|About this course:|
|Course work includes:|
|3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)|
|No residential school|
This course gives you an understanding of the issues and processes involved in planning and carrying out a team-based, problem-solving project where team members are not co-located: a situation that is becoming more common in the electronic age. You will gain practical experience in team working on a case study, which will be developed through several phases. You will be able to develop your skills in analysis, design and evaluation; your ability to reflect critically on the processes and outcomes involved; and your team-working skills. You will work remotely, communicating with your tutor and collaborating with other team members electronically.
Modules at Level 2 assume that you are suitably prepared for study at this level. If you want to take a single module to satisfy your career development needs or pursue particular interests, you don’t need to start at Level 1 but you do need to have adequately prepared yourself for OU study in some other way. Check with our Student Registration & Enquiry Service to make sure that you are sufficiently prepared.
No current presentation - see Future availability
|This course is expected to start for the last time in May 2013.|
This Level 2 course covers the fundamentals of working in geographically distributed, computer-mediated teams (so-called ‘virtual teams’). The broader context for the course is the increasing frequency with which people in the workplace are required to work not only in teams, but particularly in teams which are not (or not often) co-located. This is a mode of working which is spreading from large, multi-national organisations into smaller firms as well as more ad-hoc projects such as the various forms of the Open Source Community.
This course gives students an understanding of some of the issues and processes that are involved in working in a geographically-distributed team. It does this through practical, collaborative investigation of a case study, supported by private study materials and resources. The case study, which runs throughout the course, is described in the course guide and other study materials. The case study could take the form of a scenario such as a tender for a product, involving analysis of the problem domain, the design, development and evaluation of a prototype, leading to the presentation of a tender document.
During the course, you will work on different aspects of the case study, collaborating with your fellow team members and your tutor through online forums. At intervals during the course, each team will submit a progress report on the results of their investigation to their tutor, as well as a short commentary on progress to date by each individual team member. These reports form the assessment on the course. Your tutor will provide both you and your team with feedback on the content of these reports and on your personal progress and performance during the course. The final submission, which will be submitted at the end of the course, has a larger report from each team member, in which you will be able to demonstrate your ability to reflect critically on the processes and outcomes involved in the team exercise.
The course is supported by a number of resource sheets that can be studied alongside the practical, collaborative activities. These resource sheets will enable you to gain the specific skills necessary to study the course. This will include team-working issues such as those which might arise in planning and managing the team, as well as in working collaboratively.
Unlike many of the more conventional OU courses that you have studied, or will be studying alongside M253, you should be aware that the demands on your time for this course are of a substantially different nature from those to which you have become accustomed.
M253 requires continuing interaction with your fellow team members throughout the whole six months of the course, on a regular and frequent basis. As usual you will need to study the study materials and undertake the activities which lead up to the assignments. However, in order to complete the activities on which the assignments are based you will have to communicate and cooperate with your fellow team members, working within a tightly constrained time-frame, to meet intermediate team deadlines.
Such communication will take place via electronic media such as email or online forums, so it does not matter if you are away from your normal home or work situation; indeed, this adds to the realism of M253. If you do not make these contributions, however, you will probably find it difficult to develop the team spirit necessary to make a success of the course, or will simply discover that the rest of the team has moved on in your absence.
Having said all that, it does not mean that you cannot take any breaks during your participation in M253. If you know in advance that you are going to be away, and unable to participate in the course for a period of time, it should be possible to negotiate with your fellow team members so that your absence can be accommodated by your team in its allocation of responsibilities and in its schedules for completing the assignments. A similar situation may arise in the event of unexpected illness. Nevertheless we would strongly recommend that, under normal circumstances, you should expect to engage with the course several times each week throughout the duration of M253, for about four hours a week on average.
This is a Level 2 course. You will need to have a good knowledge of computing and study skills obtained either through Level 1 study with the OU, or by doing equivalent work at another university.
You are expected to be able to use a personal computer, to be competent with word-processing, and communication software such as email and online forums. The key introductory Level 1 course My digital life (TU100) would be ideal preparation for this course.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.
This course will involve working with other students as a member of a team. It is expected that communication and collaboration with other members of your team will take place via electronic means. Therefore the ability to travel to, or physically participate in meetings is neither required nor expected. You will need to be able to send and read messages using email, use computer conferencing software and visit websites using a web browser.
If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:
Electronic study materials, online forums, website.
You require internet access at least once a week during the course to download course resources and keep up to date with course news. You will need the means to share documents with other team members and submit documents for assessment by your tutor during the course. Therefore you will need software that can save documents in a Microsoft Word format, such as Microsoft Office or Sun Star Office.
You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.
You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.
You will have a tutor who will help you get the most out of the course, will mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.
The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above.
You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.
Each assessment has two sections. The first is given over to a piece of work that your team will produce together; this will be based on the case study that runs throughout the course. The second part of each assessment will be written and submitted individually, by each student. The deadlines for the assessed pieces of work are spaced throughout the course. Assessment is an essential part of the teaching, so you are expected to complete it all. You will be given more detailed information when you begin the course.
This course may help you to gain recognition from a professional body. You can view or download our Recognition leaflet 3.3 Professional Engineering Institutions and Recognition leaflet 3.7 Computing for further information.
The details given here are for the course that starts in May 2013 when it will be available for the last time. It will be replaced by IT project and service management (M258) in October 2013.
Students who studied this course also studied at some time:
We regret that we are currently unable to accept registrations for this course. Where the course is to be presented again in the future, relevant registration information will be displayed on this page as soon as it becomes available.
“I found the course challenging at times, but the tutor was extremely helpful and supportive. I achieved a pass mark. ...”
“It's a 10 credit course, but wait a second - if you take it just to easily fill a 10 ...”
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read Distance learning explained.
|About this course:|
|Course work includes:|
|3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)|
|No residential school|
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