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Student and tutor module reviews

Creative writing

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  • Points: 60
  • Code: A215
  • Level: 2

Student reviews

I signed up for this module with a degree of trepidation; it's one thing learning how to write an academic essay but quite another to write creatively and I wasn't sure I would be up to it. However, the big red course book takes you through everything step by step in an engaging and manageable way so that you build your skills as you go along. My tutor, was efficient, encouraging and supportive and I was surprised and delighted to pass the module with distinction and to have a small piece published online. I absolutely loved the module and was sorry when it finished. I would recommend anyone to give it a go even if, like me, you are worried about your abilities. I will definitely be doing the Advanced Creative Writing module at Stage 3. But before then I have to get back to writing academic essays!

Course starting: October 2018

Review posted: July 2019

I loved this module, which opened up a whole new field to me. The exercises and assignments were fun, well paced and fulfilling to complete. The workbook was excellently put together. I had a very good and attentive tutor. The module opens up your creative abilities, and boosts your self image! But it should be noted that it is quite hard to get really good marks, the subject matter and the result of the assignments is fairly subjective. I would recommend it to everyone, a great source of satisfaction.

Caroline Vidican

Course starting: October 2017

Review posted: January 2019

It is easy to get a pass in this module by simply demonstrating the skills the module material asks you to.

I worked really hard for this module because I discovered a love and talent for poetry and got a distinction. Some times it is necessary to alter your work to ensure that you are covering the devices and skills that the material wants you to demonstrate, but it's always going to be like that when you're studying something creative academically.

My tutor was amazing and honest in her critique which has helped me to grow in skill and confidence. I would recommend this course to anyone.

Course starting: October 2017

Review posted: November 2018

This course was a whirlwind. At times it felt a little 'easy' or as if there wasn't much to the course. Lots of writing in comparison to reading. I do recommend posting your work on the allocated forum as critique of your work is part of the process. Begin the course with a thick skin, You will have people marking your work, don't be disheartened if your tutor doesn't agree with what you have written. It's all part and parcel of learning to become a creative writer.

Course starting: October 2017

Review posted: September 2018

I enjoyed this course more than I thought that I would. As well as creative writing I learnt quite a lot about writing poetry, in its different forms. I will probably go on to do the level 3 advanced creative writing course.

Course starting: October 2017

Review posted: September 2018

The harder I worked to demonstrate the skills taught on the course in my assignments, the lower my resultant marks were. I did far better when I just winged it. Essentially the course teachings made me worse! A very easy course to pass, but a very difficult one to score highly in, in my opinion.

Course starting: October 2017

Review posted: August 2018

Quite simply the best course out of the dozen or so modules I have undertaken over many years. Challenging but a rare opportunity in a module to make your voice heard and do things your way. It didn't make me into a writer (in fact it showed me why I'm not) but it did help me understand the writing process, which I'm sure will be of benefit on future literature courses. The course materials (and an excellent tutor) ensure anyone who is considering this course should both enjoy it and do well. Though slightly less formal in structure the module still demands personal discipline and investment in the exercises to develop skills and techniques.

David Taplin

Course starting: October 2014

Review posted: September 2015

I took this course as a free choice module because I enjoy writing.
It was anything but easy to gain a good mark, but the exercises were so fun to complete between the TMAs I spent far too much time on them, and too little on the work I sent in. I took the course along side a science module, and there were times, particularly in the last month, when I really struggled to keep up with everything.

I believe to gain the really good marks it would be very beneficial to have studied another literacy module first to gain a greater understanding than I have of the written word, you also need a great deal of natural talent and a good vocabulary.

The observing and editing skills I learnt from this module will help me immensely in my future studies and I am glad I took the course, but if you are a person relying on the result of this module for your degree classification, consider very carefully if you have the very useful background and ability. I believe even if I had taken this module alone and given 100% I still wouldn't have got a great result but for anyone only needing a pass it's an easy 60 credits.

Course starting: October 2014

Review posted: August 2015

I really loved this module and my tutor was both encouraging and supportive, especially as I was studying A215 alongside A230. This got challenging around EMA submission and exam revision time but being able to switch from pure literature to a creative module made doubling up far more pleasurable.

I thought that I would struggle with the poetry element but in fact, this was where I gained my best marks.
The module was also really helpful when studying poetry for A230, which was an unexpected bonus!

We had two 'day schools', spaced quite widely apart but the online tutorials were both lively and helpful; like all the online tutorials/forums, they would have been better if more students had participated.

