Tag Archives: S283

Sent Open University an E-Mail to withdraw from S283 Planetary Science

So it’s now done, I have sent an E-Mail to the Open University to withdraw from S283 Planetary Science. I have known for week that it would be happening but with TMA03 due next week I thought I should sort it out now. Having talked it over with student support last month, they felt the same as me, that its better to delay and try and get a higher result than just scraping through this year. So now I’m quickly downloading all the book and weekly activity PDF’s so that I can still work at my own pace for starting again next year. Should have really done that before contacting them !!!

Open University Transitional fees:

I know some of you including Phil from philwadner.wordpress.com have mentioned about what could happen with my fees with withdrawing from the course. For me that isn’t a problem as I’m based in Northern Ireland and for the time being I’m still under the old Open University fee system. So hopefully I will be back up and running well before any changes happen.

On a happier note:

I have moved house in the last few weeks and that’s one of the reasons I haven’t done a blog post on a while. We moved from a 2 bedroom apartment to a nice big 4 bedroom house with big garden for Josh and the new baby to enjoy in the summer.

Also the garden is very dark with no nasty street lights and a good view of the sky so the telescope should be getting a good bit of use over the next few years, or I may have to treat myself to a new one like this Sky-Watcher Skyliner 300P ,  but only if Lisa allows me !!! I think I will have to be very very nice to her.


Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, Random Things, S283: Planetary science

Pulling out of S283 Planetary Science :(

After a lot of thinking I have decided it is time for some changes. Things have been very busy around here the last few months and something has to give. Unfortunately it looks like it’s going to be Open University S283 Planetary Science.  I feel really crap about doing it but overall I think it will be for the best.

My main reasons for being under pressure is firstly the baby on the way and secondly a bit of change with the business over the last 6 months.

So with a baby on the way things have changed, mainly priorities but also time available. We already have a 4 year old but have been able to work my study around him but with a second on the way that will get even harder. Also Lisa has been getting lots of sickness with this pregnancy and it has been going on for about 3 months now so again that is putting a strain on time as well.

As for the work reason, everything had been going ok but all this has just pushed it over the edge. Last year we were working in an office with 2 other girls helping out. However this year we have cut a lot of costs, moved the office back into the house and its now just me and Lisa. So the upside is we’re saving lots more money, but the down side is we have to do a lot more work ourselves. This has meant I have gone from working part time most days it’s now nearly full time.

Now if I only had one of these things I probably could have managed, but both together and at this minute in time it’s just too much so I have to give up something.

As for the reason of giving up S283 Planetary Science and not the English GCSE, well that’s down to thinking if I give up on the GCSE now I may not go back to it, where as S283 I know I will go back to it. The plan is I have the books for S282 Astronomy and S283 Planetary Science so I will be able to do a lot of the work for both of these over this year and then officially start them again at the end of 2012. Looking at my courses over the next few years pulling out of S283 shouldn’t make any difference to when I finish my degree,  there was 1 year with only 30 pts so I can rearrange the others so this one can slot in nicely.

So at this minute in time I’m 99% sure this is what I’m going to do, just still need to make the call to pull out of it but think I will wait a week or so before doing it.

Has anyone else out there been in the same position and have to pull out of their Open University studies? How did you deal with it?


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

Need help from students with Dyslexia

DyslexiaDyslexia, I need some help.

As some of you may know, I was recently tested and diagnosed with Dyslexia, I knew I had it when I was a kid but it was probably over 20 years ago I was last tested. I was given a good lot of good advice and equipment, mainly a smart pen, dictation and mind map software. The post about it all can be founf at “Studying at the Open University with Dyslexia“.

Anyway its now been a few months and I have been trained in the software and found out what is useful and not useful for me, so I thought happy days. However, now that im doing level 2 module’s I need to take notes for revision and it’s really getting me down !!! All my level 1’s I did without notes and was able to do them fine and with good results, but knowing that I have exams at the end of S283 I really need notes to revise.

