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Picture of David McDade

David McDade Post 1

18 May 2020, 15:42 Edited by Nigel Gibson on 19 May 2020, 09:54

Section 4, Activity 2.2

JigsawThis thread is for section 4, activity 2.2

Following on from activity 2.1, map out what you could offer our students.

Do you notice any other posts highlighting what you see as being an important part of their contribution?

Do any of the highlighted skills or experience fit well with other modules you have looked at?

These are examples of the types of posts we might expect to see:

"I have a background in software engineering from both my degree, postgraduate study and industrial experience, so TM354 Software Engineering is a module that I am naturally drawn to. This would allow to me to offer experience of learning and practice to students." 

"They particularly value my discussions around how techniques like Agile are actually applied as opposed how we teach them. This also encourages students who are working in the area to share their experiences which are often complementary, but offer everyone a broader understanding."

Use the "Reply" button below to contribute to this discussion.

(Image CC BY-NC 2.0 Flickr user Smackfu

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Shane Ogilvie Post 2 in reply to 1

4 Jun 2020, 13:33

As a freelance engineer, I have been exposed to many differing projects and technologies. I am very much a technologist and come from a technical engineering background. I feel I could contribute to many of the courses on offer, particularly the mathematical and software development based course = TM111/2, MST 124/5. M250,M209/210. TM 354/5, MU123, TM129 and M813.

I also tutor on learning at work (project based) undergraduate and post graduate degrees, so I am also drawn to project tuition 

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Sian Armstrong-Hollins Post 58 in reply to 2

18 May 2021, 21:10
I thought I'd reply to this post as it aligns quite well with my thoughts. My background is in electronics and programming, but I also have a teaching qualification in maths. I liked the look of many of the stage one modules because I enjoy the pastoral element, and building upon students core maths skills, but then also like the look of electronic modules like

Electronics: sensing, logic and actuation (T212)

I also have broad experience in supervising undergraduate projects, individual and group and feel I could have a positive impact here also.

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David Sherlock Post 3 in reply to 1

8 Jun 2020, 13:28

I have a BSc in Computing Technologies, an MSc in I.T systems development. I am writing up a PhD thesis exploring how individuals can be given an insight into methods of mass surveillance on society. I work part-time, as a software developer in higher education, I do not teach much, but do quite a lot of 1 to 1 support – including project students, which I thoroughly enjoy. I also work part-time as an I.T consultant, mainly in the area of data analysis.

Through my previous experience with one to one students, I think I would like to be involved in the pastoral side of the tutor role, and improve my pastoral skills.

I also think that I could help on programming modules such as M250 Object-oriented Java programming. I worry that sometimes that very good programmers can put new-comers off by being too strict with their enforcement of good practice, so I think that I would enjoy encouraging new programmers to be playful while trying new things out.

I have an interest in Linked Data and think that I could help on some of the stage 3 Data Science BSc, particularly the Graph Networks section.

Interestingly, I think I would also like to do some of the courses. I think I am pretty good with the technologies involved in data science (e.g. linked data) but, I would like to improve my statistics. This may be an odd question – but is it possible to both teach as a tutor on a course AND undertake a module?

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Jenny Bakkali Post 4 in reply to 3

8 Jun 2020, 14:01

Hi David,

Yes, you can study one module, whilst tutoring another module, and there is a staff fee waiver.


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Pauline Hewgill Post 17 in reply to 4

13 Jun 2020, 20:05

Thanks for confirming that Jenny. I too would be interested in studying some modules.

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Tamara Lopez Post 5 in reply to 1

9 Jun 2020, 21:14

I research software development in practice, and as such, examine the people who design and develop software. My work examines practice and culture(s) of professional development, and the environments in which software is produced.  Because of this, I think I would be well suited to modules or aspects of modules that explain the big issues in computing.  I definitely be able to help students grow in their understanding that humans define -and are shaped by- technology. 

I also spent 14 years in the professional world working as a web developer in several industries and as a research software engineer in the humanities.  I have hands on (if dated) experience in front end technologies  and design (XML/HTML, CSS, JS), and I understand network principles and web application programming frameworks in several languages (Java, Python, PHP).  And finally, I am trained in Library and Information science, and have a good command of data modeling.

Looking at the module descriptions, I think I would be a good fit for TM111/2, 129, TT284, TM255, TM365, TM354

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Lucy Gillett Post 6 in reply to 1

11 Jun 2020, 16:18

I was introduced to this course by an OU tutor in our STEM club, I had shown an interest in becoming a tutor in the future and he has been planting the OU tutor seed in a few of the club members  minds. 

Right now I think I can only imagine myself being confident and experienced enough to undertake a level 1 course, which I due my experience being predominately in accountancy, I think will be in a math module or possibly TM111. My historical work experience would support the development of study skills in students. 

