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Student and tutor module reviews

Discovering mathematics

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  • Points: 30
  • Code: MU123
  • Level: 1

Student reviews

Great module. Really enjoyed it. Materials were very well presented and gave clear advice on how to tackle certain mathematical questions. Would definitely recommend this module to anyone who wants a more gentle start to mathematics.

Course starting: October 2014

Review posted: September 2015

This was such an enjoyable course! I only did it as a filler for my free choice modules and I regret now not doing a maths degree (and I previously hated math).

I did get an A at GCSE but that was 15 years ago and I still found this course very manageable.

My tutor was brilliantly helpful and the TMAs are well spread.

Best module of the OU so far!

Course starting: February 2014

Review posted: June 2015

I found this course a good introduction to many mathematical concepts I had not met for quite some time. Really enjoyed this module!

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: May 2015

I took MU123 as a standalone course to decide if the OU and distance learning were for me. Three months later, I transferred to a BSc (Honours) Computing and IT degree. Best decision I've ever made.

I hadn't studied in 20+ years having previously learned all science subjects in a different country and language. My skills and knowledge were a mix of MU123 and MST124 subjects. Though I love science and was once decent at it, I took a humble approach to give myself a chance to adapt to a new system.

MU123 is a well-designed course with engaging activities anchored in real life. It provides a sound foundation from ABC's to trigonometry, algebra, and even statistics - my two favorite units. There's always something to look forward to.

The material isn't overly difficult, yet students who skim read early on suffered later when a new layer of complexity foreshadowed MST124. Assignments are thorough and planning them wins the day. Perfect course for someone who "doesn't like maths", or needs to increase their confidence. My tutor was excellent and I couldn't have had a better start with the OU. Though I would have survived MST124, MU123 patched all knowledge gaps I had.

Sophie Landry

Course starting: February 2014

Review posted: January 2015

An excellent course. I would recommend this for anyone planning to do a maths related degree. Reasons for my recommendation are that this is an excellent refresher (with associated proofs and historical context) for everything I had learned at O and A level. The structure and flow of ideas is superb. The focus on clear communication is vital, and incredibly helpful in later modules.

It also acts as a great practice for learning how to study and pace maths courses (very different approach from my social science course). Ultimately maths is a skill that benefits from repeated practice tackling problems.

The online practice quizes and regularly interspersed activities are well timed to offset the reading / understanding with skill practice and demonstration. Something I find very effective, as I feel I learn by doing, rather than reading.

I had been nervous after a 23 year gap since A level pure and applied. I feel this was time well spent, even if 80% was essentially well presented revision of 1980s chalk, talk and distractions with a group of teenagers.

Stuart Keith Wilson

Course starting: February 2014

Review posted: December 2014

A fantastic module which filled in many of the gaps that I had from school maths (20 years ago!).

I did this as the first module in the BSc Mathematics and its Learning, but would highly recommend to anyone seeking a 30 credit free choice at OU level 1 - it develops Maths skills which will be useful in a wide range of settings, and it gives you a huge confidence boost if your Maths skills are rusty!

Pam Currie

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: October 2014

It is the most appropriate course for everybody like me who fears terribly maths while at the same time cannot help but acknowledge the importance of the topic.
Greatly taught by the way, nothing is given for granted and in my opinion that is the best way to tackle such a topic.

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: September 2014

Extremely well structured course, best module I've studied with the OU so far.

It requires a lot of reading for a math module but the topics are extremely well explained. The tutor was excellent and very helpful.

The only thing I personally missed in this module was an extra exercise book, since the ones available in the module are not enough to consolidate the knowledge.

I really advise this module if you need to review your math skills before doing more advanced modules.

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: September 2014

It had been quite a few years since I did any math at all. I clearly remember that my score when I last did any serious math was appaling. So hence I came across this module and thought I could make it right this time. I was very nervous in the beginning given that math is really not my strongest points.

But the course starts by easy introductions, and slowly the things I did in school start coming back, only this time the explanation is very clear, perhaps with maturity also. It was absolutely enjoyable all through.

