TMA05 and EMA (TMA06) posted for TU100

Between this week and last, the final two assessments have been opened for us to view and get started on.

The first is TMA05.  On the surface, this is about online communications, particularly Web 2.0 methods.  In reality, the first section is about creating multimedia presentations and a structured plan to any presentation, and the second section is about giving and getting constructive criticism.  I couldn’t even tell you what the third part was about.  It’s the Sense section, and when I went to set up my folders for TMA05, I found that I’d already set them up and completed the Sense program.  I didn’t remember doing it, but the comments which were in it were clearly my comments, everything worked correctly, and the written portions of the answer even seemed correct.  I haven’t had any alcohol for the last six months or so, so it wasn’t my drunk self chipping in.  I must have done it after a long study session when I was half asleep.  (My drunk self commonly chips in with projects, but it’s typically not so helpful.)

Having already had to do a multimedia presentation for a previous MOOC, I was prepared for this one, and got it down with a minimum of fuss.  (I did cheat, however, by deciding that the module’s outdated and unsupported tool of choice, Picasa, sucked rotten eggs, and used PowerPoint, instead, which still sucks rotten eggs, but for entirely different reasons not relating to it being generally unusable.  The cheating was clearly documented in my TMA, for those worried about it.)  There’s a lot of complaining going on over this task.  Like, a lot a lot. A lot.  Bunch of whiners.  Close your eyes and think of Student Finance England, guys.

Multimedia presentations are the modern world’s version of oral reports: Nobody likes doing them, nobody likes watching them, and nobody likes marking them, but there’s a limited amount of creativity in the world of education, and while it’s a half-arsed attempt at something different, at least it is a little different.

I don’t have the ability to get on with the feedback bit yet.  I’ve had my presentation up for a week, now, and am still the only person in my tutor group with it done.  I have to wait until after two others finish theirs, then catch up to the point where they can critique mine.  Here’s hoping there’s enough criticism to go around come the due date.

The EMA is also TMA06 for this presentation of TU100.  Instead of a 40% passing mark, it’s actually just a 30% pass, so long as my total average for the module is 40%.  If I didn’t submit iCMA57 or TMA05 and got a 30% on TMA06, I’d still finish the module with 73%.  Since TMA06 has 250 marks (with 40 of them being “at large” skills points), I only need to scrape together 75 marks to pass, and a distinction is a bit less than three times that.  The Sense and maths/spreadsheet portions combine for 90 marks, so I could pack the module away if I wanted at this point.

The other 120 marks are spread out over summarising and report writing, study reflection in the context of comparing learning outcomes to employment, and two questions which are really nothing more than regular TMA questions on Block 5 (about database storage and arguing academic points).  I’ve got somewhere in the neighbourhood of 40 marks to blow and still get a distinction, so I may as well give it a shot.  But it’s frankly a bit like what my dad called weeing in a dark suit.  I’ll get a warm feeling, but nobody will really notice.

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