I have currently been making them through chapters 1 to 5 (S283) and, I have found it takes about twice the time to make my notes and dictate them (I will explain that later) than it does to do my 2 read through’s of the chapter. So for what used to take 3-4 hours for a chapter now takes up to 10 or 12 hours (Both times exclude answering the questions). This has really sucked the fun out of it for me :(

This is my process:

  • Read the full chapter
  • Re-read the chapter and highlight important info
  • Do notes on each important info
  • Dictate them (This is so I can play back over MP3 while out walking)

Here is an example pic from one of my note pages for S283

Dyslexia NotesI don’t know if it’s just me ore does everyone feels like this? I feel I learn more from doing my research for TMA questions than doing notes.

So I guess my big question is “How do other students with Dyslexia cope with notes ??” I would love your feedback and suggestions.


Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, Dyslexia, S283: Planetary science, Study Notes

You can now follow me on Facebook, who wants to Like me ???

I was playing around with the blog yesterday and noticed a new widget for Facebook, so after a little messing about I now have a Facebook page where you can follow My Open University Life.

All you have to do is click the Like button in the top right menu bar or just click on the Facebook logo and it will take you to my page and you can like it from there. It will mainly be for my blog posts but feel free to share it and post on my wall.

Ok its now time for study, I have a few hours today then a few hours tonight so hopefully get a good bit done. The cut off date for S283 TMA2 is 3 weeks today and by the looks of things im 3 week behind so its going to be tough, but not impossible :)

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Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, Random Things

Just cant get back into the swing of things :(

So here we are, just over a week after New Years and 2 weeks after Christmas, the drink has been drunk, the food and sweets have been eaten, the fun has been had ……. and now I just can’t get back into the way of study again :( who else is feeling the same… come on tell me im not the only one feeling like this !!!

I had lots of good intentions, I was a week or so ahead on S283 when I submitted TMA1 at the start of December and got a good result of 79%. I had planned to us the time off work (we can only really take Christmas off during the year due to working for ourselves) to get even further ahead so I could stay on top of things over the next few month. But something happened, during December a few nights off here and there turned into a few more nights off that turned into a week of and now were at about 3 week with very little study done gggrrr.

I don’t know whats going on im now about 2 weeks behind on S283 and a little behind on my GCSE English, although that will be easy to catch up on. I tried to kick-start it last week but just wouldn’t happen. Josh, my son, was off nursery with chicken pox so that probably didn’t helping, but he is back today so hopefully that will help me get back into my normal daily routine.

So this morning I have worked out what I need to do every day to get caught up buy next Monday, and I need to stick to it as TMA2 is due on the 31st Jan. Im going to keep posting here every other day so that you can all shout at me and kick my ass if I get behind again.



Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, S283: Planetary science

Were having a baby !!!!

Again sorry for the lack of posts but the last few months have been a little nuts. Top of the nuts list is were having another baby !! :)

We found out in October and told everyone just before christmas and its going to mean a lot of changes. One of the big things that will happen this year is we will both be scaling back on our study, (Lisa has just started a psychology degree with the OU) so even though I had planned to do S282 Astronomy in February, that wont be happening now. On the plus side, delaying it by a year wont have any effect on the end date of my degree so it’s not to big a deal.

So for the rest of this year I will be doingS283 Planetary science ending in June, and GCSE English ending in May. Then fingers crossed the baby will be popping out end of June and that will give me 7 or 8 months without any study and plenty of time for the sleepless nights :)

As for S155 Scientific investigation, that’s all finished and im very confident I have passes. I will post a full report on it today and im sure there will be plenty of people who disagree with my opinions on it. It felt like a Marmite course people either loved it or hated it.

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Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, GCSE English, S155: Scientific investigations, S282: Astronomy, S283: Planetary science

Been very busy these last few weeks …….. but not with study.

