And it all crashes down

Well, this year has ended in abject failure, and if I know myself, my degree study has ended the same way. It was a good run.

The university was offering much more lenience for assignment extensions this year, due to the pandemic. With my work crushing me due to overwhelming demands on IT while half of our staff were unable to work for medical reasons, I had little time for study, and needed one of those extensions for the first time since I started studying. Although tutors were given wide discretion in awarding extensions of up to 21 days, the catch is that you have to have a tutor who responds. And mine never did. A month later, he still hasn’t.

So that’s it. I’m throwing in the towel and walking away. If I’m not enrolled again by next autumn, I’ll shutter the site.


  1. keep at it! you can do it. Im on tm257 atm, loving it but your write up is spot on!

  2. We all being on a total mess this semester, also due to the online learning and the bery little time between quizez. I took tm111 and tm105 last semester, and I benefit so much from your review and your suggestions to thr mooc. Java course, so keep making good content, and itโ€™s wishin you all thr best with your job and your study,,

    Thanking you from Saudi Arabia

  3. I am sorry to hear that you are throwing in the towel. I had a really bumpy start to the year being over a month behind the pack, doing TT284 and TM357. Even now I have only just about caught up, asked for 2 extensions – did not need them in the end but it was close. Work for anyone in IT has been like no other year so I understand.

    It would be a shame for you not to finish the journey, You were about a year ahead of me and I always read your reviews with interest.

    I hope you change your mind and stick it out – happy to help, not that a student of your calibre needs it ;).

    Good luck in what ever you decide is right for you. You will be missed I am sure.

  4. Hi Mark

    Sorry to hear you’ve been struggling. You’ve come so far! I hope that you decide to carry on as you are clearly very intelligent and have great drive! I have also loved reading your updates ๐Ÿ™‚ have a break from it, as you clearly deserve a breather and fingers crossed we shall hear from you again!

    Kind Regards
    Kerry Pearce (Fellow OU student)

  5. Hi

    I am an OU student currently between modules (although not as yet related to Computing and IT), and have been redirected to this blog by an OU library course. Whenever I have experienced a problem with my tutor, such as frequent or continuous lack of response, I have got in touch with the Student Support Team. They may very well be able to provide you with a different tutor, as happened in a different situation, but the principle still holds of being able to have a new tutor. Perhaps try it?

    1. Hi Alan. Thanks for the advice. It’s a good thought, and if it had been either the pandemic pressure OR tutor and time crunch problems, I might have gone that route and persevered. But with the two of them together, it just overwhelmed me. I’m starting to get my full measure of ambition back, though. I may be placing a call to start back up soon.

  6. Hoping you’ll be back come October! Stick to 1 module to make it all a bit sweeter ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Man, do not give up. You helped us a lot with your blog. Take a break and back to your study. I did that. I did break one year because of the mess with the strange life around and I will be back this October now. You can slowly finish it but do not give up. Good luck.

  8. I’d speak to the Open University to get your modules transferred over to a Diploma in Computing and IT.
    Once awarded you could return to the remaining modules somewhere down the line and up to 8 years, I believe.
    This would also mean you’d only need to finish 120 credits for the final degree.
    The UK Diploma of Higher Education is worth the equivalent of 2.66 years of a US Bachelors degree and exceeds the educational level of a US associates degree.

    1. Cheers, Matt. That may be what I end up doing. I gave myself this week as a deadline for deciding what to do … And I still haven’t decided.

  9. Hi Mark,

    I’m sorry to hear about your situation, I hope it works out.

    I stumbled across your site a couple of years ago and have enjoyed reading about your journey. Iโ€™ve made one or two module decisions based on your reviews.

    I find myself checking in from time to time to see where you are at, usually shortly after submitting an assignment, so here I am an hour after submitting my EMA for TM355, man that was a tough 24 hours.

    Like many other fans of your blog I wish you the best and hope to see you back at it next year.

  10. I waded my way through MST210 maths module during lockdown. SO many time I thought about just stopping.
    The constant change, and someone always around meant I really, really struggled to get study done, either looking after my 2 minions or just simply trying to get into the right head space … Fortunately my tutor was OK and responded timely enough that I could get extensions.
    Those extension were really needed, and if my tutor had been slow in coming back to me it would have really made everything worse. Trying to keep up with study, which at that point was already falling behind, which meant more time had to be found to catch up and then throw the assignment into the mix and it just was messy.
    The times I did get an extension I really did need the extra time, and I can see just where I got extensions just by looking at the marks I got back.
    Overall, it has been an unpleasant study year.
    This Year I am looking at M250 ( and for some odd reason considering doing M269 at the same time ) …

    I completely understand the point where you step back and just say “no more”, its getting back the mindset to start up again that can be an interesting task.

  11. I haven’t seen an update so I am guessing you are giving it another break this year – you can still resume your studies and you have done so much work so far and writing about your experiences has helped a lot of people along the way – I hope you look at continuing when you can.

  12. Hi Mark! I’m a new student of the OU, because I’m enrolling earlier today, in the same Bsc (honours) Computing and IT, with (I hope) a Software route in the end of it.
    I was looking for information about other students around the internet all the afternoon and I just found your blog, I’m from Spain, also I have a MsC in Psychology from UNED (OU from Spain).
    I have no clue about what I will find in the OU, and also I don’t have the best english level, but I hope you had found the strength to enroll now again.
    Cheers from Madrid!

  13. Hey Mark, I’ve been following your blog since I started at the OU (doing BSc in Computing), you were a bit ahead of me both in studies and.. Well in studies. I’ve switched from Computing to doing a sort of amalgamation of BSc in computing and psychology, which is interesting.

    But every so often I come to check and see how you’re going as my sort of scholarly marker for modules (I’m about to do M250 and TT284 ), and was gutted to see you’ve had a hard time lately.

    Covid was a monster, and I was one of the fairly lucky ones (could easily work from home and have no kids/real responsibilities), though had a lot of other horrible challenges. I’ve been very fortunate so it seems (so far – naturally that’s jinxed it), to have tutors who have been brilliant, and an equally wonderful student support. So I’m gutted for you.

    I hope you manage to find time and energy to find your feet, whatever you do. This blog has been really useful and a nice pacesetter throughout my time so far, and just wanted to let you know.

    Good luck, buddy.

  14. So Mark, where are you now?
    Coming back to study when you have caught your breath?

    1. I am indeed! I didn’t know it’d take me so long to catch my breath, but I should finally be there.

  15. Mark,

    I hope that your situation has settled down and that at some point you’ll be able to return to thr OU and complete what you have already put an immense amount of effort in to.

    You may not think it… but your blog is extremely helpful to people like me, who have also returned to education and all its pitfalls.

    Best of luck mate…I hope that you and your family are in a good place.

    1. Hi Paul. Thanks for your kind words. I was in the middle of a work crisis when you left your message, or I would have replied sooner. I wanted it off my mind before taking this step: I’m back! I’ve registered for the next academic year, but will be doing my final four modules just 30 credits a year. It’ll take forever, but I should be able to get through it.

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