I am a continual learner though and would want to continue to build on my experience and knowledge to become a level 2 and higher tutor though. 

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Anna Pietrzak Post 33 in reply to 6

24 Jun 2020, 12:48

Lucy, be more confident, be a tutor is long life learning experience.

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Lucy Gillett Post 7 in reply to 1

11 Jun 2020, 16:31

This comment is really to highlight what I think is important from the other contributions posted by Shane Ogilvie, David Sherlock and Tamara Lopez. They are able to bring relevant experience to the roles of a tutor with the work experience that they have gained prior to taking on the role. 

I am thinking that this is going to be quite a sticking point for me as I do not have this experience to bring into the role. 

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Jenny Bakkali Post 8 in reply to 7

11 Jun 2020, 16:47

Hi Lucy,

I started as an OU tutor 2 years ago and I was very concerned about my lack of relevant experience. I had no work experience of teaching or tutoring and had not worked in IT for over 10 years, but in my application I highlighted enduring IT and work skills and other areas of my life and experience where I could evidence required skills sets. Perhaps you could think of experiences and skills you have gained beyond work, for example in your STEM club.


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Lucy Gillett Post 9 in reply to 8

11 Jun 2020, 21:06

Hi Jenny, 

Firstly, thank you! I had not considered what brought me here in the first place and what the resident tutor in the club had been seeing to suggest it to me.

I guess putting behind me the lack of confidence due to my experience I have a few skills that I have been using since being a moderator in the STEM club. I am having to think on the run a little, supporting new students that join us and either responding to their questions or directing them to a better place for their needs. 

I lurk the club constantly to make sure rules are being followed which leaves me in a position of learning about what others do. Even if I am not experienced in a subject I generally know who is and who is best to talk to. 

I also need to know how to navigate the OU website, how to find out the answer to questions relating to things like assessment procedures, who to contact and when, library and STEM events and lots of other stuff. Not to mention being mindful of communication and reminding students that they could be speaking with their tutor instead of struggling. 

The experience that I have gained in the STEM club actually led to an amazing group work grade for me as I became the organiser of the team Discord server in TM254, making myself responsible for getting people talking, setting the deadlines, creating discussions where I felt we needed it by throwing a curve-ball and asking questions. I also created chat logs to post into the forum. The work I put in on the group work meant 6 out of 7 students participated in the work, which I have been told is quite is a good turn out :)

Between my conversations with the STEM clubs resident tutor and the TM254 group work it was this year that I really felt confident that I had a lot to give, especially at setting the foundations at level 1. a level I do feel is quite important to people that have not experienced distance learning and/or have been out of education for a while.

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Michael Liedl Post 36 in reply to 9

29 Jun 2020, 09:51

Hi Lucy,

Having set  up a Study Group for a Coursera course on Machine Learning last year, I can fully appreciate the valuable skill you have acquired in managing the group of the STEM club. I particularly agree with your “curve-ball and asking questions”, as I also came to the conclusion that to foster the cohesion of online groups, the moderator needs to actively pose questions, however simple, and expect answers from the non-participating members.  Very few candidates can bring this experience to the table. You have a very valuable skill and have shown results.

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Tamara Lopez Post 19 in reply to 7

14 Jun 2020, 20:33

Hi Lucy,

Please don't worry, I'm sure that you have a lot of transferable relevant experience to bring to a tutoring role.  For example, I believe I saw in another post that you are taking OU modules and you are part of a STEM club.  In my opinion, both are examples of relevant experience, and both are kinds of experience that I cannot claim to have.

Thank you kindly for noting that my post indicates that I have relevant experience.  I wish I felt the same. I feel as though my CV is too social science at the moment for lectureships and not techy enough or at least not recently techy enough for tutoring. 

It is scary to put oneself forward for a role like this, isn't it?  

Best wishes,,,,

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Lucy Gillett Post 20 in reply to 19

14 Jun 2020, 22:00
Thank you Tamara, and you are very welcome :-D

It has been scary, very much so in fact, if it were not for the tutor in the STEM club speaking to me directly about it I would have probably spent an agonising amount of time having that 'self discussion' as to why I think I can do this. I know that tutor see's me every day so right now I am going with the theory that he feels I have something to offer, does not stop it being scary though.

Good luck and I hope you get what you need from this course to decide if it is something you would like to pursue :-)
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Jenny Bakkali Post 22 in reply to 20

15 Jun 2020, 13:26

Hi Lucy,

I was scared, anxious, about to drop out .. but saw it through.. and got a tutor role.  With hindsight, there was absolutely no need to have felt the way I did - which mostly stemmed from self doubt and being out of the IT world for a long time. The application process was easy and the interview was enjoyable. If you want to apply when you feel ready.. go for it. What do you have to lose? 