I am still making up my mind about the Level 3 Creative Writing module, but will certainly continue writing poetry.

Pamela Newton

Course starting: October 2014

Review posted: August 2015

This course was brilliant and I wanted it to go on longer! I really enjoyed reading other students' work on the forums too. There is a good range of course work. I surprised myself that I enjoyed the poetry part of the course.

I was blessed with an excellent tutor who was really enthusiastic and supportive. I know that the whole point of the Open University is distance learning but I would have loved more face-to-face tutorials where you can meet fellow students. A residential school would also be great.

Anthony Wood

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: April 2015

I thoroughly enjoyed A215 Creative Writing and the experience pushed me to go on to try A363 Advanced Creative Writing for which I received a grade two pass. On the same day as I found that out, I was notified that a poem submitted for inclusion in an anthology had been accepted.

Course starting: September 2012

Review posted: July 2014

I wanted to enjoy this module so much and I had looked forward to it with so much excitement. I was so disappointed. I found that it was quite limited - I don't really know what I expected in terms of 'leeway', but I just felt constrained and it wasn't until the EMA that we were sort of free to do what we wanted and I received my highest mark.

I also didn't feel a connection with my tutor - my tutor seemed to 'pick' at the tiniest of details, maybe that is a good thing? Maybe I'm being harsh but the feedback was definitely way too subjective for my liking. I did not like this style of marking at all.
I had planned to do advanced creative writing, but this module completely put me off and I changed my pathway to psychology/social sciences.

If you get a good tutor and don't mind subjective feedback then you may well enjoy it. But it can be difficult to gain high marks if your tutor just so happens to dislike your 'style'.
A good writer can be appreciated even if their style isn't to your taste.

Course starting: September 2012

Review posted: June 2014

Faculty response

A215 is designed to develop students' writing skills in a range of different genres, so it's true that there are constraints on what you can produce for each assignment.

Please be reassured, though, that neither marking nor feedback are subjective: all tutors are required to apply the same criteria in assessing their students' work. And the assessment scale they use is available for students to refer to.

Assignments are not marked on the basis of the style in which they're written; they are rewarded for their successful use of the methods introduced in the A215 Creative Writing Workbook.

This course was hugely enjoyable. We had a great tutor who gave us tremendous support and encouragement. Our forum was very active. I think we all gained a great deal from listening to advice from each other. It was fascinating to compare some of our earlier scribblings with what we were churning out towards the end of the course. Above all, it was fun and when it had ended it left a great gap which has been hard to fill. I wanted to start it all over again!

Sheila Anne Williams

Course starting: September 2012

Review posted: May 2014

I loved this course and learned so much more than I thought I would going into it. It was well structured and the pace was steady. Prepare the EMA well in advance because it's a shock at the end to get it all done. Great tutor. Very quiet tutor group however one of the students set up a shared group and it was fantastic with lots of support and advice. I got a distinction and am now doing the advanced course. Hope I'll like it as much.

Course starting: September 2012

Review posted: September 2013

I didn't like this course at all. I did it for a change from the music courses I had done but I found it very uninspiring. A lot of the course materials are not clear enough. I also had a tutor who took ages to return marked TMAs which then impacted on the next TMA or EMA as I did not have time to make any necessary changes as advised in his feedback.

Course starting: September 2012

Review posted: September 2013

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.

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Module satisfaction survey

The figures below are taken from a survey of students who sat the exam/completed the end-of-module assessment for the October 2016 presentation of A215. The survey was carried out in 2017.

261 students (a response rate of 28.8%) responded to the survey covering what they thought of 10 aspects of the module.

Please note that if the percentage of students who responded to this module survey is below 30% and/or the number of responses is below 23 it means that only a small proportion of students provided feedback and their views as shown here may not be fully representative of all students who studied the module.

See this page for the full text of questions and more information about the survey.

% Count
Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of this module 89.3 233
Overall, I am satisfied with my study experience 88.1 230
The module provided good value for money 72.4 184
I was satisfied with the support provided by my tutor/study adviser on this module 89.5 231
Overall, I was satisfied with the teaching materials provided on this module 86.2 224
The learning outcomes of the module were clearly stated 90.8 236
I would recommend this module to other students 87.9 225
The module met my expectations 84.5 218
I enjoyed studying this module 88.8 231
Overall, I was able to keep up with the workload on this module 90.4 236
Faculty comment: We are delighted to see that such a high percentage of respondents were satisfied with this module and are happy with the learning experience we provide. They are continuing to express their positive view of the clarity of its learning outcomes and the design of the module.
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