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Michael Gumbrell

Research question approved

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My tutor has agreed my EMA research question.

It is narrowly focused enough, contains the correct direct links to micro economic theory and relates to the course section of environmental economics.

So that is good news, now i can get on with writing my secondary data research project. It is about game theory.

I can't be any more specific without getting myself into trouble, the module is not over yet.

So one more of my last OU steps has been taken. 

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Michael Gumbrell

Feeling strange

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It is a strange feeling to have finished my module two months early.

It is a relief, i would never have been able to finish my EMA whilst working so many hours for the last month, and so many over the next two months, so from that respect i am happy.

But i also feel a bit lost now, having finished so early.

It is a difficult time for everyone, so just try and make the best of it.... and stay safe everyone.

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Michael Gumbrell

DD316 complete!!!

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Well i got my email...

EMA is cancelled. My result will be based on my TMA averaged weighted scores.

All my TMA's are in, so that means my average will be 75%, so a 2:1 pass.

And that's that.... DD316 completed, year 5 done, on for a 2:1 score.

One level 3 module left to do, with a September start, a choice between Philosophy or Economics.

A strange and aborted end to year 5, DD316. But with the Covid 19 situation and my working in the NHS, (as an example, i am working 60 hours over 5 nights next week, with 2 days off rota'd, but i might well end up doing 72 hours over 6 days), i would never have been able to complete the EMA, so for me it is a good outcome.

The Facebook groups are still melting down about it, but with such a diverse student body, the OU can only do the best they can, not everyone will agree with their decision. 

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Michael Gumbrell

Still waiting to hear.... ema

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Saturday, 4 Apr 2020, 17:36

Still waiting to hear about what is happening with my EMA.

the OU facebook page is flooded with people who have already heard.

I should get an email this weekend.

Really need to know, so that i can plan what to do.

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Michael Gumbrell

marks, marks and more marks

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Sunday, 12 Feb 2017, 11:56

i know it is way to early to be considering this point, but I have been looking through the classification rules for honours degrees. I am a little bit compulsive/obsessive about these sort of things and so I cannot help but look and think about them.

So YO32 and DD103 were just distinction or pass ranks, I passed both, with an average mark of 80%, but no distinction for me (85% required), and now we are on to level 2 scores the 1,2,3 and 4 scoring systems kick in.

So through my first 3 tma's I rank 83%, which is a level 2 pass, but as is well documented the exam/ema scores that you get as the final part of the module are even harder to score well in.

So at the moment I am ranking as a level 2 pass, or the equivalent of a 2:1 degree. I find that very scary considering the final exam might well not be as much of a good score, so the thought that even with, what I thought were good tma scores, I might only rank as a level 3 pass for this module is a little disheartening.

There are quite a few blogs and forum posts online about how hard it is to get a good degree classification from the O.U and having looked at the level of mark required to get into the top 2 degree levels I tend to agree with them.

At a bricks and mortar university the grade boundaries are different and lower, someone i know got 78% and that was a first class degree in social work. 78% with the OU would leave me sweating on a 2:2 or a 2:1 pass !

on my degree pathway, BA (Hons) Politics, Philosophy and Economics I have 3 level 2 modules and 2 level 3 modules, I only had one level 1 module. Since I have 90 credits already, this module I am currently on, DD211' investigating political institutions in the modern world' would give me another 60 credits, taking me up to 150 credits. I think I might investigate the options for transferring out of the O.U to another online provider or a part time course with a local bricks and mortar university.

I suppose it is a fine balance, the OU want us to study with them, after all they get the fee's for our study, however they need to have a large take up to support themselves financially. But with some of the cost cutting measures and restructuring work done by the Vice-chancellor I wonder if the level of fee they charge, combined with the challenging high marks required for a top 2 level pass is worth the debt I am incurring for it(I pay for my study with a student loan).

So I will have a look at my other options, I am sure I cannot be the only student who has considered or done this before. my apologies if I am just reiterating the previous concerns of other students.

Without wishing to state the obvious, it is a learning process. I enrolled for an access module (YO32) to see if study suited me, I had no idea back then about grade boundaries and module study. I qualified for the free Access course, then when I decided I wanted to start a degree, found that the cost of £ 675 for the access module had been added to my student loan! I had first opted for an open degree, but having done some research, I decided to switch to a degree pathway and study Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

So it has been a learning process, so I feel a little bit ungrateful for having benefitted from the process, to now been in a position where I am questioning the value and nature of the process, it's classification process and considering changing to a new provider.

However I will have a £ 18,000 debt on completing study, with the O.U or elsewhere and for me and my level of income, that is a huge debt and I will be paying it back past my retirement age. So I feel I have to be sure I have made the best possible use of the loan, and off set the risk of having the loan by securing the best possible outcome from using it.

So is a £ 18,000 debt, 6 years of study and the amount of study required worth it? If I scored a solid 75% in my 5 of my 6 years of study and received a 2:1, then YES.

but if I end up with a £ 18,000 debt, 6 years of study and, what I would considered a solid mark of 70%, with a 2:2 degree, the I would say NO.

I would be very interested in your comments, I would like to know if I am being unreasonable, or if you might think I am right to be concerned?

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