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I have a number of textbooks in my library and many of my other books were prompted by my OU studies.
Shocked that no OU group existed I set up this one so OU students and fans can say hello to one another and discuss books, TMAs and whatever else!
My own OU story began in the 80s when I wanted to study history but thought it was too expensive. I finally bit the bullet in 2000 with maths courses and then did some social care courses and am now a social policy student - taking a break between D218 (2006) and DD305 (starting October 2007) while I do a MSc elsewhere.
What can I say, the OU is addictive!
None of this would have been possible without the Open University concept. A wonderful way to achieve and study when it may seem impossible. But, I think, only doable if you are self-motivated.
3billythefish Primeira Mensagem
Leel, I realise that the OU has had an impact in many countries and perhaps I should have made the focus of the group distance learning in general.
It does require a great deal of self-motivation, and not everyone takes to distance learning for a variety of reasons. I am currently at a 'real' university and I appreciate the lectures and discussions all the more for having to do without them most of my OU career. But I am going back for more, so the OU approach works for me as well.
billythefish, do think about doing a course with them - maybe start with a third level course to get you into the swing of things before embarking on the MA? And yes, their books are really good - whenever I see a range of them, I want to sign on for lots of courses. I love the fact you are not confined when it comes to subject matter - I started with maths, for instance, but now I am definitely a social policy person. For now.
well i'd better go as I have a TMA to be posted tomorrow (not quite finished yet!!)
Leel, that's an amazing story! Best of luck with your Phd. It was the Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson who was the main impetus behind the creation of the OU: he believed that education should be life-long and available to everyone. When he was asked years later what he considered to be his greatest achievement as PM, his answer was "The Open University". His vision is now copied all over the world.
I did my BA in Humanities with literature and a diploma in classical studies with the OU from 1995 to 2002. I have to say it has been the single most excellent learning experience in my life so far. The course materials are consistently fascinating and are superbly written to help you manage your learning independently, the tutors I had were as passionate about their subjects, as they were about teaching, and I had some very mad experiences at summer school too!
I miss those days and would do an MA with the OU at the drop of a hat, if it wasn't for the fact that their range of MA courses in my field is extremely limited. I am not interested in 18 century novels, or post colonial literatures.....
I wait for them to introduce more options....
#5 good luck with your TMA!
#6, I have had very good tutors too, especially on my maths courses - they were so interested in their subject and taught their enthusiasm as well as their knowledge. Have had some less good since, I'm afraid. But not many. Summer schools are less common - I did one for M203 which I really enjoyed - a whole week devoted to a subject I loved and did not have to worry about being thought weird because everyone else did too.
Shame about the poor choice in the MA courses in your field - I was once interested in doing history but my interest was in the middle ages and there wasn't much choice. For them to offer courses in a cost-effective way, they have to cater for more popular periods, I assume. The range of options at a brick university is quite broad in comparison.
I finished my Humanities BA in 96 - mostly literature courses, starting with A102. I see there are quite a few people on LT who've got both Culture and society in Britain, 1850-1890 : a source book of contemporary writings and Mid-Victorian Britain 1851-75 in their libraries, so there must be some more A102 veterans out there who remember Arthur Marwick's cravats...
I'm based in the Netherlands, so the distance learning worked very well for me. I really enjoyed studying with the OU, and met far more interesting people than when I was doing a science degree at a conventional university in my "previous existence". I have taken a couple of law courses since then, but I found it difficult to keep up the momentum once I'd proved to myself I could complete one OU degree course. Maybe I'll start again when I retire.