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Student and tutor module reviews

Signals and perception: the science of the senses

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  • Points: 30
  • Code: SD329
  • Level: 3

Student reviews

This module is assessed entirely on the exam so perhaps that is something to consider. Although the TMAs do not count towards the overall module grade, they are excellent preparation for the exam as the format is very similar; short answer questions, an essay and a research component. I really enjoyed studying this module although I found it challenging at times.

I didn't envisage that each sensory system would be covered in so much depth and detail. I found transduction of sensory signals to be fascinating and the cross-modality that exists between systems was an eye opener for me. Impairment is a prominent theme for many sensory systems.

The exam requires huge preparation due to the breadth and depth of knowledge required. I found S294 (Cell Biology) to be pretty good preparation for SD329 although I'm sure that students with a Chemistry or Physics background would be equally well prepared. I would definitely recommend studying!

Charlotte Golshetti

Course starting: October 2014

Review posted: September 2015

A tough but very enjoyable course. This was my first level 3 module after completing a credit transfer from a degree in a completely unrelated subject (so if you haven't done a science module before, it is possible to do this if you have an interest and a good understanding already in this area so long as you put in the effort and apply yourself).

I found that there was an awful lot of information provided with this course and it is extremely interesting but very challenging. Tutorials were online, which worked very much in my favour.

The downside to this course was that the TMAs didn't count towards the final grade, it was based purely on the exam (I did extremely well in the TMAs but not as well as I would have liked in the final exam).

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: March 2015

A very detailed fascinating course that was very difficult to revise for. I felt completely overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of information I was expected to learn. More guidance on which areas are most relevant in the final exam would be useful.

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: December 2014

A super course; utterly fascinating. I threw myself in at the deep end by transferring credits from my nursing qualifications in order to start at OU level 3. This is probably not wise as it was hard going after many years of not studying! The module team are fabulous and if you ask for help you will receive it.

I failed the exam initially, but my advice is never give up as I passed on the resit with the help and guidance from my fabulous tutor. Even failing was good experience as reflecting and learning new methods of revision has helped me to move forward and take my new skills with me.

Good luck to you and stick with it, the knowledge is astounding!

Dawn Horan

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: December 2014

The course systematically goes through the different senses - the stimuli that lead to a sensory response, the receptors, the pathways to the brain, the different brain regions involved and similarities and differences between different sensory systems. Material is covered in considerable detail. I was mainly interested in the biological ideas, so the relatively large amount of physics (e.g. sound waves and light waves) and chemistry was less interesting to me.

There is a huge amount of material to learn on the course and as the final grade is entirely down to the end-of-course examination (the three TMAs only provide a "threshold" for entering the examination), students need to revise the whole of the course material for a single examination assessment. The difficulty of this should not be underestimated - good revision and examination skills are certainly required for success.

John Rogers

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: August 2014

I loved this module. It is probably my favourite of all the ones I've completed en-route to my BSc(Hons) in Natural Sciences. I did SD226 and S294 beforehand to ensure I had the right background and was glad that I did, they were good preparation.

The material is diverse, which I enjoy. There's physics in understanding the auditory system; and chemistry in understanding the gustatory and olfactory systems. There's a little bit of health systems in the pain/somatosensation section.

It has books which are well written. the course team were great and very fast at responding to messages on the forum. The TMAs were tough but that helps to ensure you keep your standards high. They were formative though, so they didn't count towards the final grade, which is entirely exam based.

There is a lot of information. It would be a good idea to keep an electronic template and fill it in for each sensory system as you go so you can compare across them at the end. Part 1 of the exam asks questions from every area of the module so you need a good grasp of all the basics.

I worked hard because I loved the material and was rewarded with a distinction. I would recommend this module to anyone who has enjoyed SD226, S294 or SK277.

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: August 2014

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 SD329. The survey was carried out in 2017.

74 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 90.5 67
Overall, I am satisfied with my study experience 86.3 63
The module provided good value for money 79.5 58
I was satisfied with the support provided by my tutor/study adviser on this module 90.5 67
Overall, I was satisfied with the teaching materials provided on this module 91.9 68
The learning outcomes of the module were clearly stated 89 65
I would recommend this module to other students 77 57
The module met my expectations 85.1 63
I enjoyed studying this module 85.1 63
Overall, I was able to keep up with the workload on this module 61.1 44
Faculty comment: "Many thanks to those students who've taken time to provide feedback about their recent experiences on this module. It's reassuring to see that respondents continue to agree that this is a high-quality module with excellent teaching materials and excellent teaching support from the tutors. This is summed up by the following comment, "An excellent and extremely interesting module, very well supported by conscientious tutors obviously interested and committed to their subject, and to assisting the student". The module team have taken note of the comments about workload and the exam, and will make adjustments wherever possible; however, these need to be balanced with the need to maintain the academic standards required of an OU level 3 science module."
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