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Student and tutor module reviews

Analysing data

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  • Points: 30
  • Code: M248
  • Level: 2
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Student reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this module and doing statistics in general. This module greatly builds on topics taught in 'Introducing statistics' (M140) such as Normal Distributions, Hypothesis testing and Regression just to name a few. It also introduces some new topics such as the Poisson process, non-parametric tests and basic calculus. Minitab is also used for some tutor-marked assignment (TMA) questions, just like in M140.

I found the practice quizzes, the tutorials, the TMAs, and especially the revision resources very helpful as preparation for the exam. The tutors were very supportive and the revision resources sum up the key topics very well.

I highly recommend studying this module for students who are interested in statistics.

Course starting: October 2020

Review posted: July 2021

I thoroughly enjoyed the my Statistics module in the first year, so assumed that Analysing Data would be a natural choice for me in my second year.

However, the moment I started the course I was told that 100% of the final mark was the exam.

This is obviously problematic as having a coursework/exam balance like most other modules is essential at assessing both practical real-world applications of what youve learned (coursework) and knowlege retention (exam).

So this pretty much killed the entire module for me. All coursework had no insentive and if you are unlucky enough to be doing several modules at once you will find your final exam crammed right next to your other exams - making revision is hard.

I wouldnt recommend this module to anyone, especially if they struggle with exams (which is part of the reason why we are back att he OU in the first place).

The OU have failed to understand their students with this.

Simon Tompkins

Course starting: September 2019

Review posted: June 2020

Faculty response

Whilst the final mark for M248 is based on the exam, the coursework element is important and the module is structured in such a way that it is punctuated with assessment to help both consolidate your learning and give you experience in analysing data sets using statistical software.

There are 6 tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) on M248 which are all formative and involve analysing data. The module team encourages students to engage fully with these TMAs and this is why at least 4 of the TMAs must be successfully completed in order to pass the module. The TMAs provide an opportunity for you to receive personal feedback on your understanding and learning, from your tutor, and enable you to have the experience of analysing data yourself.

In addition to the TMAs, there is a practice quiz associated with each unit of the module, each containing numerous questions to help you assess your understanding of the unit and provide a useful resource for revision. It is our experience that students who fully engage with the continuous assessment generally perform better in the exam and have in a better place to engage with study at OU level 3.

I was disappointed to discover that the module was a first presentation as there was no mention when I signed up for it. I would not have signed up for it if I had known as there were a large number of errata making it impossible to use online versions of the material as they haven't been corrected. A serious lack of revision material and disappointing quality of the screen casts compounded my displeasure but the worst was the poor quality of the handbook with no index and inconsistent with other ou modules in that not all blue box material was in the handbook, yet no annotation allowed. Only thanks to the m500 weekend that I got the grade I did.

Course starting: October 2017

Review posted: July 2019

Faculty response

We are sorry that you were unhappy with the first presentation of M248. The dates of new presentations are available on the mathematics and statistics study site and we will try to highlight when we have first presentations in the future. The errata have now been corrected and there is now more revision material available, including a set of dedicated recorded tutorials. Based on feedback, annotations are now allowed in the Handbook for 2019 onwards and, as the components of the module are updated, we will review your comments around the handbook and screencasts. Thank you for this feedback.

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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