
The Library does provide the student with some amazing content – it includes stuff from simple thesaurus and dictionary, to quotes, articles, and full books – which again, downturns the costs of your learning as much as possible.
The OU allows its students to write their own blog – now in no way am I saying you are not allowed to write a blog or anything along those lines, what I am saying is there is designated space for OU students to write their own little blogs to go with their Student Profile, should they wish to do so. I personally have not written anything on mine as I like to stick to this little baby instead.
I feel like I have just about covered everything that is not already known – obviously the funding part is just like with any other University, you can either Student Finance or cash it, although the OU does also offer to pay off your studies in instalments per module. Applying for student finance does take about 6 weeks on average so there really is no waiting time allowed if you are wishing to commence your studies.
F A Q
The only frequently asked question I can really think of with regards to the OU which I have not already covered, is whether you can stop and resume your studies, and the answer to that is yes, you can totally do that – you can withdraw from a module/degree whenever you please, however, the con of that is you may only resume again when the module or degree is available for enrolment, which is a bit of a pain but that is something a student should consider when deciding to put a pause on their studies.
Okay now I am really out of ideas for anything else which has not been covered in this super simplified and brief post. If you have any questions – please do not be afraid to ask! The OU has been a major life changer for me but as always, I will only ever leave an honest review, so if there is anything you feel I have missed etc. by all means please let me know xxx
This post is not sponsored. Header credit: Instagram @calligrxph