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Student and tutor module reviews

Physics: from classical to quantum

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  • Points: 60
  • Code: S217
  • Level: 2

Student reviews

I found the breadth, depth and topics covered by the course to be superb - fascinating subject matter and delivered as a voyage of discovery. The TMAs, the quizzes, the helpful tutors and the additional exercises that were provided were excellent for consolidating understanding
I was disappointed by the lack of face- to-face tutorials and the amount of wasted dead-air time in online tutorials. I ended up using the recordings, so that I could fast forward through this. Tutorials that I found to be very good tended to be those that took the form of well-prepared lectures that sought to demystify and enrich the course material, rather than test understanding.

I found the online-only means of delivery very disappointing and a barrier to effective study. I found it took up far more time and I did not seem to grasp and internalise things quite as easy as when reading from books. This made studying rather unenjoyable - it was like trying to study by peering through a letterbox all the time. It denies the unique human ability to scan and get an overview, flick backwards and forwards, get a visual map of things and move easily between the material. I found it far more difficult to cross correlate, make notes, annotate and connect different but related parts.

Overall it tied me down a very linear and mechanistic approach, with hours and hours spent staring at a computer screen. It also meant that many opportunities to study were lost when either I did not have a computer with me or when it was inconvenient to use one or where internet connectivity was poor. I overcame this to some extent by buying books and printing unit PDFs - but this is an extra expense of money and time and less than satisfactory.

I found that the proposed benefit of having everything in one place to be educationally trivial and the interactive elements grossly oversold. Other OU courses manage to integrate different media very well and such a multimedia approach seems to achieve the best of both worlds.

Although the subject matter is superb and a credit to the course team, I will not be taking any more online-only delivery modules with the OU.

David Leslie Moorcroft

Course starting: October 2015

Review posted: August 2016

Faculty response

We are aware of the difficulties and inconveniences that some students have with the entirely online delivery of the material. To alleviate this we have provided new, fully formatted, printable PDF versions of the Study Units as well as interactive ePubs for on screen but offline use. For the October 2017 presentation, the PDFs will also include QR code links to all the multimedia material, which we anticipate will allow students who wish to study from a hardcopy version to do so, whilst still having all the multimedia assets easily accessible.

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 S217. The survey was carried out in 2017.

80 students (a response rate of 24.2%) 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 66.3 53
Overall, I am satisfied with my study experience 64.6 51
The module provided good value for money 52.6 41
I was satisfied with the support provided by my tutor/study adviser on this module 83.1 64
Overall, I was satisfied with the teaching materials provided on this module 43 34
The learning outcomes of the module were clearly stated 86.3 69
I would recommend this module to other students 60 48
The module met my expectations 57.5 46
I enjoyed studying this module 65 52
Overall, I was able to keep up with the workload on this module 66.3 53
Faculty comment: "We're pleased that almost all the students who responded to the survey appreciated the great support provided by their tutors. The students' feedback on the quizzes, TMAs, worked examples, and practice questions was overwhelmingly positive. However, we recognise that many of the respondents struggled with the online delivery of this module. In response, we've improved the PDFs by imbedding QR codes so students that choose to work from printed pages can benefit from faster access to the multimedia resources (notably videos, simulations, and interactive elements) that distinguish this module."
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