Thursday, November 30, 2006

M263: An Update

  1. Attended a tutorial at Waterloo last night. Started off slow but got better as the evening went along, and picked up a couple of useful pointers such as a clear distinction between functions and methods.
  2. Submitted TMA01 this morning.
  3. Having completed questions 1, 2, and 3, I have just started question 4 of TMA02.
  4. Started unit 7 "The Class Set".

Thursday, November 23, 2006

M263: Annoyed!!!

I am so annoyed with myself. For sometime I have been bemused by references within the M263 course text to “Practical Computing sessions” and not being able to find them. I searched through all the doc’s and pdf’s but with no luck until today when I discovered that the “Practical Computing sessions” are html based and installed when you install WorkPad. The installation places the home page (M263_Index.html) in the sub-directory …\workPad\ComputerPracticals and a shortcut to it in the M263 program group (off of the Start menu).

This is doubly annoying because at the study group on Saturday a question was raised (TMA01 Q4Cii) concerning whether a particular function was valid or not. The “Practical Computing sessions 1.3” answers this question.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

M301: Hope?

Several students who took M301 at the same time as me have received letters saying that their exam papers have been lost. Apparently the letter states that the OU “will determine a result for you in a different manner to the normal one, based on the available continuous assessment scores and other assessment evidence for the course.”. Now taking in to consideration that I did very well with the TMA’s and don’t believe I did so well with the exam I am hoping that my exam paper has been lost as well. ;)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Wireless hijacking

Peter Stevens was having problems with neighbours hijacking his wireless Internet access. So he came up with a plan to stop them. He turned their world upside down and made it blurred. Brilliant!

M263: On Schedule

My study plan for M263 is so far working to plan (see M263: A new way of studying?). Today I am starting unit 5 “The Class Turtle” so I am certainly on schedule. The only delay I am experiencing is creating concept maps based upon my notes.

Although I have completed TMA01 I am not going to submit it until after 29.Nov as there is an evening tutorial on this day. This is just in case I have made any silly mistakes with the TMA that might be highlighted during the tutorial.

On Saturday (18.Nov) we had a study (self-help) group and this was very successful. Everyone agreed that it was most helpful and the next one is planned for a week or two before TMA02’s cut-off date (05.Feb.07).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


To day I had lunch with Eddie Jordan.

Well to tell the truth I shared a table with him. I was meeting a friend who is on the same OU courses as me, and got to the CafĂ© earlier than planned. So whilst waiting for my friend, Eddie Jordan comes along and asks if any of the other places are taken. I couldn’t say no could I? After all he was kind enough to let me take a photograph.

M253: A few thoughts

I am starting to realise that there is some structure to this course. Initially it has appeared that tutor’s just there for resolving issues and disputes; the ‘Course Guide’ is not essential and can be put to one side; and that the ‘Course Resource Sheets' do not play a major role, especially as the TMA’s say things such as “you might find it particularly useful to refer to the Resource Sheets entitled…” and “You might find it useful to refer to the Resource Sheets…”. Everything gives the appearance of revolving around the TMA’s and their associated activities, with the team pretty much left to their own devices.

Thinking about the course this morning whilst on my way to work I have come to the conclusion that both the ‘Course Guide’ and the ‘Course Resource Sheets’ are important and that both should be read and not skipped over. Why? Because they provide far more information than I realised and actually do add some structure to the course as a whole.

I am starting to wonder if I am the only one who has gone along this route or whether any other students have initially dismissed the ‘Course Guide’ and ‘Course Resource Sheets’ only to realise later on how vital they are to their success in doing the course.

Friday, November 03, 2006

M263: A new way of studying?

During my studies with the OU I have as yet to find an ideal study method, with trying out a different technique for each of the course I have studied so far.

Therefore for M263 I am trying out something new. First of all I am reading each section and underlining keywords and passages, then using this information I am creating a mind map (on paper), and finally constructing a concept map using IHMC’s CmapTools.

ref: CmapTools

My reason for doing my studying for this course in this way is in the hope of:
  1. help in re-enforcing the information I am taking in;
  2. being able to retain the information longer;
  3. have a good set of notes that make revision easier.
As an example below is my concept map for section 2.4 – Sets. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

M253: TMA 01

TMA 01 is now available and consists of answering 3 questions in relationship to doing 5 activities over the next 5 weeks. Some of the activities are team activities, as opposed to individual activities, and questions 1 and 2 reflect this.

M263: Tutorials

My alloted tutorials are in Croydon which for me means a 3 hour round trip to attend them. Will the first tutorial is on the 18th November and it is only 3 hours long, in fact a majority of the tutorials are 3 hours in length, with a couple of 5 hour sessions. Therefore I have decided not to attend them (although I might attend the 5 hour sessions).

As a compromise I find that there are evening tutorials being held at the Waterloo Centre in London. This is more convenient for me as I work in London. So I attended the first one last night. There were approx 12 students and 2 tutors, and the tutorial revolved around a general discussion about the course and answering some questions in relation to unit 2. Although I didn't learn anything new and it was of no assistance for TMA 01, it was enjoyable and I plan to attend the other tutorials.