Being an OU student
Being an OU student

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1 Equipment needed for study

Before the start of your module you need to think about the equipment you’ll need.

A computer

You’ll need regular access to a laptop or desktop computer to study at the OU – mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are helpful for when you need to study on the move, but you’ll struggle to complete all aspects of your study with them. This is particularly the case for completing assessments.

The computer you use does not usually need to be a high specification. If your computer was bought new within the last six or seven years, it should meet the computing requirements for most modules.

Check the requirements for the module(s) you’re planning to study in case there is anything specific you need. If you’re studying towards a qualification it’s worth searching for it on the Study at the OU website [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] and looking at the requirements for each module you’re planning to study (under ‘Technical requirements’ in the module description).

If you do need to buy a new computer, many retailers offer educational discounts – which you’re entitled to as an OU student. Look back at the student discounts section of this course in Session 1 to find out how to access these.

An internet connection

A lot of the materials and support for OU study are online and in order to join online tutorials you’ll need a reasonably fast and reliable connection.

If your internet connection at home is not very good consider whether you can use an internet connection somewhere else (for example a workplace, library or friend’s house) when you need to study online or join an online tutorial.

A headset

To fully participate in online tutorials you’ll need a headset with a microphone. You might be able to use a built-in microphone if your computer has one but you’ll be able to hear, and be heard, more clearly with a headset.

You’ll also need a headset to complete spoken assignments – for example if you’re planning to study any languages modules.

Described image
Figure 1 A headset

Headsets with microphones are available relatively cheaply from technology and general retailers – try to get hold of one before your module starts.

Anything else?

Some modules may require further specific equipment or software. If this is the case then the specific requirements will be in the module description on the Study at the OU website (under ‘Technical requirements’ in the module description).

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