A Frustrating Open University Experience!

I haven’t written about this before as I wanted to reach the end first. And now the end is in sight. Regular readers know I am an open university student. I haven been for 4 years now. I’ve done 6 courses with them. Throughout all those times I’ve never had any problems with tutors etc. Until this year.

I knew there were tutors out there who weren’t quite so favourable. I’ve chatted with fellow students on other courses who were struggling with useless tutors. But I’d never experienced one myself. I’d always had supportive tutors, who if you dropped marks enquired as to why that may be. And who would answer any question sincerely without sarcasm or snarky comments. That was until this course. When I sadly got a taste of what its like to have a tutor that isn’t supportive, cannot provide constructive feedback and cant be bothered to respond to most questions. And it wasn’t just me that suffered. The whole tutor group did. We had a FB group which meant we could speak in private and we all had the same problems with him. Some of them had even had him on preivous courses and were shocked at how he had changed.

Two of us decided enough was enough a few months ago and rung the OU. Sadly it got us nowhere as his moderation showed up no problems and they saw no other issue other than a clash of personality. It was incredibly frustrating and left us both even more disheartened with the course than we already were.

The lack of support has made the course a real battle. It wasn’t an easy course anyway. It involved alot of reading and theories as well as a large number of assignments, more than most OU Courses. Towards the end we all really struggled to find the motivation. Most of us stopped attending his tutorials as we felt we got nothing out of them and I even ended up driving 30 miles further to a different tutorial where the tutor actually provided constructive information!

If this had been my first OU experience I wouldn’t have carried on. It left me feeling alone and lost and like I was battling against the work. I am glad that the end is in sight. The tutor part is over and now I just have to focus on the revision for the exam. At the start of October I start another two courses with the OU. It is hard to get motivated about them after the lack of support I’ve had with this course and how hard I’ve found it. The subjects are ones I am really excited about but I’m nervous about getting another one of the bad eggs. I guess I’ll know soon enough! In the meantime my group will all be submitting similar feedback on the tutor feedback forms and then maybe the OU will listen!


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