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Student and tutor module reviews

My digital life

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  • Points: 60
  • Code: TU100
  • Level: 1

Student reviews

I'm going to stage 2 of Computing and IT aware of the benefits that this module has given me, without which the more technical knowledge acquired later would not have a real fundament.

This module embarks on many topics and practical exercises. For me, with little understanding of this field, it was neither easy nor difficult - although sometimes really chellenging - but adequate to meet my demands on various aspects of our modern digital world. The need for the existence of many technologies and the influence that many others have on us, with its risks and benefits.

I recommend this module.

Murilo de Melo Reis

Course starting: January 2015

Review posted: July 2016

I consider this an excellent introductory module and challenging sometimes. It encompasses many themes: history, mathematics, logical thinking, networks, devices, communication, data, etc. It is not about one thing, but many things interconnected. For those who did not have experience in this field like me, it was very informative and gave me a great understanding of the digital world with its pros and cons, providing me a greater awareness and responsibility of use and participation in it. I felt like Neo in Matrix (film) waking up to a new world, a real one.

I think there may be something you consider obvious, depending on your knowledge or occupation, but there certainly are new concepts, such as "ubiquitous computing" and "digital divide", portrayed with a certain depth and extremely relevant to understand what is going on, which enable experts to do more with his or her technical skills. In general, this module changed the way I saw the world.
Of course, a good tutor who supports and motivates you makes a difference too. I had luck with an excellent tutor (Bob Buckley), who was always present and supportive, and who I miss so much.

An advice would be: try not to procrastinate your work, take your time, make notes (mind-mapping helped me a lot), ask your tutor if you get stuck and keep everything organized so you can find it again.

I recommend this module for you aiming to understand how digital world works and your role in it.

Murilo de Melo Reis

Course starting: January 2015

Review posted: May 2016

I found the TU100 course hard work due to the report writing and having to delve deeper into the meanings of many words that I thought I understood.

The technical side was very basic and I didn't need to do much research for the TMAs which is fortunate because that would have increased the workload ten-fold.

All the hard work is paying off in the module I am doing now, so well worth doing as a stepping-stone to more challenging modules.

Derek Comach

Course starting: October 2014

Review posted: May 2016

TU100 was my first module as an Open University student. Having already done one year of a computer Science degree, I found it in parts a bit too simple. However it wasn't all a walk in the park - SENSE as a beginners programming language is great for newbies to get the grips with the basics - however for the experts it can be a bit frustrating at times as you expect the program to behave in a set way.

I did however find it difficult jumping from a text book for the theory work, then to online for other parts - I would rather it was either or. I can't stress enough the importance of going to tutorials, they helped me take a different perspective of the problem put in front of me.

This module is a good starting point to the world beneath the surface of a computer.

Kirsty Farmer

Course starting: January 2015

Review posted: January 2016

Good introduction to computing I would say. It can be quite labourious in reading and the module is very broad (it goes from the history of computing to web design all the way to copyright laws!) but most topics are more of an overview than anything else.

I found myself asking "why are we doing this?" a couple of times. Particularly with the video making and editing. I had absolutely no idea the relevance of it and would rather we spent more time in areas related to the subject. However, the Sense programming was great for those needing a gentle push in the discipline and the history of computing in the start was very interesting.

This module is vast but ultimately relevant and mostly interesting. The TMAs were chock full of report writing so expect plenty of checking the word count. I studied this module alongside 2 other modules but found the work load to be fine and I have a full time job and a 2 year old! My tutor Sonia was excellent too! All in all, great first module with the OU!

Course starting: October 2014

Review posted: October 2015

I found this course very easy compared to business 60 credit modules. Partially because I have IT background with my previous studies. TMAs are not too demanding, plenty of support from tutors. What I didn't like - dreaded SENSE. It would be much easier if it had console option to implement code.

I would recommend this course for anyone who is looking to progress towards BSc with IT as major.

