Sarah’s Weekly Newsletter – Week 4, 26th February

So… we’re coming to the end of Block 1 and we’re into Week 4 – hasn’t that just flown by?!  I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve been studying so far – I’ve certainly enjoyed reading your contributions to the ‘Most Important ICT Invention’ – and there’s still time to reply to someone else’s message if you haven’t already!
This week will involve finishing off the Block 1 materials if you haven’t already… and getting that first TMA submitted (on 4th March).  Some hints and tips for the first TMA.  Firstly, and I know it’s obvious… but read and re-read the question!  If you’re not sure, then please ask.  Secondly, try to stick to the word counts as far as you can.  Although it’s not penalised for this assignment, in future you will risk losing marks for exceeding the word count – so do make sure you have a go at keeping to the word limit.  Finally, make sure you attempt every question.  Even if you aren’t happy with what you’ve written, it’s still worth writing something so you can benefit from any feedback I might give you for future work.  There’s a great little checklist for preparing a TMA at http://www.open.ac.uk/skillsforstudy/stages-in-planning-assignments.php and if you haven’t already started, then this should give you some ideas.
*Chat Session*
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we’ve got a new icon in our tutor group labelled ‘Live Chat‘.  This is a text-based chat facility for our group which you are more than welcome to use at any time / arrange a time when you would like to get together with others in the group to chat about whatever you fancy!  If you would like the chance to have a go with using it and also as a last opportunity to polish and sort out last minute queries on the TMA, I will be holding a chat session on:
TUESDAY 2nd MARCH from 8pm until 9pm.
If you could arrive at 8pm, that would be great… but I’ll stay logged on for the full hour so if you can’t make it until a bit later, then don’t worry!  I’ll hold another chat session a couple of weeks after the first TMA and I’ll probably be using Elluminate for that… but more details to follow!
Lastly… remember to keep an eye on the News forum within our Tutor Group on FirstClass.  I’ve just posted some information there about Bits and Bytes (which I know can be a really sticky area) and any course news items will be forwarded there too.
Good luck with that TMA… and I look forward to seeing your hard work!  If you’d like to reply to this e-mail newsletter to let me know how things are going or ask any questions, then please do.
Have a good weekend!
Sarah

Sarah’s Weekly Newsletter – 19th Feb

Well, we’re headed into Week 3 already!  As normal – if you’re a little bit behind that… don’t worry… if you’re on schedule… good stuff and if you’re a bit ahead… enjoy the space you’ve given yourself.
Some things to note for this coming week.  Firstly, we have a little under two weeks until the first TMA (tutor marked assignment) is due on the 4th of March, so if you haven’t had a look at it (it’s in the Block 1 Companion), then do make sure that you read through it to help focus your work.  If you think you might have any problems meeting the deadline for the first assignment, give me a shout as soon as possible and we’ll have a chat about options.  Also, if you’ve any questions about the assignment itself, then either drop me a mail to my mailbox, or put a question into the tutor group forum and we can discuss it as a group.  Oh, and http://www.open.ac.uk/skillsforstudy/assignments.php is a fantastic place to start if this is your first ever OU assignment and aren’t sure where to start.
Taking a look at this week’s calendar, you should be working through ‘Block 1, Part 3’ – Technology News.  There’s some interesting stuff in there and if you’d like to share the results of your learning styles quiz (from session 3.1) with the other members of our tutor group, then I’d love to hear what people got!
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Tutor Group Activity
There is a tutor group activity coming up as well which you should participate in – not least because you’ll need to do so in order to answer TMA 01, question 4!  The activity is in Session 4.4 and invites you to discuss the following issue in our tutor group:
*What is the most important ICT invention of all time?*
Start by posting a message to our tutor-group forum with your own suggestion, and your reasons for choosing it. If your choice of ICT invention has already been suggested by another student, post a reply to their message (using the FirstClass Reply option) explaining why you would also choose that invention.
Then comment on at least one of your fellow student’s suggestions, by posting a reply to their message in the forum (use the Reply option). Say whether or not you agree that the invention is important, giving your reasons.
As you are writing your messages, bear in mind the netiquette guidelines that you have just been reading about
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Lots of good stuff ahead this week – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!