Tag Archives: B64

I have been a bad blogger again this month!!

Sorry guys, I’ve been a bad blogger this last month. I have been getting into the swing of all the new courses and I just haven’t had time to do any new posts.

So I have started quite a lot with this last month, my English GCSE is now on week eight, am about to start my final experiment for S155, so only three weeks left to go and then I’m a few weeks into S283. So I have been a busy little bee this month.

I will try and give updates on all these courses over the next week and let use all know how things are standing.

One thing I had been doing the last few weeks is getting used to the Dragon dictation software, I’m actually using that to type all this out, well not type, speak. I’m finding that it is good of all the basics but I just have two teach at all the scientific terms, and saying course codes is a pain in the backside as well. But I have been told that you just have to stick with that for a while and it gets used to your voice. So I will give it a try for this month and see how it goes.

I will be back soon, I promise :-)

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Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, GCSE English, S155: Scientific investigations, S283: Planetary science

Studying at the Open University with Dyslexia

I had known for most of my Primary and Secondary education that I was dyslexic. I was tested when I was about 7 or 8 and I got some help in primary school, but not that much in secondary school.

Now, 15 Years after leaving school with some half decent GCSE results, I’m studying for a Natural Science Degree with the Open University. I had seen sections on their website about studying with disabilities but never really thought it would cover me. Since it has been so long since I was last tested I didn’t even know if I still was dyslexic, or even if it was possible to stop being dyslexic.

Anyway I had noticed a few people talking about DSA (Disabled Students Allowance) on my forums so decided to look into it a little more.  I found the section on the Open University site that gave me lots of information and advice and it can be found here.

I filled in the “Tell us what you need” form online and had a reply within a day saying someone will contact me soon. The next day I got a call from them and was asked a few different questions about my dyslexia.  All straight forward enough and they understood what I was talking about when I was trying to describe what my study problems were.

So it was left that if I wanted to proceed with the help I would need to be tested again, the big down side to this was it would cost me around £200.  Even though it was a lot of money I decided to go for it, if only to get an answer of yes or no to being dyslexic.

A few days later the physiatrist contacted me and I had an appointment a week or so later at the Belfast regional OU office. The test itself was in-depth and lasted about an hour, it included things like spelling, reading, puzzles and a few other bits and pieces. At the end of it she was able to tell me, yes I was dyslexic. She showed me a few graphs showing my IQ in the different areas and even though I was high in some of them I was also low in the spelling ones etc. Apparently this is a good indicator of someone being dyslexic. A week later and I had the full written report for the Open University and DSA application forms.

Two weeks later I got a call from the Open University to arrange an appointment for someone to come out to the house and assess my needs and find out what could help me study. So after this I was told what all I would be given, it included an Echo smartpen, Dictation software reading software and another program to help plan assignments. Also included were a few hours of teaching on the software.

The forms were sorted and sent away. Three weeks passed and I got a letter from a computer store saying my items were in stock and asking where to post them. It turned out the pen wasn’t there and I also needed to fill in a VAT form. So a slight delay but yesterday the box arrived and everything is there. Hopefully I will get the training in the next few weeks, however there is no rush as I have no courses until October.

As I start to use them I will give some more detailed info about what I think of each thing. So even though I had to pay out £200 I received around £700 worth of equipment and software and a £100 a year print allowance.

The whole process took about 2 months and wasn’t that hard to sort out. So if you think you may be dyslexic or need help with your study I would have a look at the “Services for Disabled Students” section of the Open University website.

Some other websites that may help you are:

British Dyslexia Association


Dyslexia Action

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Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, Dyslexia

My Degree is Changing.

I knew that the degree i wanted was changing so finally got around to looking at all the changes on the Open University website.  My original aim BSc (Honours) Physical Science (B27), is now finishing as are a few others as far as I can see. They look to be rolling all these into one degree a BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64. within this you can go down a few different routes like

  • Astronomy and Planetary science
  • Biology and Health science
  • Chemistry
  • Geology and Earth science
  • Physics
  • or a bit of everything

So with all these changes, and with going through S104 and liking other aspects of science it lets me do a few different courses before deciding exactly what route I want to go down.

I will have to update my ‘The Plan’ and ‘Study Calender’ sections on the blog as soon as I decide on my next courses.


Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, DB123: You and Your Money, S104: Exploring Science, S151: Maths for Science, S196: Planets an Introduction, SXR103: Practising Science