Sarah’s T175 Newsletter – Week 11, 17th April 2010

I hope you all had a good Easter break and have enjoyed the online tutorial discussion / chat sessions over the past week. There were some really interesting points being made and I’d be really interested to see a comparison of the chat sessions’ outcomes – where do virtual worlds fit in your lives? What importance do they have? It would be great to share those ideas!

The main thing to get done this week is CMA41. This is the first computer marked assignment you’ll have come across (or not if you’ve done other courses with CMAs!). Completing them is very straightforward, but my main piece of advice is read the instructions. Carefully! They need to be completed in a particular way and because they’re marked by computer, you don’t have someone else going ‘hmmmm, I think they may have actually meant to say x’ and making judgement calls on your answer. There’s nothing too tricky to watch out for in the CMA itself. The calculations should be okay – but if you do find them difficult, give me a yell and I can give you some pointers.

After that, we head straight into TMA02, so… some hints and tips…

Q1 – this one is fairly straight forward. Re-read the feedback I gave you for TMA01. If you can’t see my feedback for some reason… or if there was something which didn’t make sense – let me know *now* and I can sort it out this week rather than there being a panic next week! Also, make sure you provide *exact* quotations of feedback examples rather than paraphrasing. Then, make sure that cover both the ‘why’ and ‘how’ bit of part b) – I’d suggest leaving this part of the question until last, because you may find that something becomes useful as you’re attempting, for example, Q4… and if you’d already answered 1b) it would be a wasted effort!

Q2 – do pay attention to the process words. I want you to ‘explain’ – not discuss, not summarise, not compare! You may find this resource: http://www.open.ac.uk/skillsforstudy/activity-process-words.php helps clarify why this is important, and there’s a quick exercise there which helps brush up your skills. Don’t worry too much about the need for this to be an HTML page. We’re not after anything fancy at all. Just put into practice what you did in Block 2, Part 1, Sections 8.3 and 8.4 (Activity 31) and you’ll be fine! Any problems though – again, I’m here to help, so do ask either to my mailbox or in our tutor group forum.

Q3 – okay, this one is a bit more meaty. You are writing your answer from the notes you’ve taken (which we saw in TMA01) – so this would be an ideal opportunity to look back once again at the note-taking question in TMA01 and my feedback for this area. The structure for your answer has been provided. Use the sub-headings to guide you and to ensure that your writing remains your own. You are writing this from *your* notes – and not from the website directly – so I need to see that happening! If you need to use a quote, then make sure it is referenced properly. If you want to brush up your skills where searching and referencing are concerned, then http://learn.open.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=3548&m=3 is an excellent resource – and the quiz where you get to rate your own information finding / referencing skills is well worth attempting!

Q4 – here you’re entering the home straight! You’ve had the last two weeks to participate in the discussion in our tutor group forum – look for the sub-forum called ‘Online Tutorial’ and make your contribution there. You should also have had the opportunity to participate in one of our three groups – Circus, Windmill or Campsite – for the live chat task. Make sure that the transcript for your chat session has been posted so that anyone who wasn’t able to make it (for logistical, technical or whatever reason!) is able to answer part b). You’ve already done the hard work by participating in the activity for this question, so here you get the chance just to think about how it went. What you learnt and consider what worked for you in terms of the technologies used.

Overall – watch out for word counts and make sure that your spelling, grammar and punctuation are as good as you can make them. There are marks available for the latter and mark deductions which apply for not adhering to the former… so proof-read, proof-read, proof-read! There are lots of ways of doing this… getting someone else to read it through, reading it out loud to yourself, giving yourself a couple of days break then going back to read it again etc. Choose the one that suits you, but do make sure that you proof-read! I’ve one final resource you might find useful: http://www.open.ac.uk/skillsforstudy/activities/english/revising_your_written_work.htm

Okay… a long one this week! It’s all those assignments, I guess. Ah well… just think… in two weeks’ time you’ll have submitted both pieces of work… and I’ll be slaving away marking them whilst you put your feet up! 🙂

Cheers

Sarah
T175 Tutor

Advertisements