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Lucy Gillett Post 26 in reply to 22

17 Jun 2020, 21:44

:-) thank you Jenny, you have no idea how much I want to do it straight away :-)

I have a new confidence now I have completed this course and do believe I will be as soon as I have done what I need to do be able to. Unless I have misunderstood I need to complete my undergraduates first? :-)

Then it will be a case of try and stop me :-D

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Jenny Bakkali Post 27 in reply to 26

19 Jun 2020, 00:32

Hi Lucy

The 'generic person specification' for a tutor role says that you should have 'a degree or equivalent, or a professional or vocational qualification in the subject area you wish to teach'. 

There may be additional requirements for the individual modules too that could relate to qualifications and/or experience.

You could take a look at a module vacancy that interests you to see what the requirements are.

Hope this helps.


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Jenny Bakkali Post 21 in reply to 19

15 Jun 2020, 13:18

Hi Tamara,

My ‘techy stuff’ was out of date too, in that my paid work in tech was a long time ago, but there was ‘techy stuff’ in the rest of my life and I found that a fair amount of what you learn it IT doesn’t date. 


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Adrian Hehir Post 10 in reply to 1

12 Jun 2020, 11:57

I have a BSc in Mathematics where I took programming and numerical modelling modules and an MSc in a mathematical science and I have worked in the IT industry for over 20 years in a broad variety of roles from working with computer models at the British Meteorological Office, Infrastructure Support, a line manager in the telecoms industry and as a Head of IT and Network Manager for a Trust of schools. I consider myself to have a broad knowledge of computing, mathematics and technology. I have also tutored maths, taught mathematics in schools and application software to IT professionals in classes for many years. So, I think I am suited to a Stage 1 Tutor role, focusing on pastoral and study skills and the following modules TM111-2, TM129, MU123 to MU125. I could also offer M140, but I don't think it is part of the computing and maths Bsc.

I have industry qualifications and work experience in Project Management (Prince2, not Agile) and ITIL so I am drawn to TM254, which includes sub-modules on ITIL and Project Management. I believe I could also offer tutoring on TM255 and M269, this latter module being more mathematical.

While not CCNA qualified I have lots of work experience and other IT qualifications in LANs, WANs and with broadband technologies, so I could offer tutoring on TM255 as well.

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Kate Sim Post 12 in reply to 10

13 Jun 2020, 08:51

It sounds as if you could tutor many of the modules we offer.  :-)

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Michael Liedl Post 37 in reply to 10

29 Jun 2020, 10:03

Hi Adrian,

You do cover a lot of bases: Math degree and 20 years of IT industry, consolidated experience in Infrastructures and professional training and teaching at different levels. Add to this your qualification and experience in Project Management, I believe you have plenty you can offer to the OU students.  I feel that you can start out with some simple tutoring task and quickly scale up your contribution to the IT and Computing department.

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Ben Pike Post 11 in reply to 1

12 Jun 2020, 15:18

Coming from a technical engineering career with a background in Physics I could reasonably teach TM111/2 while also looking at some MU modules. Having no teaching background I think working on level one modules where I know the content inside out is a good place to start until I am comfortable as a tutor.

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Kate Sim Post 13 in reply to 11

13 Jun 2020, 08:51

That sounds like a sensible plan. :-)

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Colin Jenkins Post 29 in reply to 11

23 Jun 2020, 12:27

Hi Ben, 

I think that is a sensible approach to take. Looking at some of the module descriptions, it is not the content that is an issue, it is the lack of confidence that I could tutor consistently to the high level expected of the OU.

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Marcus Young Post 14 in reply to 1

13 Jun 2020, 19:18 Edited by the author on 13 Jun 2020, 19:22

I'm attracted to a range of modules in the BSc Data Science. As a postdoctoral researcher a lot of what I do now involves statistics, data processing, data analysis and visualisation (mainly using R), SQL databases. So modules M140 (Introductory Statistics), M248 (Analysing Data), TM351 (Data Management and Analysis) seem to be a good fit. Some of these I think come under the Maths and Statistics school though. I would also be interested in TM111 and TM112 as I also have an IT background - primarily systems and network administration) rather than software engineering. However, I note that TM111 and TM112 seem to definitely want prior experience of teaching introductory programming, so that might rule those two out (although I have taught some web programming to postgraduate students).

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Jenny Bakkali Post 15 in reply to 14

13 Jun 2020, 19:27

Hi Marcus,

There seem to be plenty of modules that relate to your experience, which is great. 

Personally, if I was you, I wouldn’t ‘rule out’ modules that aren’t a complete match, as sometimes the requirements are flagged up as ‘ideally’, not ‘essential’, and, as you add at the end, some of your experience could demonstrate that requirement, or similar.


