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Student and tutor module reviews

Earth science

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  • Points: 60
  • Code: S209
  • Level: 2

Student reviews

Having only studied bits of Earth science the previous years in 'Questions in science' (S111) and 'Science: concepts and practice' (S112) I was worried about understanding the subject. My fears were unfounded though, the module was presented and laid out in a way that you are eased in to the subject. The first couple of topics give you the basic grounding and the rest follows on from there.

The tutors were very helpful and my group tutor was always on hand to help with anything I did not understand. We also had student buddies, students who completed the module the year before, answering questions and giving help on most things non academic. They were very useful.

There is a four day field trip, which you pay for, to Blencathra in the Lake District. I would definitely recommend going to this. Not only is it very interesting but you get to put into practice all that you have learned throughout the year and interact with your fellow students.

This is a very information heavy module so a well structured study calendar and time is needed. With the help of tutors, tutorials and a well taught module, I managed to pass the module quite comfortably. If you put in the work, you will enjoy this very interesting module.

John Robert Goodman

Course starting: October 2018

Review posted: August 2019

A very interesting course with a HUGE amount of reading, I am pleased I took it because the tutor was superb and it was fascinating with masses of information to take in, I particularly liked the first chapters on mineralogy and using the virtual microscope and the field trip would have been super if not for the rain. Geological mapping was also something I thoroughly enjoyed.

Saying that, I'm sorry to say it has put me off online modules as I personally found it extremely difficult to study from a computer in this manner. I considered deferring as many others did, but stuck it out and just passed. I feel I could have given the module a lot more than I did if only it was a traditional OU module, revision would have been easier and I wouldn't have had to deal with migraines. I believe to make the most out of this course you should study 4 hours a day 5 days a week at least, it's not necessarily difficult just very very time consuming.

Course starting: October 2014

Review posted: August 2015

S209 is an online module and this was its first presentation. The materials are excellent but the pace I found to be very challenging. It felt at the time like being bombarded with more and more information. You really do need to keep up. unfortunately, due to illness, I fell behind and was close to giving up but I'm glad that the student support services encouraged me to keep going. My tutor was wonderful, always supportive and encouraging. I used to be quite phobic about computers so was rather nervous about this module but the digital kit, the virtual microscope and the digital glossary were fantastic. The module itself is well presented with great photos and videos.

There are choices available for the project. I didn't choose to do the residential option for various reasons. I chose to do the project on weathering of gravestones. I had no idea that gravestones could be so fascinating. I really enjoyed the project and also found information about local history very interesting.

We also had a compulsory question on fracking in the exam and needed to prepare for this. At the start I knew nothing about fracking but I rapidly increased my knowledge. Fortunately we have a local annual science festival and I attended both the debates on fracking. This really helped me and I was able to achieve a grade 1 on this exam question. I was very anxious about the exam. It was my first science exam for 50 years and my first university exam in over 40 years but I passed.

Susan Angela Morris

Course starting: October 2014

Review posted: August 2015

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.


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 S209. The survey was carried out in 2017.

59 students (a response rate of 37.6%) 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 72.4 42
Overall, I am satisfied with my study experience 72.4 42
The module provided good value for money 51.8 29
I was satisfied with the support provided by my tutor/study adviser on this module 81.4 48
Overall, I was satisfied with the teaching materials provided on this module 55.2 32
The learning outcomes of the module were clearly stated 82.8 48
I would recommend this module to other students 62.1 36
The module met my expectations 69 40
I enjoyed studying this module 70.7 41
Overall, I was able to keep up with the workload on this module 51.7 30
Faculty comment: "We're glad so many respondents enjoyed this module, and we thank everyone who took the time to respond to this questionnaire. Respondents found the Blencathra field school and day field trips particularly helpful in supporting their study, bringing their learning to life. We take your feedback comments seriously and they're invaluable to us in our continuing efforts to update content, improve how we teach and address issues such as workload and IT problems. We've adjusted the assignments and online tutorials, re-balanced the exam, and created additional support materials to improve your learning experience."
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