I had personal challengers because I had my second baby at the same time I was working on my EMA but I want to thank my tutor who was ever so patient with my many questions. The only challenge I would say was submitting the assignments manually, as in through the post. It takes careful planning to make sure that your assignment reaches the tutor by the deadline. It seemed hard at the start, but you quickly adapt and it becomes fun posting your assignment, breathing the sigh of relief. I totally recommend this module for anyone who would like to refresh their memory.

Julie Whitford

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: August 2014

This was a good starting course for OU study, it was basic enough with structure and content that you could work on how you write and present your maths. The books were clear, the accompanying materials a little basic. Most of the concepts were GCSE level tbh, but welcomed to be revisited 15 years after my exam!

Was a good grounding to go onto further maths. A little dull at times due to the level of the maths, but a sense of achievement as a first OU level 1 module studied.

Natalie Reading

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: June 2014

I liked this course however,I would have liked it to be a little more challenging. A good grade GCSE in higher maths will well equip anyone considering this course. I got an A in Maths and even though this was a while ago, I never struggled with any of the content of this module.

If you are not familiar with maths I could definitely see people struggling with this course, however, the text books are fantastic with walk-through examples for each and every topic.

The one thing I was disappointed with was the grading system. I got a 91 in the assignments section and 89 in the examinable component so received a pass (you either get a pass or fail) but a nice sparkly distinction grade would have made my day.

Kerrie-Ann Burns

Course starting: February 2013

Review posted: June 2014

I enjoyed this course, the materials and tutor were really helpful and I got to grips with the subject matter which was probably a refresher of the Maths I should have learnt at school.

Rebecca Pierce

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: May 2014

A very easy choice for anyone who needs to get 30 credits. The level of Mathematics is probably the same for GCSE level, and having achieved a top grade at A level maths, I found it quite simple.

There were more TMAs in this module than in others; however they took a fraction of the time an essay would.

Would recommend this course for anyone who wants a fresh reminder of maths from their school days.

Course starting: February 2013

Review posted: March 2014

Very good course. No matter how good you think you are at maths, this course shows how you can still improve your written skills.

I took this course as a filler, but it opened my eyes to the bad habits which I had picked up. As an introductory course to maths, it is brilliant. Would well recommend.

Course starting: February 2013

Review posted: November 2013

I would highly recomend this course to any forty something "mature" students like myself. I really had a strong aversion to Mathematics at high school, I think this can be fairly attributed to poor teachers who probably did not fully understand the subject themselves. This course however was extremely well structured in my opinion for beginers or people like myself who use a lot of general Mathematical principles in their everyday job but have picked up bad techniques from fellow workers along the way. The tutor was always available to answer questions via email.

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: November 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.


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 2014 presentation of MU123. The survey was carried out in 2015.

467 students (a response rate of 22.1%) 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 96.1 440
Overall, I am satisfied with my study experience 95.4 438
The module provided good value for money 79.3 353
I was satisfied with the support provided by my tutor/study adviser on this module 96.3 438
Overall, I was satisfied with the teaching materials provided on this module 96.5 443
The learning outcomes of the module were clearly stated 95.4 435
I would recommend this module to other students 92.1 419
The module met my expectations 93.4 426
I enjoyed studying this module 90.2 415
Overall, I was able to keep up with the workload on this module 90.4 414
Faculty comment: "We are delighted by the overwhelmingly positive comments about MU123. Students appreciate that MU123 starts at the beginning of the story of mathematics and gradually builds up mathematical ideas and skills throughout the module. Most students say that they really enjoy studying the module. Some, who already have experience of studying mathematics, felt that the content was at too low a level at times. Others noted that there is always room for improving communication skills in writing mathematics even when mathematical skills are in place. It is important for students to choose the right entry level in mathematics in the Open University. Students noted that their tutors had been an enormous source of support throughout the module. The online resources for drawing graphs and handling data were also commended. Prospective students might be interested to know that students have the choice of submitting assignments on paper or using electronically."
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