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Marcus Young Post 39 in reply to 15

29 Jun 2020, 23:33

I tried for TM351 in the end but got no response, and it's now advertised again (same locations). Oh well :(

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Chris Thomson Post 40 in reply to 39

30 Jun 2020, 07:31

Hi Marcus

We have a very short turn around to decide if a new advert is required so it is possible that not enough applications were received, and shortlisting for your application has not yet taken place.

Good luck!

Chris (author)

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Pauline Hewgill Post 16 in reply to 1

13 Jun 2020, 20:03

I have a degree in Computer Science from the 1980s and worked as a programmer at the start of my career. I then did lots of project and management roles but revisited the content of my degree when I became a teacher. I've particularly enjoyed teaching A Level CS including introductory programming, algorithms, computational thinking and data structures, and I still examine that content for 2 exam boards. I have taught a few languages but Python and HTML would be the main ones. The modules that fit best are probably TM111, TM112 & M269.

I’ve recently taught BTEC students doing programming coursework so I’d also be interesting in supervising projects, e.g. TM470 – The Computing and IT project or TMXY475 – The Apprenticeship Project. 

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Jenny Bakkali Post 18 in reply to 16

14 Jun 2020, 18:03

Hi Pauline, 

Good to see that there are a number of modules that you think you could tutor on. 


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Emmanuel Isibor Post 23 in reply to 1

15 Jun 2020, 14:17

I have a PhD in Computer Science. My PhD thesis was in Human Computer Interaction where I investigated the user experience of virtual learning environments (VLEs) in Higher Education and analysed user’s requirements. My work contributed to the need for developers to focus on user-centred designs as opposed to building systems based on assumptions.

As part of my training to becoming an Associate Fellow of Higher Education Academy, I taught a final year Computer Science module that involved students carrying out web-based project assignments.  

My experience and research will come handy in modules like TT284, TM353, TM354 and TM470.

I’m also passionate about helping students to lay a solid foundation for their studies. In my experience, once students understand the fundamental concepts of computing, they go on to do amazing things. So, I will be keen to tutor in TM111 and TM112. During my PhD studies, I demonstrated in several Computer Science modules where I supported and guided students on one-to-one basis during lectures, workshops and practical sessions.  

One of the things I love about Computer Science is the concept of using computer as a tool for solving problems in the society. I look forward to tutoring in M269 where I can help students to further develop their analytical and problem-solving skills.  

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Kate Sim Post 24 in reply to 23

15 Jun 2020, 15:08

You seem to be planning to do a lot of tutoring.  I think taking on a lot of modules would be very hard work.  Most people start with one module and expand slowly.

Kate - who now tutors 4 different modules.

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Emmanuel Isibor Post 25 in reply to 24

15 Jun 2020, 16:30

Hi Kate,

Thanks for your comment. The listed modules are the one that I can tutor in potentially. I don't intend to start with all the modules at the same time. It's indeed a lot of hard work! My plan is to start with two and increase my workload overtime.  

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Colin Jenkins Post 28 in reply to 1

23 Jun 2020, 12:23

As an engineer who moved into IT I have a lot of general knowledge & experience that I could bring to a tutor role. As a current OU student I also know how a new student will probably be feeling, especially if, like me, they had a gap of a number of years between completing their previous academic journey and starting with the OU.

I have experience of programming and general IT support roles, but my main area now is infrastructure, working with virtualisation and storage such as VMware and Nimble. I also have experience with cloud computing and web site hosting/building. I also have a general interest in design, particularly industrial architecture and ergonomics and sustainability in modern product design.

I feel that I would be able to contribute to a number of the modules, particularly the level 1 modules TM111 & TM112 and U101. The second level modules M250 & TT284 and T217 would also be of interest, but I would need to gain experience as a tutor before taking these on.


Nigel Gibson Post 30 in reply to 28

23 Jun 2020, 14:45

The second level modules M250 & TT284 and T217 would also be of interest, but I would need to gain experience as a tutor before taking these on.

Actually, Colin, I think you might try thinking about this the other way round :-) 

At L1 tutors are working with students who are new to studying at HE level. We might be working with students lacking confidence, students who need to learn study skills and study strategies and the technicalities of becoming a distance learner. Some of the students I work with at L1 might not be ready for this yet and we need a dialogue about how they can progress using other resources and then come back and try again. At L2 and L3 students and tutors are better able to focus on the module content. 

An analogy I often use at tutorials is learning to drive. At the beginning of the process of learning to drive we are fumbling around for the gear stick and trying to remember when to use the mirrors and worried about where we are on the road and the speed we are travelling at. Our visual focus is usually rigidly stuck in a narrow field. As we become confident drivers we are not thinking about the mechanical processes of changing gear, road position and suchlike so we can give more attention to looking around and enjoying the scenery and spotting road signs - our focus is wider. Studying is much the same. As students become more confident they need less scaffolding but at L1 the tutor is helping students to conduct their own skills audit. When we feed-forward to areas that students might focus on for later assignments they are often study-skills related rather than a particular part of the module material. Tutoring at L1 can call on a broader range of attributes which are not directly related to C&C but draw on our skills as educators.

