Gutted – but even more determined

Yesterday was one of those days where three annoying things happened in the space of about 20 minutes. One was work related; a second was personal and the third was OU related.

The OU related incident was the last of the three. Late afternoon I picked up an email telling me that my DD307 TMA01 had been marked and was ready for collection. I was stunned – it’s the fastest I’ve ever had a TMA returned in four-plus years of study with the OU – and by some margin too. It had been marked and was ready for collection around 26 hours after the official cut off time (and so only around 14 hours after the midnight grace period had expired!) I started to think warm, fuzzy, appreciative thoughts about my tutor at this point.

So I logged onto my OU homepage and there it was – my worst ever OU TMA mark, to go with the fastest ever return. And it was my worst by some margin too – 14% worse than my worst.

Now, it definitely wasn’t a great essay, but I didn’t think it was that bad either. I still don’t. However, the tutor’s comments are encouraging, so that’s a good sign for future attempts. It doesn’t count very much at all towards the final mark for the course too. But knowing all that still didn’t make me feel any less gutted.

Some people think football an OU psychology course is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.

(with apologies to Bill Shankly)

I’ll obviously have to keep reminding myself this year that this is meant to be “fun” and a bit of a diversion from the daily grind.

As my friend Limes pointed out, even if I stay at this level all the way through the course (and I will be working to make sure that I don’t), it’s still plenty good enough for me to achieve my goal.

Time to get that SD226 TMA finished and to start looking at DD307 TMA02 to see where I can improve.

Aim for the sky and you’ll reach the ceiling. Aim for the ceiling and you’ll stay on the floor.

(also Bill Shankly!)

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Reader Comments

  1. Emma

    Not sure how to say this but I am relieved it’s not just me gutted! My result was there at midnight I have not been able to read the comments yet, 12% less than my lowest. Hopefully onwards & upwards for us both, very disheartening though

    • tim

      Hi Emma,

      Sorry to hear that. It’s important to read the comments your tutor has made though I think – but I understand why you don’t feel like doing so at the moment. I find a big glass of wine helps soften the blow somewhat 😉

      Onwards and upwards – I’m not going to let this course get the better of me, that’s for sure!

  2. LadyIndigo01

    Hi Tim. sorry to hear that you were disappointed with your result. I did this course last year and although I did not get my worst mark I was disappointed with my TMA 01 mark. However to give you hope I then managed to get my really good marks for all the rest of the TMAs (ending up with my best score for an OU module) – I did find TMA 01 confusing but all became clearer as I progressed through the course. I think the key to getting good marks in the TMAs on this course was structure your essay around the perspectives and their similarities and differences (especially cognitive epistemology, ontology & methodology vs ‘the others’). Also include the themes as much as you can. Good luck!

    • tim

      Nice to hear from you again and about your experience with this course.

      I’m sure it will get better as I go on and get to grips with the material a little better. Thanks for the suggestion regarding the structure of future TMAs – I’m pretty sure that’s what my tutor has hinted at in his feedback to me too, which is pretty comprehensive.

  3. Libby

    Sorry to hear about your disappointment. It does sound as though it isn’t an unusual experience to have a bit of a shocker with TMA01 in DD307, if that’s any comfort – not that I know, as I’m ‘looking forward’ to starting DD307 next year….
    While you sound as though you are taking it admirably on the chin, have you considered asking your tutor for a re-mark? You may not feel that this is the way to go, but I know of other students who did receive higher scores following re-marking. To be honest, I would not suggest it at all but for your comment that you still felt it deserved a better result than the one it received. While your tutor sounds supportive, and you might prefer not to rock the boat, I wondered if it might be worth it in this case?
    Best of luck with the rest of the course!

    • tim

      Hi Libby,

      No – I’m not going to ask him to re-mark. We’d be arguing over a handful of marks anyway and given the low weighting on TMA01 (10%) it’s really not worth getting into a discussion like that at this stage I think.

      Unfortunately, I missed the first tutorial, so that probably didn’t help me, but I will be at the second next week. So I’d rather put this one down to experience and move on. The most important thing to me was that his feedback is clear and there are some obvious things I can work on. If I put the faults right next time, then I’m sure my marks will move in the direction I want them to!

  4. Libby

    Fair enough. I tend to agree with your comments about re-marking. It might be worth it, say, if you were on the last assignment and any difference might mean a change in classification, but at this point it is probably better just to crack on using the feedback. As far as I understand it from previous students, the style of thinking required in DD307 is so different from DD303 that moving from one to another can lead to a few initial hiccups – don’t know if you think that’s true from your experience?
    Anyway, must stop procrastinating over DD303 TMA01… (can you tell?)
    Best wishes

    • tim

      Hi Libby,

      I’d definitely agree with your assessment of the differences between DD303 and DD307! Good luck with the TMA – I’m procrastinating over my first SD226 one at the moment, but I’m nearly there now!

  5. Jane

    Could you see where you had ‘gone wrong’ (as it were) from your tutor’s feedback? Did you agree and feel that the mark was just (with hindsight)? It’s just, well, I ‘know’ you from other courses and I would say with some confidence that you know your stuff… I haven’t received mine back yet. I felt that I’d just about done what the TMA was asking for, but know I have included too much description (though I couldn’t quite see how else I could structure it…) and so, though it was as good a piece of work as I could manage, I’m not over-optimistic about the result!

    • tim

      Hi Jane,

      Yes – I can see where I’d “gone wrong” in my tutor’s opinion from his comments and I knew before I submitted it that it wasn’t my best ever effort – I think I said I was expecting my lowest TMA score for it. But not by 14%!

      But, it would be a handful of marks we’d be haggling over, and given the weighting of the TMA it’s really not worth getting into a discussion over with him. So I’m not going to – and move on!

  6. Gail Ollis

    Commiserations. I know the feeling; I got my lowest ever OU mark for TMA01 too 🙁

    On the plus side, I’m also in the same position as you when it comes to the marks I need this year. But I admit I don’t want to spoil my track record!

    • tim

      Looks like there’s a bit of a pattern emerging here – do you think the DD307 tutors do this deliberately? 🙂 At least it’s a substitutable assignment – but that relies on doing much better on tma02 and 06 for that to work for us!

      I know what you mean – I don’t want to spoil my track record either, even though it won’t matter to the final degree classification provided that I manage to stay out of the pass 4 band on this course!

  7. Debbie

    I just got my worst ever mark too! I was thinking of throwing in the towel last night until I saw your comment. Tma02 doesn’t look any easier and I have even less time to invest! Nonetheless I need to remain positive and allocate reading time on a daily basis rather than cramming for an assignment. Like you say I need to get back on the horse. Thanks all!

  8. Suzie C

    Hi Tim – I doubt you had as bad a mark as mine. Only just scraping a pass (now you can figure how bad it actually was!). For some reason I seem to have hit a brick wall on this course – which is a worry so early on. I’m still working on my plan for TMA2 (confirmation of the wall I have hit!) and just seem to have lost my literary skills. I used to love writing essays – but after a real shocker of a result on the last one I figure I must be doing something really wrong. Anyway – hope you get a better mark for TMA02. If I don’t improve I think I will defer the course for a year and take a well needed break – it is my fifth year after all!


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