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Student and tutor module reviews

Environment: journeys through a changing world

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  • Points: 60
  • Code: U116
  • Level: 1
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Student reviews

I found this module was a great introduction to environmental issues and very enjoyable. The flow of the module subjects took you on a virtual journey of the globe, introducing you to a different place and environmental problems, looking at potential solutions.

I personally loved exploring the Arctic, and the assignment was very imaginative and fun. There was a course website with a week-by-week planner to work through. It had interactive materials, maps, audio, films, journals, and access to forums. I found the forums invaluable, to ask questions or share ideas with other students.

The books were lovely and informative (a big miss when you go to a completely online module). My tutor was knowledgeable, supportive and approachable. The tutor group tutorials were great and you had the option to join other tutorials, which I did on occasion and found them friendly. They had started in-person tutorials, though my work clashed with some of these, but they would definitely enhance your learning experience.

I felt the pace of the assignments was about right. The pace increased towards the middle/end, but I felt confident enough at that stage in my time management to submit on time.

If you are struggling, the tutor and student support are amazing and can really help.

Overall I had a positive experience and it is so far my favourite module.

Course starting: October 2022

Review posted: April 2024

This module is a mix of social sciences and science. I found I am not the biggest fan of social science, but I did learn a lot from this module.

I found the module was a little slow for my liking and I would have preferred more science as it was pretty heavy on the social sciences. I wasn't a fan until we got about half way through (the Amazon) when I started to enjoy it. But most people loved the whole module!

I didn't really find a lot of the tutorials very helpful which was a shame, and there was the problem of different tutors giving different advise again, which was an issue as I got a tutor who didn't do as many tutorials! (we won't mention the strikes!).

Course starting: October 2022

Review posted: September 2023

I really enjoyed this module. U116 was my first OU module, and I found the content really interesting and accessible. I felt the module was a great introduction and really prepared me for further study with the OU. I felt confident and excited about moving on to my next module. My tutor was brilliant and her support and feedback was so valuable. My tutor did an amazing job of ensuring I felt connected and supported despite being a distance learning module.

Course starting: October 2021

Review posted: August 2022

This is a great module for anyone interested in environmental issues. I found it challenging but enjoyable. The volume of material could be too much at times, and you really have to stick to the dates on the Study Planner.

I found it was possible to complete the Tutor-Marked Assignments effectively in the time given. The module covers many different countries around the world and I learned about subjects as diverse as plumbing (or the lack of it) in rural Ethiopia, and modern life in what remains of the Amazon rainforest. I wish I had scored more points on the final End-of-Module Assessment, as this was not as successful as my previous assignments.

The tutor answered my questions promptly and the impact of the pandemic did not prevent any of the tutorials from going ahead online. I'll always remember the practical experiment where we had to measure our own water use. Every time I use litres of water to wash hands or clean, I think of the people we learned about who had to make do with 5 litres a day. The early sections on the Earth's geology and fossil record were fascinating too. And I loved the poems about the Arctic ice cores! It's hard work but a good foundation for further environmental or scientific study.

Course starting: February 2020

Review posted: January 2021

I thought this was an amazing module, taking you all over the planet from the Arctic, to the Amazon, to Africa to China. The books supplied with the module were superb and stand proudly on my bookshelf! Not only does it delve into environmental issues allowing you to assess your own carbon footprint, it explores other cultures too. Some basic maths knowledge including an understanding of percentages are an advantage. From the perch of Lake Victoria to the pineapples of Hawaii, my one word description for this module is: "Invigorating".

Anthony Hutchinson

Course starting: October 2018

Review posted: April 2020

'Environment: journeys through a changing world' (U116) is an amazing module. It gave me a really thorough and interesting grounding in environmental science. I felt pushed out of my comfort zone at times, but the pacing meant I didn't fall behind. My only problem was that all of it was so interesting, that I couldn't just skim-read any of it.

Course starting: February 2019

Review posted: February 2020

This module is the perfect starter module to ease you into studying at degree level. It covers a broad range of topics but nothing in too much depth that it is unmanageable. The module takes a multidisciplinary approach to the environment but is based more on the social side rather than science based.

The style of questions vary vastly in order to develop different study skills, meaning you will find some tutor-marked assignment questions easier than others.

Overall I enjoyed this module, and achieved a decent pass rate, despite me missing an assignment out altogether.

Emily Hill

Course starting: February 2019

Review posted: November 2019

This is a very detailed module and has covered some interesting parts to study about this planet and some major ecosystems in it. Tutor support has been great throughout the module, I enjoyed studying all the blocks of this module.

Riddhi Raina

Course starting: October 2017

Review posted: July 2019

Absolutely brilliant re-introduction to study, comfortable pace and interesting topics on a broad range of subjects and a satisfying lack of rocks (currently doing S112 with too many rocks). I was lucky to have an amazing tutor.

Course starting: October 2017

Review posted: December 2018

U116 was a fantastic course, I found it enjoyable and I loved the journey narrative that was present throughout. The assessments where varied, which help to cover a wide range of learning. Excellent tutor and support. Most of the course material worked using exclusively free/libre (Freedom respecting) software, though it required a bit extra work to do so. Being book based was really nice. Was a wonderful start to my OU studies and my Cert HE, I would recommend it to anyone.

Course starting: October 2016

Review posted: July 2018

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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