Does that make sense?

I've worked at L1 for a while and also strayed to L2

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Colin Jenkins Post 31 in reply to 30

23 Jun 2020, 16:12

Hi Nigel,

Thanks for the feedback. Yes, it does make sense, a great analogy as well.



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Anna Pietrzak Post 32 in reply to 1

24 Jun 2020, 12:46

I have a background in web design and networking from both my degree, postgraduate study and work experience. I have an experience in delivering professional course (MS technology) as well as IT and Maths courses, so student can benefit from that combination of skills, knowledge and experience. 

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Raj Seepersad Post 34 in reply to 1

27 Jun 2020, 18:38

‘traditional’ role of a face-to-face teacher vs online tutor

  • In some ways the online tutor has a more personal approach with the learner
  • There is this feeling that the online tutor 'is there' whereas the face to face teacher has to cater for a larger number of learners and hence has to summarise things that arise during the learning journey
  • The online tutor can take learning to a level that has more depth
  • Some learners why are quieter and shy tend to be more vocal online than in a classroom situation
  • Assessing student learning can be done electronically with online learning as compared to marking scripts which many face to face teachers complain about.
  • The distractions that take place in a classroom situation can slow the speed of the learning journey.
Picture of Jenny Bakkali

Jenny Bakkali Post 35 in reply to 34

28 Jun 2020, 11:02

Hi Raj,

Some good points and just in case not clear - there is still plenty of marking as a tutor - assignments are submitted (electronically) by students at fixed points in the module that tutors need to mark. 



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Michael Liedl Post 38 in reply to 1

29 Jun 2020, 10:04

I just finished my OU BSc Mathematics degree, where I have done practically all of the Math courses given in the Computing and IT Department and therefore I feel confident to tutor any of them.

From 1997 to 2001 I studied with the OU and was lacking only 15 credits to obtain a Post-Graduate Diploma in IT and Computing. Sadly enough, when I studied Java, Java 1 was offered although Java 2 had come out, and for the Project Management Prince 1 was used and was superseded by Prince 2 a shortly after. At that time I had been working in Mainframe Corporate environment and was not able to move into Web processing and I soon enough became obsolete, notwithstanding having completed the OU post-graduate courses.

But still I have many years of experience of software development and projects. I was particularly keen on delivery of error-free compliant financial and accounting systems. This is why I chose "An introduction to formal system specification - Z Language (M869)" and obtained Distinction. Business Analysis and Requirement Specification are my strong points. For this reason the second module that most relates to my experience and interest is the post-graduate course of "Software Engineering (M814)", but clearly there is potential to contribute to several of the other modules from introductory to Project Management.

For the past couple of years, I have been involved with math tutoring in my local school. This often requires pastoral support and the need to address study skills besides teaching math. So I feel very motivated and confident in helping students, in particular disadvantaged students, who have just started their University studies. Also having worked for many years in corporate environment, I have the experience to act as a practice tutor and support an apprentice with their line manager.

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Manoj Nanda Post 45 in reply to 38

14 Jul 2020, 00:58

Michael, do you feel actually going through the OU experience yourself as an undergrad gives you more familiarity with the way the delivery model works?

Pity about those 15 credits being missed at that time, IT moves fast that even module content gets replaced by is newer form. I remember Prince being taught in my traditional redbrick university experience (in the days before online learning took off!)

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Toni Walton Post 41 in reply to 1

9 Jul 2020, 12:27

I have a BSc degree with the OU in Computing and IT modules, I tutored on a Level 1 course for 6 years with the OU and have been a  secondary school teacher of ICT and Computer Science for 15 years.  

Although you need the relevant knowledge and skills to teach level 1 courses you also need the skills to support students as they embark on the first steps of their journey, usually level 1 is where they start!  As a GCSE and A Level teacher I teach study skills throughout the curriculum that I deliver.  Learning to learn is just as important as the subject specific topic at level 1.  This would lean me to be interested in both TM111 and TM112 (Introduction to Computing and Information Technology 1 and 2).

Programming is something I really enjoy doing myself and I teach this from beginners up to A Level students creating full solutions for projects, using Python.  I also have academic and practical experience of SQL, HTML, Visual Basic and javascript.  I am very drawn to M269 Algorithms, data structures and computability as this is where most of my expertise lies in taking a problem and working through to create a solution.  Watching students develop their programming skills is what I enjoy most in my teaching role.

