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Yes, I do know he has other things to do but I've taught too in the past and I would never expect to leave a student's question unanswered by more than a couple of days at the most.
And - if others agree with me that this is a pretty slow response - any ideas on what I can do about it? I've emailed him twice now on different topics and both times have had to send a reminder before I got a reply. I don't want to start falling out with the person who marks my work but I really don't feel as if this class is much of a priority in his life. I haven't had an opportunity to ask other students whether they feel the same way - we only meet at tutorials when the tutor is obviously also present or speak on the OU forum to which he also has access, so I have no way of knowing if other people are having the same problem. Has anyone else been through something similar and found a satisfactory way through it?
I do know the tutor has had some health problems so I also feel that any complaint I make is just going to look unsympathetic to that but I've paid as much as anyone else to do the course and I really feel I'm not getting any tutorial support at all, except for a TMA mark every few weeks. What would you do?
I've just completed the course you're currently taking and after TMA03 the pressure slowly increases, so knowing that you've got tutor support is vital, especially as you need to get their approval before you write your ECA.
If I were you I would try and call my tutor and see if everything is OK and try and have a discussion about the best way to contact him. As you're unable to make the tutorials see if you can arrange to have some kind of regular contact with him before each of the next TMAs and the EMA so that he can assist you with any issues or concerns surrounding the assignment.
If he doesn't answer your call, or respond within a few days, then I would speak to student services, it doesn't have to be a complaint - I always tend to ring them and ask if I should be worried if I haven't heard from a tutor, mainly because a friend once rang to complain that her tutor hadn't returned her TMA and that it was overdue, to discover that her tutor had been killed in a road accident on holiday - and I've always found them very supportive.
The bottom line is that as part of the course, which is costing you a small fortune, you expect to get a certain level of tutor support which for one reason or another isn't forthcoming. It is not unreasonable to complain.