Friday, 29 November 2013

W100 Results!

*drum roll*

Another Distinction!

That's my two level 1s complete and 120 credits towards my degree. A third of the way there :D Hooray!

looks good huh?

I really enjoyed W100 and recommend it as a course, it helped having a fab tutor too.

A200 is a LOT of reading. A very lot. I'm just about treading water with it all at the moment, my first TMA results came back last week and I managed 78/100. Not bad for my first level 2 TMA I think, and lots of good feedback for improving.

I've got lots of time next week to get ready for TMA02, which is due in on the 12th and I'm not going to take a break over Xmas so I can get ahead a little before DD203 starts next year.


Busy days, but happy days :)

Monday, 30 September 2013

W100 Complete!

Hooray, W100 finished. The deadline was last Thursday but I managed to submit on Tuesday. It was a painful EMA writing experience and I do not think I will be getting a distinction for this one, but it should manage a pass. I will be very happy just to get a good pass mark

A200 Module site opened last Wednesday and I got my tutor allocation and Daisy discs on Friday. I've spent today putting all my tutorial information on the calendar, tutorial and TMA deadlines in my filofax and copying that over on to Google calendar too. No excuses ;)

I've copied my Daisy MP3s so I can listen to them separately as audiobooks, as well as using them as they're intended. Block corrections have been done and now all I have to do is get started.


Monday, 19 August 2013

History! Bosworth Battlefield Re-enactment 2013.

I'm a history buff, most of what I read and watch for pleasure is historical in nature. I've always been interested in the medieval/tudor/elizabethan eras and that was a large part in my decision making for taking A200 this year.

Although I live in Leicestershire I had never been to see the Battle of Bosworth site, although it was always on my to-do list. With the A200 start date looming I couldn't resist the Re-enactment weekend so off we went.

It was a great day, my children enjoyed all of the events and although the weaponry was a little loud for them, I think they enjoyed it all the more because of it.

An interesting point for me was hearing the crowd react to Henry and Richard. Previously I'm pretty sure Richard would normally have been booed for his historical reputation, yet the crowd reacted very favourably to him yesterday and there were lots of theatrical boos for both the Stanley's and Henry's actions on the field.

I took (a lot) of photos which I popped up on flickr if you want a look.

I think I'm going to go back to the site sometime in the next couple of months so I can do the trail walk and look round the visitor's centre without having to entertain the small people.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Student Support

There is a wealth of learning support available for OU students that can sometimes be hard to find.
I'm going to try and put up links for the ones I use the most.

OUSA Forums

Hidden in the depths of your module site will be a link to the OUSA forums, the OU have recently moved the forums over and there are several dead links on the site but this one should take you to the main area.

You can search for your module code, or by category of study. There are also degree specific forums including one for students like me doing the randomness of an Open degree. 

Library support

  • Journal and Article access
It's worth noting that you might have to utilise the alternative Athens log in to access some of the journals but once you've figured that out then you're good to go :)

  • There are also online training sessions available.

Here you can participate in Elluminate training sessions in everything from Elluminate itself, to plagiarism and literature searches. You can also watch previously recorded sessions if you're unable to make a live session.


Every module I've done has had a couple of groups spring up, there tends to be a main large moderated group plus a couple of off-shoots for those who don't like the moderation. Personally, I like the large groups and think a bit of moderation is needed to ensure that trolling, bad behaviour and rudeness is limited whilst allowing students to support each other.

There is a large (unofficial) Open University facebook group that is moderated and has files with links to module groups, blogs and other useful information -

If you don't have a facebook account already and are wary of social media or privacy issue, it is relatively simple to create a bare bones account with privacy locked down just to access study groups.

The facebook help guides are pretty simple to follow -

I'll add more to this blog when I've had more coffee ;)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Exams, Panic and Software Shinies.

I am panicking a little about the concept of an exam at the end of A200. I've bought an old paper to look at what will be expected and that just terrified me even more.

I really need to put a plan of action together to ensure I'm taking proper notes all the way through and not just binge-studying towards the end.


Cornell notes for each module, using OneNote as I have a Cornell template for that and Evernote won't let me put one in properly.

I'm going to type up my notes and let them sync to dropbox. I might even end up printing out hard copies for revision if needed, although I work better paperless.

StudyBlue for Flash Cards -

I love this website, create and share flashcards, create classes so you can share with a specific group, and test yourself across any of your devices. It's awesome.

In other shiny news, I have a Nook. A simple glo light one which I'm using for both W100 reading and reading for pleasure (I do still find time for this, somehow) and I've already downloaded my A200 pdfs ready to go too.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Results are in!

Well, I appear to be a better student than I am a blogger ;) Results for DD101 are back and I got a distinction, with 95% on my OES!

Whoop! I can't quite believe it, but I'm not going to argue with them! Whoop!

