Being an OU student
Being an OU student

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Being an OU student

3.2 Online tutorials

Online tutorials will take place in our online rooms, using software called Adobe Connect. You can think of these as virtual meeting rooms, where you can talk (by voice or text) to other students and tutors, and see material shared by the tutor, have a go at online polls, contribute your thoughts and ideas in discussions and sometimes work in small groups with other students.

The functions in Adobe Connect and the way you’ll book onto tutorials will be the same for each module.

Many modules will record tutorials just in case you’re unable to attend any of the options, or if you want to revisit them later to help refresh your memory or when you are revising. You’ll find information on your module website about how to access these recordings.

It’s always better to attend tutorials live if you possibly can. You learn most when you’re actively engaging with what’s going on – and that is much easier to do when there are other students and your tutor in there with you at the same time. Being able to ask questions and join in makes a lot of difference!

If you’re only able to use a recording, then you can still try to ‘join in’ as far as possible – when the students in the tutorial are asked to answer a question, have a go at it too (try pausing it while you think). Likewise, if there’s a discussion, have a think what your view would be before reading or listening to what other people have said. If there’s a presentation, think what questions you might like to ask, and get in touch with your tutor to ask them if they’re not covered in the recording.

In the following video, two students talk about what it’s like to take part in an online tutorial.

Download this video clip.Video player: bous_1_s4_onlinetutorials.mp4
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Instantly, I thought this was better for me, personally, because you're in your own home, or any way you want it to be. It was flexible to where you were at the time, which I really liked.
They are absolutely ideal for the times where you just can't do the travelling and actually get out to the face-to-face.
I thought it was a bit nerve wracking, just because I didn't know what to expect. It was something new. You weren't going anywhere. You just sat at home, virtually, online.
I was just a little bit nervous, because even though I looked at some of the videos and the information on the Help Centre, I wasn't actually quite sure what to expect.
On the online tutorial, you have people that can type your messages, or you can, obviously, audio, and lots of different ways. And I thought that was quite good, because if you weren't comfortable talking, you could just type your message, which I quite liked. And I found that- I don't know whether it's just my experience, but I've found that people were more comfortable to answer- ask- lots of different questions, even if they deemed it silly, because they were typing, and they were sort of virtually there. They didn't feel, you know, putting your hand up. It was a little bit more of a comfortable environment.
it was really helpful in finding out what I needed to do next, finding out what the basics are of writing an essay, because I haven't done that in 37 years.
The tutor would do a presentation on a specific topic, but we'd have voting things. So she'd do statistics or questions, and we could all use the voting buttons or discuss and debate. And what I really liked about that is that you could see different people's views, but it was very engaging. So rather than just watching a video of your tutor doing a presentation, she got you involved.
The online tutorials are really helpful as well, because often you've got downloads, bits of information and things like that you can kind of look at and keep, although you do get that face-to-face tutorials afterwards.
It sort of created a team spirit, a virtual team spirit. And that really motivated me to know that other people are in this together. And if I was struggling with something, you'd find, oh, yeah, I'm struggling with that, too. OK, well, this is how I found it.
Often, you're thinking what you think in your mind and sort of not saying it out loud. But then other students are obviously thinking along the same lines that you are, and then when you do make that contribution and you get the feedback from the tutor to say yes, that's absolutely correct, It makes you feel like, thank goodness, I actually think I know what I'm talking about now.
Having that scheduled time, you know, at 6 to 7 on this day we're going to be discussing this content and we're going to be working through it. You could prepare for it if you wanted to. You could learn a bit about the topic and then come ready with specific questions, and it could be targeted towards your assignments as well. So I just felt it was so, so valuable, and I was really glad of mine.
End transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

You can start to get familiar with Adobe Connect in the next activity.

Activity 1 Using Adobe Connect

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

While Adobe Connect is fairly intuitive, it’s useful to be familiar with it before your first tutorial.

You may find that there are demonstration tutorials at the start of your first module, so look out for these, but for now take a look at the Computing Guide [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Once you’re in the Computing Guide you’ll see a heading part way down the page called ‘Tutorials (Online rooms)’ and under this there is a link to the guidance for using Adobe Connect.

Described image
Figure 5 Online tutorials

Take a look at the links under ‘User information’ (the information for hosts is for your tutor). You might want to save a link to this page in case you do have any problems using Adobe Connect.

Described image
Figure 6 Adobe Connect guidance

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