Tutorial blues

My first OU (… and TU100) tutorial was last night.  I had intended to go to a face-to-face tutorial for my first one.  The trouble is that my tutor group’s introduction to the module isn’t until about two weeks after the beginning of the module, and I’m about nine weeks ahead at this point.  So online it is!

Now, I’m not going to characterise the tutorial as worthless.  I will, however, say that it held no worth to me.  Or, really, anybody who can read.  Because basically, they just read to us a very few select snippets from the TU100 guide.

And it took. two. hours.  Weeeell … Okay, it took like one hour, and a whooooole lot of dead air between tutors asking, “Any questions?”  It may have gone on longer than two hours, but by then my options were to log off or stab my hand to alleviate boredom.

The tutors were able to add value by making pie charts that added visual data to the written data, so again, great for those who can’t read … Except it was inaccurate.  iCMA 57 is the only Interactive Computer-Marked Assessment which will impact our final score.  It counts for a grand-whopping total of 4%, but the pie-chart listed it at 3%.  I asked for clarification on this and whether or not iCMA 57 must be passed at 40%, even though it only accounts for 3% or 4% of the final score, and they went off to seek clarification.  (They later returned to re-read what I had read them, and clarification was not achieved.)  I’ll talk about the iCMAs a bit later, but the student reaction to them has been kind of disheartening.

There were 36 participants.  I can’t remember if that was 34 students and 2 tutors, or 36 students and 2 tutors.  But the point is, it wasn’t a whole lot.  Or at least it doesn’t seem like a whole lot for the only online introduction tutorial for a module with 2500 students.

There were no tea breaks, which I found unacceptable.  Indeed, it’s entirely possible that my question about iCMA 57 was answered, but I was heating up the kettle at the time.  So apologies if that’s the case.  You know what?  No.  This is tea.  No apologies!

So will I be back? You betcha!  At least to the TMA01 tutorial.  If that’s equally devoid of new content, I’ll be giving the rest of them a miss.  Indeed, I’ve already decided there’s no amount of content worth me hopping on a train or searching for parking, so f2f’s are right out.  Actually, if it involved searching for parking, the entire degree might just be right out.  The OU’s motto shouldn’t be “Learn and Live”, it should be, “No parking required.”

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