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Manoj Nanda Post 46 in reply to 41

14 Jul 2020, 01:02

Hi Toni

Interesting post and made me go back to my own A Level Project moons ago in computing - we were using turbo pascal back then. I found the projects were good back in those older syllabuses as we had to cover the full project life cycle and I learnt many relevant things my uni education built on. It also makes me reflect on the importance of the pastoral support and direction my tutor gave me in developing my project and giving encouragement and technical pointers - those qualities seem very important for us going forward in our teaching work. 

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Rod Gliven Post 42 in reply to 1

12 Jul 2020, 23:41

Coming from industries of Utilities, Education, GOV, MIL & Finance, with a circa 20 year IT Career, with the last 15 years being around Information Security, Cyber Security, Governance Risk, Compliance and Assurance, and, as a Data Protection Advocate, I believe my experience could support a number of modules, which might include:

  • Information Security (M811)
  • Project Management (M815)
  • Data Management (M816)
  • Digital Forensics (M812)
  • MSc Professional Project (T847)
  • Research Project (T802)
  • Continuing Professional Development (U810)
  • Technology-enhanced learning: foundations and futures (H880)
Having gaining my MSc studying part-time, together with industry specific qualifications, whilst undertaking full-time employment, I have gained a good understanding of what students will be facing balancing competing objectives.
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Graham Smith Post 43 in reply to 1

14 Jul 2020, 00:18

I work as an engineer where many the last 12 years has been spent in network design. During that time, as well as designing networks I have been involved in the production of training to support our maintainers' understanding of the network we were building. Although we designed networks, these were part of bespoke systems, therefore I have knowledge of interface protocols for several of our systems.

I have also been involved in regulatory requirements such as risk evaluation and assessment.

Latterly, I have switched disciplines to asset management, however I tend to fall back on some of my previous skills in VBA (for excel and visio) to simplify documentation or automate records.

Modules such as TM111 and TM112 grabbed my interest (although I would have to teach myself python for the latter). I have always enjoyed maths, so MU123 would also interest me (I studied it as part of my degree - thoroughly enjoyed it) or MU124.

Although I probably would not have the confidence initially (or the skills) to lead a level 3 course, I had a look through TM355, This covers almost everything I have done in work over the last 25 years, so would be something to aspire to.

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Kate Sim Post 47 in reply to 43

14 Jul 2020, 07:55

Hi Graham,

Do remember that the Level 1 courses are often more difficult and demanding to teach as you have to cover a lot of study skills as well as a broad subject spread.  You will be supporting students who are finding their way around the OU and may struggle at time.

If you have expertise in covers one of the level 3 modules, you should apply rather than just aspiring. Your students should have the study skills they need and be ready to tap into your experience in the area to enrich the module for them.

Does that make sense?

Kate - one of the mods

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Manoj Nanda Post 44 in reply to 1

14 Jul 2020, 00:55

I have a BSc in Comp + Info Systems from Manchester University, have worked in the IT support and then web industry prior to working in further education. In this role I have led and managed a team of tutors(including myself as an active practioner) delivering HE and FE advanced provision focused on the current technologies related to computer science, web and digital media.

I consider myself to have a broad knowledge of computing and its applications to a business environment. I have also provided more intensive IT Cisco based training to IT professionals as am the present CISCO Academy manager and Cisco qualified CCNA1-4 and IT Essentials. 

Looking at the provision I feel I am suited to a Stage 1 Tutor role, focusing on pastoral and study skills and the following modules to develop core skills at Stage 2. 

I am already appointed to deliver TM257 Cisco networking (CCNA) part 1

Introduction to computing and information technology 1 (TM111)

Introduction to computing and information technology 2 (TM112)

Web technologies (TT284)

Communication and information technologies (T255)

I would consider stage 3 after more experience at the levels above.

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Kate Sim Post 48 in reply to 44

14 Jul 2020, 07:58 Edited by the author on 14 Jul 2020, 07:58

Hi Manoj,

Have a look at my reply to Graham just above in this discussion here  I think this applies to you and your networking experience too.


PS Have you introduced yourself here yet:

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Martin Hillson Post 49 in reply to 1

7 Aug 2020, 14:24

As a freelance Software Engineer with professional accreditations in Java and Python, I guess the courses with an emphasis on these and closely related design skills would be most appropriate, as well as the Web Develoment courses. So, any of TM112, M250, M269, TT284, TM354 and TM352 would fit the bill. At the postgrad level, I suppose M813 and M814 would be where I could give the most to students. The project modules would also be interesting to tutor as these are in many ways close to what I do mentoring staff at clients' sites, helping people who are investigating, designing and developing actual solutions.

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Jenny Bakkali Post 50 in reply to 49

7 Aug 2020, 16:31

Hi Martin,

So many possibilities. Kate (the other moderator) has posted before that tutors tend to start with one module and add more later, however, and as far as I know, there is no restriction on the number of modules you can apply for.