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: March 2015

Overall I found this course enjoyable, well-presented and it certainly introduced me to a huge number of new ideas and concepts but this is both the strength and weakness of the course I felt.

With so much material and perhaps the key skill being the time consuming process of fitting everything you wanted to say into the word count of a TMA, most students very quickly concentrated on what they absolutely had to do which did mean that the interactive side of the course was slightly disappointing.

However, I can't deny that through its shear range you ought to be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses and the areas of computer science you would like to concentrate on in future modules.

Course starting: February 2014

Review posted: March 2015

As someone on the programming pathway of the full degree I was pretty disappointed with this module.

There is LOT of reading material, with only about 25% of that being relevant to the assignments. I made a very keen start but after the first TMA I was disheartened with the amount of studying I had put in and then not used on the assignment.

As a result I ended up getting through this module by just reading the bare minimum of what I needed for the TMAs and EMA. For anyone presuming I was just lazy and trying to scrape a 40% pass though I was able to drop the last TMA entirely because I had already passed the TMA part of the total marking.

For anyone reading reviews and wondering what Sense is, pop into any INFANTS school these days and you will find 7 year olds working with the very similar Scratch, which, as a student enrolled on the programming pathway, was a huge let down.

I do feel for the module team though, this is an introductory module for a very broad range of students so I understand and accept that they will never meet every students needs. In my opinion some serious work needs to be put in so that students enrolling on the computer science or programming pathways do not have this as a compulsory module, if anything it has distanced me from my end goal of a developer job, because it has taken up time which could have been much better used elsewhere.

Neil Taylor

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: November 2014

Faculty response

One aim of TU100 is to prepare all students for study at higher levels. Such is the diversity of our students that any introductory module to a degree programme must cover a lot of ground that may be familiar to some. However, even where the core subject is familiar or may seem simple to students, it serves a second purpose of building learning skills that will be invaluable later on.

Our assessment policy is designed to test these key skills using examples from the module texts as illustrations of how they can be applied. Students will be delighted to know that we don't expect them to remember each and every fact in the module; instead they need to be familiar with broad concepts and to use ideas from the texts to support their discussions and arguments.

The programming in TU100 is designed for novice learners. Our experience, developed over many years, and supported by the research literature; is that adult learmers experience many of the same difficulties as children when learning to program. We've found that using a similar approach to that in schools (some of which have adopted our teaching practices) produces the best results. Although the programming might look similar to that used by children we have ensured that it prepares students for studying programming at higher levels. In TU100, we take time to explore basic concepts of programming such as sequences, repetition and selection; as well as more complex concepts such as concurrent programming and message passing.

Really enjoyed this course. It was my first module towards my degree. There are times that I felt that it was out of context and there was more reading than what I expected. The part I really enjoyed was using Sense, it was really fun. I highly recommend this module. If you are thinking taking this module, go for it and good luck.

Monica Abreu

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: September 2014

Having studied Computing at AS level, I found the level of computing knowledge required for this course rather low, and it was very much a study skills course where you need to learn how to write notes, and to reference correctly.

The Sense program used in this module is unlike anything I have ever seen, you require no programming skill to use this, and as someone with the technical knowledge to program in VB, I found the logistics of Sense rather difficult.

This is a very basic module, far more so than I was expecting when enrolling.

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: September 2014

A mix of technology and academic writing. The TMAs were ok to manage but I found that once you got used to one concept you were studying the complete opposite.

I would say this course wasn't worth 60 credits nor the cost but for a starter IT course and starter module for a degree it was ok.

The EMA was time consuming and sense was very annoying for a non programmer but overall it was an enjoyable module.

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: August 2014

I found the course itself quite easy, perhaps even a bit tedious.
I would describe it as 'The History of Computing' which is interesting at times, but with the evolution of computing and what it is today, I felt it was mainly all but applicable to what I was looking to learn.

If you have experience in computing, then the course should be a breeze for you and if you are looking to do any sort of programming as an absolute beginner, then Sense is a good foundation for what you will be dealing with. It just proves that with some hard work put into it, you can get some great results.

