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Student and tutor module reviews

Capacities for managing development

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  • Points: 30
  • Code: TU870
  • Level: Postgraduate

Student reviews

This course was an excellent introduction to many of the issues and debates in development management. I would recommend doing this course first if you are studying for the Postgraduate Diploma or MSc as I'm now finding on my second module that the knowledge I've gained on TU870 is a useful background.

The first third of the course was time-intensive in terms of the amount of theory to learn and reading required (plus I often went online and read extra as I wanted to go further into some of the issues raised) but absolutely worth it. The second third was much more practical and introduced some useful skills and techniques. The final third had a lot of time for learning and reflection and was a great way to finish off the course in a more thoughtful way.

My main two pieces of advice would be:
1) Don't start this course if you are unable to commit much time in the first 2 months - these months are absolutely crucial in terms of the amount of work required.
2) Don't give up if you don't do so well on the first assignment. My assignment scores went gradually up over time (Pass on the first, Merit on the second, Distinction on the third) and you should find yourself growing in confidence with the subject material as it becomes more familiar.

I should also say that I did this course from a distance and was unable to attend any of the face-to-face sessions. This could feel lonely at times but the online forum was a great way to keep in touch and contribute to discussions. The online tutorials were also helpful but you can't beat face-to-face if possible.

Katherine Alice Boswell

Course starting: November 2010

Review posted: June 2011

I found the course very heavy in terms of reading to start off with. The course material uses a lot of abbreviations and industry specific jargon that I was not familiar with as I did this course as an elective towards a MBA and did not have much experience or knowledge in development management.

But, in the end, persistance paid off and I passed (with merit) to my surprise and delight.

Advice - google the abbreviations and jargon language - it helps a lot!, read, read and keep on reading!

Wilhelmina Ackermann

Course starting: May 2008

Review posted: December 2008

An extremely interesting and time-intensive course. Highly recommendable for anyone with an interest in development work. Unfortunately, some of the TMA tasks lend themselves to divergent interpretations - a fact which worked against me.

Course starting: May 2005

Review posted: January 2006

This course provides some of the most important things you will ever learn about creating, managing or evaluating a development intervention. For me, it has been the most practical of the OU courses I have taken - and the hardest OU, in terms of successfully completing assignments. And, yet, I did really well on the final exam, better than people who had done really well on the assignments; I think part of that is that they had much better tutors than me, who graded very differently. Good tutor support and interaction with other OU students via the online community on FirstClass Client is, IMO, absolutely essential to getting a good grade in this course. It has four assignments (TMAs), all of equal value, though you can substitute your second lowest grade for your lowest.

Jayne Cravens

Course starting: May 2003

Review posted: October 2004

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 November 2013 presentation of TU870. The survey was carried out in 2014. 37.5% of our students responded to the survey covering what they thought of 10 aspects of the module. See this page for the full text of questions and more information about the survey.

Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of this module 80 %
Overall, I am satisfied with my study experience 80 %
The module provided good value for money 69 %
I was satisfied with the support provided by my tutor/study adviser on this module 66.7 %
Overall, I was satisfied with the teaching materials provided on this module 80 %
The module met its stated learning outcomes 93.3 %
I would recommend this module to other students 73.3 %
The module met my expectations 83.3 %
I enjoyed studying this module 83.3 %
Overall, I was able to keep up with the workload on this module 80 %
Faculty comment: The module team is pleased that most students remain satisfied with the quality and their experience of TU870. We noted that some students gave lower scores in relation to tutor support. The module team are monitoring this situation; initial investigations suggest these were one-off occurrences due to unexpected challenges experienced by individual tutors. If this continues to be an issue we will take more significant steps to remedy the situation.
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