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Student and tutor module reviews

Remote experiments in physics and space

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  • Points: 30
  • Code: SXPS288
  • Level: 2
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Student reviews

First off I would like to say this is a fantastic module that gives you good hands on practical experience. There are 3 experiments one in astronomy one in physics and one in planetary science, all are well thought out and very interesting. There is no exam for this module just 3 tutor-marked assignments and a final end-of-module assessment which takes the pressure off during exam time. Now for the bad. This module has been wrongly titled. It should be titled 'experiments in physics and astronomy using python'. Although python is mentioned in the module descriptor it is woefully inadequate at describing just how much python is in this module (it is a lot). 60-70% of my time was spent trying to get python programs to work. The time allocated for python programming exercises is seriously underestimated in this module. Another issue I have with the module is the learning log. You have to update this log to help consolidate your understanding, for me this was not the case. I don't like the way the open university tries to force you into learning in a specific way. I have my own way of learning and the learning log is an online presence I don't find helpful. It certainly should not be part of the assessment process which it is in this module.

Having said all this I did enjoy this module and I got a good mark for it. I would recommend this module to fellow students but be prepared to spend as much time on it as you would a 60-credit module.

John David Irvine

Course starting: October 2019

Review posted: July 2020

Faculty response

Thank you for the positive comments on the experimental work in SXPS288, and for the feedback on the programming element.

While SXPS288 does include an extensive introduction to Python programming, we are aware that the Python content may present a significant learning curve, especially for those without prior programming experience.

To address this we have produced a Python preparatory website "Python for Physical sciences", which will be available over the summer with tutor support prior to the start of the module in October 2020. This preparatory material and other Python resources will be available through the Physics, astronomy and planetary science subject site.

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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