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: August 2014

This course covers a vast area of Digital technology and literally teaches you about all the computers components. Sense is used to teach you the basics of programming, which as a total beginner I found very useful, if at times frustrating, completely satisfying when you achieve the correct result. I would recommend this course to anyone that is curious about how IT works and if you have a great tutor like I had, it will be fun at the same time.

Course starting: February 2013

Review posted: August 2014

I took this course as I wanted to challenge myself and develop a better understanding of the technological world.

I have an adequate knowledge of IT related matters - in the sense I can turn a computer on and use social media etc. The module description indicated I did not need specific IT related skills, just a good general idea so I thought this was the course for me.

Now I have survived to the end of the course I feel quite duped. I would certainly say you need more than just a grasp of IT to do this course and I really struggled both with the technical concepts and the mathematical skills needed.
This was very stressful and I was spending every evening and all weekend reading and making notes but still struggling to really understand what I was doing. That said, the tutor was fantastic and very encouraging.

The course felt quite dry, laborious and uninspiring and I do not feel I have a greater knowledge of digital life than what I did prior to the course. A lot of the material felt dated and tasks involving working online with others were at the mercy of other students being bothered to be involved.

I would suggest you need to be quite IT savvy and/or have a considerable interest in technology to undertake TU100. I am very lucky the points from this course count towards my free-choice option for my degree so I have not wasted 9 months but do regret selecting this course in the first place.

Course starting: February 2013

Review posted: July 2014

Faculty response

Thanks for getting in touch and we're sorry you had some trouble with aspects of this module.

We tried very hard to make TU100's content suitable for all people, but a wide-ranging module such as TU100 which attracts people from all backgrounds and skill levels sometimes leaves some students needing additional support.

You can ask for help from your tutor who can give you more personal guidance to help solve your problems. I'm glad to see that your tutor was able to help you out. Many tutors will also run tutorials over the internet where you can not only work through parts of the module with fellow students, but also raise questions with your tutor. We ask our tutors to keep track of student progress and to help out if they think a student is falling behind. From this year onwards we have also introduced Student Support Teams who can provide further assistance to new students and those who might be struggling.

This module also has a large online student discussion forum where people can discuss issues regarding the module content and other aspects of technology. It's a good place to find out how other students feel about the module, the wider issues of technology and to ask questions about what you are studying. There are also dedicated forums for students who are having problems with some aspects of the materials, with the technology or need more assistance in getting started. We really recommend anyone who is having trouble with studying to get in touch with fellow students, many of whom can give useful guidance and support.

I thoroughly enjoyed this course and found it easier than the other OU level 1 course I had already studied. I received excellent comments from my tutor and the TMA's were evenly spaced.

I would highly recommend it.

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: July 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 2014 presentation of TU100. The survey was carried out in 2015.

379 students (a response rate of 23.6%) 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 84 316
Overall, I am satisfied with my study experience 86.1 323
The module provided good value for money 64.7 238
I was satisfied with the support provided by my tutor/study adviser on this module 92.5 346
Overall, I was satisfied with the teaching materials provided on this module 86.2 324
The learning outcomes of the module were clearly stated 92.5 346
I would recommend this module to other students 76.9 287
The module met my expectations 73.6 276
I enjoyed studying this module 80.9 304
Overall, I was able to keep up with the workload on this module 80.3 301
Faculty comment: "We are pleased the majority of students were satisfied with their study experience, the teaching materials, and the support from tutors, and felt the learning outcomes were clearly stated. This is despite the lower ratings for value for money and meeting expectations and that the workload was greater than expected. These may result from the role of TU100 as a core level 1 module teaching students how to learn as well as covering a broad range of technical content. TU100 is well within the standard workload 60 credit module, but we have continued to make changes to reduce and manage the workload at key points, and now advise students about weeks that are busier or lighter than the average over the module so they can plan their study accordingly."
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