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Martin Hillson Post 51 in reply to 50

7 Aug 2020, 20:01

Ah yes, I doubt I'd actually want to tutor more than one until I had some experience.

An interesting thing to think about is whether the first should be at level 1 or higher. I think in some ways level 1 may be the most challenging for a new tutor as you are dealing with students who are fresh to the university and may not have studied for a long time, or have bad experiences of study in the past. At higher levels, while there can always be challenges, the majority of students will have likely settled into a pattern of study and be used the OU way of learning.

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Jenny Bakkali Post 52 in reply to 51

9 Aug 2020, 10:57

Also, a post by Nigel Gibson on 23 June explains some differences between the levels, so it may be worth reading that if you haven’t done so already.

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Jonathan Hopkins Post 53 in reply to 1

19 Aug 2020, 19:12

My history is this, I have worked for bleeding edge software companies for more than 20 years i a variety of roles including development,. support, deployment  - technical management, project management and ultimately commercial and strategic leadership. 

I had a career change and went back to teaching ten years ago and my current role is as the coordinator of computer science at St Ninian's High School Douglas IOM where I focus mainly on exam classes in the 6th form and Upper School. 

I believe I can add value to the following courses, - at stage 1 the general courses TM 111 and TM112.

At the second stage I could support courses M250 and M269 and at stage 3 TM354.

 I am a decent programmer, versed in OOPS with some capability in functional programming and have recent experience in C#, C++, Haskell and JAVASCRIPT.. I have previously worked with C, Python, Pascal and COBOL.

I also hold a professional qualification in SSADM from the NCC and that together with experience of leading large computing projects over many years means I could offer good support to TM354.

I have a very detailed knowledge of some elements of Cyber-Security having worked with companies such as Bolden-James(Quinetic) and Cryptomathic,. but the is very much focused around security algorithms, Asynchronous cryptography, PKI and other authentication techniques, rather that stuff like network security.

However this specialist knowledge may be relevant to the more advanced security courses.

Coffee on Tyne

Bill Tarpy Post 54 in reply to 1

27 Aug 2020, 11:54

I changed careers from teacher to programmer after taking an MSc in IT in 1984. Since I starting as a C programmer on mini-computers I've worked all across the lifecycle, in different roles, in different industries, and seen projects and systems come and go. 

 I think the place I could best lend a hand would be in tutoring the Degree Apprenticeship modules such as TXY122, TMXY112. I'd be happy also to work on the more management/planning/strategy type modules like TMXY254 as that's what I ended up doing.  

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Silvia Varagnolo Post 55 in reply to 1

19 Oct 2020, 21:32

My background is in Physics, so I might fit in the modules about mathematics.

I enrolled to this course because I was interested in the role of tutors in general rather than specifically in C&C.

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Dhouha Kbaier Post 56 in reply to 1

25 Nov 2020, 14:07

It looks a huge responsibility to me to become a tutor. Tutors seem to play a big role at the OU as they have the direct contact with the students. I have previous teaching experience in other Universities. However, I don't know why I feel anxious about being a tutor at the OU.

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Kevin Frost Post 57 in reply to 1

1 Jan 2021, 14:23

I have a historic background in IT support so there would be a range of skills applicable to different modules there, but I have to say that having since 2001 taught disabled adults and more recently in schools I find I identify most with the level 1 course that offer students a broad understanding of topics, skills and study development and pastoral care.

Thats not to say I would always intend to just tutor level 1 modules, it's just a better match for my more recent experience, I would in time enjoy refreshing my technical skills and tutoring higher levsl modules too.

I can see that for someone still currently working directly in very technical roles, there are opportunities and a good skills match for higher level courses, especially the Cisco related ones.

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Amanda Williams Post 59 in reply to 1

11 Jun 2021, 13:13

I have a background in teaching IT/CS, along with an MSc in cyber security, so I have a good knowledge base.  What fascinates me is the breadth of the modules, so of which I'd love to have studied them as a post/undergraduate.  I would love to take other modules to build my subject knowledge and then to teach those modules.  Coming from teaching 6th form, I think the level 1 most appeal to me, but I think this is an unnecessary lack of confidence in my own ability.


Nigel Gibson Post 60 in reply to 59

11 Jun 2021, 13:55

Hi Amanda, I'm not sure that I understand this line

"Coming from teaching 6th form, I think the level 1 most appeal to me, but I think this is an unnecessary lack of confidence in my own ability."

Can you unpick it a little?


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Amanda Williams Post 61 in reply to 60

11 Jun 2021, 14:26

Hi Nigel,

I am currently teaching 6th form students, and although I do hold an MSc and half way through a PhD, my teaching experience is mostly 11 - 19 year olds.  I have delivered departmental CPD sessions and trained teachers.  Teaching/coaching adults for the OU appears to be very different.  I think to start with delivering units such as TM112 would be a better starting point for me.  Allowing me to develop my own confidence before applying to become a tutor on any other the other units.  The level 1 feels very similar to my current role.  