So its been a week or so since I have done an update on the blog and for good reason…… I have been doing bugger all study. It’s mainly due to 2 reasons, firstly, I have been working flat-out with work. We have been doing a lot of website work etc and I want to get it all done before S151 starts in October. So im putting all my efforts into getting that finished off so that I don’t have to work on it later. Secondly, even though I was planning to get a head start on S282, I have found it very hard to get motivated. I think its due to there being no time limits etc. For some reason I seem to work better when I know, for example that in 10 days I have so submit a TMA, this gives me a target I can’t miss where as at the min with my self-made calender there is no targets or deadlines. I don’t like the fact that I can’t get motivated without the targets but sure nothing can be done about it.

On another note, my material for S151 should be getting posted at the end of next week so starting to look forward to receiving them and looking through whats in store :)


Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, S155: Scientific investigations, S282: Astronomy, S283: Planetary science

S283: Planetary Science Facebook group

With S283 starting in a few months I did a quick search and found the Facebook group for it here OU S283: Planetary Science, I have also became an administrator for it so we need to get as many people as possible to join up.  It’s not as busy looking as the S104 group but it’s still got some posters on it and the number will probably increase when the course starts. So if your on Facebook and studying S283 in Nov 2011 I would say join up !!!


Filed under S283: Planetary science

Degree updates for B64 Natural Sciences from the Open University

After months of waiting the Open University have finally published the recommended degree routes for the B64 BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences.

Firstly the degree routes they have given out are

  • Astronomy and Planetary Science
  • Biology and Health Science
  • Chemistry and Analytical Science
  • Earth Sciences
  • Environmental Science

Obviously these are just recommended routes and we can make it up from any of the S code courses but, the Astronomy and Planetary Science is the way I will be going. So I now have a list of my courses and finally worked out what I should be doing for the maths parts of the course. My new route is now :

  • S151: Maths for Science, 10pt (Compleated)
  • S196: Planets, 10pt (Compleated, should have been S154)
  • S104: Exploring Science, 60pt (Compleated)
  • S155: Scientific Investigation, 10pt (Starting Oct’11)
  • S283: Planetary Science and the search for life, 30pt (Starting Nov’11)
  • S282: Astronomy, 30pt (starting Feb’12)
  • SXP288: Practical Science Physics and Astronomy, 30pt
  • MST209: Mathematical methods and models, 60pt
  • S382: Astrophysics, 30pt
  • S383: The Relativistic Universe, 30pt
  • SMT359: Electromagnetism, 30pt
  • SXP390: Science Project Radiation and Matter, 30pt

So it’s all as easy as that (I wish), as it stands I have currently compleated 80 pts and will have compleated another 70 pts by the end of oct’12.

As for the courses, it was pretty much what I had expected to be doing, but it’s just nice to get confirmation of what I should be aiming for. There’s a possibility of doing SXP288 Practical Science Physics and Astronomy in 2012 but it will mean me doing 90pts at one go for about 4-5 months and im thinking that would just be silly as i found out at the start of this year.

The only downside to not doing the course in 2012 is that it will delay getting my degree by another year, unless I can add the extra 30pt into one of the following years.

hhhhmmm, decisions decisions….


Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, S104: Exploring Science, S151: Maths for Science, S155: Scientific investigations, S196: Planets an Introduction, S282: Astronomy, S283: Planetary science, SXP288: Practical science

My plan for over the summer

It’s now about 5 weeks since I submitted the final part of S104 ‘Exploring Science’ and I have enjoyed doing absolutely no study !!! but now im missing it a little. So this is my plan for the next few months….

Firstly I have registered for S155 Scientific investigations starting on the 1st Oct and S283 Planetary science starting on the 1st Nov so they will keep me busy from then but I need something to do now.  So I have decided, since I had to pull out of S282 Astronomy and plan to do it again next year (Feb 2012), I may as well start a bit of early study on it.  I have all the books and first few TMA’s and all the online activities, so I have adjusted the study calendar and from today I officially start my unofficial S282 course :) . This will give me about 13 weeks to get a good head start on it and given that I have already covered the first lot of weeks I may be able to get a few weeks further on.

So hopefuly this will keep me busy enough with out taking to much time, I never want to be doing the 90 pts in one go like I was a few months ago.

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Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, S104: Exploring Science, S155: Scientific investigations, S282: Astronomy, S283: Planetary science