W100 is ticking along nicely, 1 more TMA and then the EMA to go and that's done and dusted too. I've really enjoyed the module, and I did think about swapping over to more law modules but after looking through all of the level 2 law ones none of them really piqued my interest.

A200 begins in October, and I've already received my PDF disc of module materials so if I get chance I might try and make a head start.

I'm struggling a little to keep studying regularly, the summer holidays mean that the sprogs are home and wearing me out. I tend to wake up an hour or so earlier than everyone else so I'm now spending that time studying, instead of the jogging I used to do.

So I'm not too far behind on my reading but my clothes are getting tighter ;)

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

To substitute or not to substitute...

...that is the question.

I have 2 assignment deadlines within days of each other coming up in 10 days or so that are making me panic. W100 TMA03 is due on the 19th and DD101 TMA06 is due on the 22nd.

I  already have an OCAS over 65% for DD101, so could substitute TMA06 and still pass the course as long as I pass the EMA. I'm probably not going to be able to get a distinction anyway, so not sure whether it's worth driving myself insane when I could drop it and focus on the EMA and W100 instead.

I think for now I am going to focus on W100 and get that done and dusted, if some miracle happens and I have both time and mental energy left then I will attempt DD101 too.


Purple upgrade

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with all things purple. As much as I loved the red Metropol filofax I just couldn't resist this little bargain on Ebay. A purple pocket Malden that I'm using as a purse and filofax combined. It matches my Galaxy Tab 2. New and old tech working in conjunction with each other :)

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Filofax addiction

I appear to have developed a bit of an addiction to filofaxes. A post on a forum led to this lovely blog -  which got me researching the various types, then up popped a discount code and before I knew it I had placed an order.

My love new red metropol pocket arrived this morning.

I'm setting this up to use as a daily and student planner and I already have my eye on a pocket purple malden to use as a purse too ;)

I've been browsing lots of blogs looking for tips and tricks on filofax set up and wanted to say a big thank you to Philofaxy for the wonderful archive of information.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Time management and small children

My youngest start full time school this year, so hypothetically I should have 6 hours a day, 5 days a week in which to study. However, this is term-time only and I need to work out a schedule to ensure that half term, end of term, summer holidays and random illness days don't derail me too much.

It is scary how quickly time disappears when a 5yr old and a 3yr old are demanding all of your attention. Toby had a reaction to penicillin leaving him off playgroup for 5 days, and leaving me having to read 3 law units in 24 hours so I could be up-to-date for a tutorial. I do not want to have to do that again.

My study timeline is going to look like this for the next year or so which doesn't leave a lot of time for procrastination. I'm going to need to be extra strict with my Netflix addiction :/

Any tips or tricks?

Catching up and getting organised

Goodness me,

It's a good job I'm more organised at OU deadlines than I am at posting on this blog! heh

Ok, so where abouts am I?

TMA05 has been completed and marked for DD101, so just 2 more to do then I've completed my first 60 point level 1! I have found some of the course hard to get through, but I am proud of myself for getting this far. The online tutorials really help, as does meeting like-minded students on the facebook groups for support.

TMA02 has been completed and awaiting marking for W100. I am loving law, I find it interesting and logical and I like the way the course is structured. Also my tutor is fantastic! Lots of information in the tutorials, notes emailed out same day, great at communication. I couldn't have asked for anything better.

I've also just registered and reserved places for my level 2 courses for next academic year. I will be starting A200 - Exploring history: medieval to modern 1400-1900 in October and then DD203 - Power, dissent, equality: understanding contemporary politics in February 2014.

I think they should keep me busy. *meep*

My youngest starts school this September, so I 'should' have enough time to get them done comfortably. For time management help I have just splashed out on a Filofax. The Palgrave Study Planner worked really well this academic year, but so much of the information in there is geared towards younger students that I wanted something I could completely customise to my own needs.

I've gone for in red :)

I do love a bit of stationery :)

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Timetable Update

*blows the dust off in here*

Still here, still studying! Have just completed TMA03 of DD101 and my W100 module books have turned up. Well, the first half of them have. They don't want to terrify us too much so stagger the reading material ;)

I am really enjoying DD101, although the Xmas break showed how horrendous my time management and self discipline is when confronted with cake and christmas telly. It was a struggle to get TMA03 completed in time and it was only sent 2 days before cut-off. Far too close to comfort for me so I'm working on time management a bit more.

The W100 materials look a bit intense compared to DD101, there is a difference in the layout of the books and information that makes them feel more intimidating but I'm sure I'll be fine. I worked my way through the introduction last night, and think I'll be ok.

I can't post a blog without some kind of recommendation and today it goes to

An Android timetable app that helps you organise your time, put in reminders, tasks, and due dates for coursework. It's in it's early days, but google sync will also be used so I'll be able to hook it up with my existing calendars too.

Loving it so far. I'm a sucker for colour coded timetables.