Being an OU student
Being an OU student

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Being an OU student

3.3 Face-to-face tutorials

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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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.
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Activity 2 Booking tutorials

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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