Monday, 19 August 2013

History! Bosworth Battlefield Re-enactment 2013.

I'm a history buff, most of what I read and watch for pleasure is historical in nature. I've always been interested in the medieval/tudor/elizabethan eras and that was a large part in my decision making for taking A200 this year.

Although I live in Leicestershire I had never been to see the Battle of Bosworth site, although it was always on my to-do list. With the A200 start date looming I couldn't resist the Re-enactment weekend so off we went.

It was a great day, my children enjoyed all of the events and although the weaponry was a little loud for them, I think they enjoyed it all the more because of it.

An interesting point for me was hearing the crowd react to Henry and Richard. Previously I'm pretty sure Richard would normally have been booed for his historical reputation, yet the crowd reacted very favourably to him yesterday and there were lots of theatrical boos for both the Stanley's and Henry's actions on the field.

I took (a lot) of photos which I popped up on flickr if you want a look.

I think I'm going to go back to the site sometime in the next couple of months so I can do the trail walk and look round the visitor's centre without having to entertain the small people.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Student Support

There is a wealth of learning support available for OU students that can sometimes be hard to find.
I'm going to try and put up links for the ones I use the most.

OUSA Forums

Hidden in the depths of your module site will be a link to the OUSA forums, the OU have recently moved the forums over and there are several dead links on the site but this one should take you to the main area.

You can search for your module code, or by category of study. There are also degree specific forums including one for students like me doing the randomness of an Open degree. 

Library support

  • Journal and Article access
It's worth noting that you might have to utilise the alternative Athens log in to access some of the journals but once you've figured that out then you're good to go :)

  • There are also online training sessions available.

Here you can participate in Elluminate training sessions in everything from Elluminate itself, to plagiarism and literature searches. You can also watch previously recorded sessions if you're unable to make a live session.


Every module I've done has had a couple of groups spring up, there tends to be a main large moderated group plus a couple of off-shoots for those who don't like the moderation. Personally, I like the large groups and think a bit of moderation is needed to ensure that trolling, bad behaviour and rudeness is limited whilst allowing students to support each other.

There is a large (unofficial) Open University facebook group that is moderated and has files with links to module groups, blogs and other useful information -

If you don't have a facebook account already and are wary of social media or privacy issue, it is relatively simple to create a bare bones account with privacy locked down just to access study groups.

The facebook help guides are pretty simple to follow -

I'll add more to this blog when I've had more coffee ;)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Exams, Panic and Software Shinies.

I am panicking a little about the concept of an exam at the end of A200. I've bought an old paper to look at what will be expected and that just terrified me even more.

I really need to put a plan of action together to ensure I'm taking proper notes all the way through and not just binge-studying towards the end.


Cornell notes for each module, using OneNote as I have a Cornell template for that and Evernote won't let me put one in properly.

I'm going to type up my notes and let them sync to dropbox. I might even end up printing out hard copies for revision if needed, although I work better paperless.

StudyBlue for Flash Cards -

I love this website, create and share flashcards, create classes so you can share with a specific group, and test yourself across any of your devices. It's awesome.

In other shiny news, I have a Nook. A simple glo light one which I'm using for both W100 reading and reading for pleasure (I do still find time for this, somehow) and I've already downloaded my A200 pdfs ready to go too.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Results are in!

Well, I appear to be a better student than I am a blogger ;) Results for DD101 are back and I got a distinction, with 95% on my OES!

Whoop! I can't quite believe it, but I'm not going to argue with them! Whoop!

W100 is ticking along nicely, 1 more TMA and then the EMA to go and that's done and dusted too. I've really enjoyed the module, and I did think about swapping over to more law modules but after looking through all of the level 2 law ones none of them really piqued my interest.

A200 begins in October, and I've already received my PDF disc of module materials so if I get chance I might try and make a head start.

I'm struggling a little to keep studying regularly, the summer holidays mean that the sprogs are home and wearing me out. I tend to wake up an hour or so earlier than everyone else so I'm now spending that time studying, instead of the jogging I used to do.

So I'm not too far behind on my reading but my clothes are getting tighter ;)