Friday, 29 September 2006

Starting S103

So september comes around, and with it a large pack of books, papers, CD's and DVDs. Included was
  • Three text books
  • A pair of DVD programmes
  • A pair of DVD course materials
  • A set of course notes
  • A set of course guides
  • A stop press notice
  • A glossary
  • A folder
  • A bit of black plastic
  • Various introductory and other guides
  • A checklist
  • The first set of TMAs

I unpacked the contents on the kitchen table and tried to make sense of them. There was a lot of stuff there, and it was difficult to untangle it at first. They only send part of the course at this time, as they don't want to swamp you with information and make you run and hide.
However even with this reduced load I found it difficult to make sense of what to read first, second and so on.

They usually have a set of things, so you get a course guide - which is a one page synopsis of the chapters, and estimate of how long each part will take and what other media might be used. Then there is the course notes which have longer exercises to do for each topic. There is the course book too - which is where the main learning comes from. I usually forgot about the other two documents until prompted in the book to read various bits.

I tried going through the things in various ways, but in the end I couldn't really see which was the way to read these things. I gave up and just started reading book 1, The Water of Life which seemed to work out ok. Having done science before, the book was pretty straight forward being a nice gentle introduction to some science concepts.

Meanwhile the OU forum jumped into life. A lot of early comments about things. Tutor groups hadn't been allocated and people were getting all wrapped up in the idea of travelling hundreds of miles to tutorials. Lots of speculation on this that and the other.

It had the definite sense of we were all setting out on a journey together.

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