Being an OU student
Being an OU student

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Being an OU student

3.3 Face-to-face tutorials

Note for 2021/22:

For modules starting before August 2022, all tutorials will be delivered online only. In exceptional circumstances, some events such as residential or day schools may take place in person from January 2022. You’ll be notified by your module team if this applies to your module.

Face-to-face tutorials take place at various locations around the UK.

Some modules will have tutorials available in more locations than others – this is due to the number of students who are enrolled to study that module who live in that area. Although it may feel frustrating if tutorials are not very local to you, remember if it’s not possible for you to travel to one, you’ll have online alternatives available.

Tutorials usually last 2–3 hours, and sometimes there are longer sessions, usually called day-schools.

The details of the location, along with parking and other access information, are provided on the tutorial booking page. You’ll need to make your own travel arrangements. You should try to arrive about 10 minutes before the tutorial start time, so that you can get settled and the tutorial can get going on time. It’s worth checking the details of the venue to see if there are any shops nearby or a drinks machine on the premises, so you can bring any refreshments if you need to.

Do remember it’s not like a formal lesson at school! No need to worry about what you wear – just be comfortable. And you’re not there to be tested!

It’s a good idea to have some of your study materials with you. Your tutor will usually tell you which ones to bring. Also bring pens, paper, and for some subjects, a calculator. If you have a tablet or smartphone, it may be helpful to bring that too.

Watch two students talk about their experiences of attending tutorials in the following video.

Download this video clip.Video player: bous_1_s4_ftftutorials.mp4
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I thought it'd be nice to meet other students, because it's a bit solitary just working on your own. And because I hadn't done any university-level study before, I just felt that it might help with the studies, because at the beginning of the module, I was quite sure that I'd need as much help as I could get.
For me, I thought face-to-face tutorials were absolutely invaluable. They gave you a chance to exchange ideas, comments on authors, poets, and that sort of thing, 'cause I was doing English literature. So that whole exchange of ideas which you were able to have in a face-to-face environment was really great.
It really helped me. It was nice to meet the tutor to put a face to the name.
And the opportunity to meet your tutor face to face, that in itself is worth doing, because when you start to communicate with them online, as you do a lot of the time, you get a sense of who they are. They know you. And you can just have a better experience.
I was quite nervous, which is strange, really, because I do a lot of travelling alone. I was a little bit nervous that I wouldn't be able to find the place. I was nervous that I wouldn't get there on time, because I was relying on public transport to get me there.
You worry you're going to say something and look like an idiot, and people are going to think, well, that's a bit of an odd thing to say. And you may be a bit reticent at first.
I think mostly I was a little bit nervous because I was expecting that all of the other students at the tutorial would be really clever and I would not be up to their kind of standard. And that's probably because it's been such a long time since I did any formal studying.
But most of the tutors are very, very good at drawing people out, making you feel at ease.
But actually, when I got there, it was really good. I really enjoyed it. And it really gave me a massive boost. When I got back from that one, I got all my books out and started doing some stuff that day. And I hadn't actually planned to do that. But it really gave me inspiration to crack on and get done what I'd learned during the day before I forgot it all.
This is one of the very best ways you're going to get the most out of your course.
It made me feel confident that I wasn't the only person sort of worrying at the beginning of the module whether I was going to be able to get through to the end of it or not. It was nice to be able to sort of share that experience with fellow students.
And because the OU people are coming with so many different life experiences and backgrounds, it's where you hear about these things. So I couldn't recommend them highly enough, really.
It gives you a boost. It makes you feel that you're progressing and that you're actually getting to where you need to be.
I think if you don't go to a face-to-face tutorial, you really are missing out.
It encourages you. It gives you inspiration. It makes you feel really good about yourself. It's really nice to mix with the other students. So just bite the bullet, and just go for it. And once you've been to one and you've enjoyed it, you won't feel nervous about going to another one. So it's well worth it.
End transcript
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Activity 2 Booking tutorials

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

You can only complete this activity when your tutorials list has been issued.

If you’re completing this course more than three weeks before the start date of your module, skip this for now and make a note to come back later and check for tutorials. You will also get an email to prompt you to book.

Go to your module website and click the ‘Tutorials’ tab at the top. If your tutorials list has been issued you’ll see it here. It is usually available around three weeks before the start date of your module, but don’t panic if it’s not there yet as sometimes they take a little longer to be confirmed. Do contact your SST if your module start date has passed and you still have no tutorials.

Identify which of the tutorials you’re likely to want to attend.

If you’re reasonably confident you’ll be attending, then book a place.

Remember, you can always review and change your booking (assuming there’s room) at a future date.

Described image
Figure 7 Information on tutorials

Another way of interacting with other students and OU staff, such as your tutor, are the various forums. These are the subject of the next section.


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