This 2019/2020 academic year, I’m going not going to be able wing it. I’m taking three 30 credit modules, which the OU recommends might take from 24 to 27 hours of study a week. Realistically, I read and study slowly, and this is stage 2, so that might be underestimating it. Unfortunately, there’s really not another gap in my schedule that I can maintain for more than a few weeks.
For a few weeks at a time, I’ll be fine with finding extra time here or there, but just to get TMAs out, and possibly exam revision come next May. (May is always insanely busy at work, though, for some reason, so we’ll see.)
I’ve squeezed an extra half hour into my schedule at night, and I have my extra hours on Wednesday back, but I’m just barely in the green zone, now.
|20:30 – 23:30||15:00 – 17:00||20:30 – 23:30||20:30 – 23:30||17:00 – 20:00||20:30 – 23:30||20:30 – 23:30|
|20:30 – 23:30||20:30 – 23:30|
Total: 26 hours
(The OU academic week starts on a Saturday.)
I know that this is the absolute limit of my self discipline. Anything more is just going to crash out. The hours aren’t the best for my brain being active, but my family comes first. So everything has to happen after bedtime, or when the boys are with their grandparents.
I’ve also been able to plan for what the week-by-week looks like, making some assumptions about breaks in the OU’s schedule next year:
|Week 6||14/11 TMA01|
|Week 9||4/12 TMA01|
|Week 10||12/12 TMA01|
Break 21/12/2019 – 3/1/2020
|Week 15||30/1 TMA02|
|Week 18||20/2 TMA02|
|Week 21||12/3 TMA03|
|Week 23||25/3 TMA02|
Break 11/4 – 17/4
M269 also has 7 iCMAs throughout the year, but they’ve never caused me to rush in the past. There’s a near miss in weeks 9 and 10, but they’re first TMAs, which tend not to require as much work as later assignments. Finishing two EMAs and revising for an exam all at the same time does seem like a crunch, so I’m glad I’ve got about two months to sort that out, along with studying the final module units.
At some point there will also be a residential / day school for TM257. It will probably be around the Easter break, and there’s an evaluated network configuration task that’s worth 30% of our EMA, and an exam on the day which I think is worth another 30% of the EMA. (I don’t have access to the assessment strategy, yet.) Revising for that might be very, very tight on time, so I hope it goes alright.