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Fiona Baxter Post 62 in reply to 1

22 Jun 2021, 13:06

From recent advertised opportunities, I had picked out 'TM111 Intro to Computing & IT 1'. My background is very broad based, having studied a Design degree, followed up with professional qualifications and a career in Web development. I've been recently studying Python and providing training to students and school teachers in Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Scratch programming. I typically cover introductory up to A-Level standard and work with SEND students.

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Michael Coggins-Lunt Post 63 in reply to 1

29 Jun 2021, 09:37

TM111 TM112 and TM 129 appeal to me and match my experiences.

As an OU alumnus and now a qualified teacher in secondary computer science with a PGCE the broadness of these topics appeals to me and as the secondary curriculum is also very broad I feel these module would suit me and potentially start a long term career with OU. 

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Elena Sanchez-Heras Post 64 in reply to 1

5 Jul 2021, 18:57

Right now I can only offer tutoring confidently in the level 1 modules. I am good at offering pastoral support to students navigating maths modules.

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John Dunning Post 65 in reply to 1

8 Jul 2021, 15:03

I have over 35 years experience in computing, starting on mainframes, moving through Unix/Linux and onto Cloud technoogies. I feel I could being a lot to the Q62 year 1 modules and any potential Cloud modules that may be added (possibly even in assisting in their development).

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Richard Collins Post 69 in reply to 65

14 Aug 2021, 15:33

Sounds like you'll be able to give from your personal background a very sound foundation of computing and its history. 

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Suzie Miller Post 66 in reply to 1

3 Aug 2021, 14:38

I have a Software engineering degree from the 90's but I haven't done coding as a job. I ended up starting in help desk, working up the levels, through to project builds, architecture and now cloud. 

I have AWS and Azure certifications, as well as dipping in and out of future learn, udemy etc courses. Also knowledge around Web Accessibility implementation and testing. 

My role today is sort of a presales architect but this covers training, guiding architecture decisions and validation of designs, PoC's, RFP's.  As well as early career enablement for tech and non tech grads to teach them cloud. Also Women / girls in tech events like hackathons etc. 

I feel I have a lot to give back as a tutor both from technical knowledge, but also industry application. 

The main area I'd not be happy tutoring is coding much beyond hello world, without having to do some extra prep myself. Just as if I'm not actively coding I forget the syntax etc. 

Modules I think would be a good fit are (TB801)(T849) and especially (TM352) just as I do that every day already in a way. So anything more theory based rather than something that involves a coding hands on project. 

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Kate Sim Post 67 in reply to 66

3 Aug 2021, 14:54

That sounds a good match.  :-)

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Richard Collins Post 68 in reply to 1

14 Aug 2021, 15:31

I feel I can offer students the most in the more technical and specialists' subjects. I've been developing software for over 25 years working party in the games industry but also in mapping and embedded systems. In my past I was a senior software engineer at TomTom. In 2019 I finished my OU degree in IT and computing with a 2.1. I achieved 97% in M250 and 86% in M256. I also did well in the software engineering modules. I think that I would be best tutoring level 2 level 3 modules. My biggest weakness is writing reports and critical reviews of papers and so I worry about having to give feedback on these tasks to other students.

I have a lot of experience in bringing products to market and I hope to be able to pass that on.  

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Bob Moore Post 70 in reply to 1

18 Sep 2021, 08:32
WIth a maths degree and 35 years experience in software development and consultancy, there are a lot of the modules which I could probably handle very well. Obvious ones are things like M250 and M269 which have been pretty much daily concerns for a very long time. TT284, TM351 TM364 and TM365 would be other courses where I could bring practical experience to the table.

The maths course MU123 and MST124 would be interesting too (I helped my wife with a little informal tutoting on MU123 ).
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Skye Marshall Post 73 in reply to 70

10 Feb 2022, 17:14

With 25 years experience your students must have really good confidence in your abilities.

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Andrea Davanzo Post 71 in reply to 1

2 Oct 2021, 17:24

As software developer (mainly PHP) TT284 and TM129 are the module I could contribute

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Skye Marshall Post 72 in reply to 1

10 Feb 2022, 16:53

I am drawn to the BSc(hons) combined STEM course and the module Questions in Science S111. I have a multidisciplinary back ground covered zoology, molecular biology and biophysics and have therefore been faced with many different scientific concepts and queries. I would bring a genuine interest in discussions whilst having the education to base ideas upon and from which to research the answers.

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Ravi Rajani Post 74 (unread) in reply to 1

19 May 2022, 09:05

I have a PhD in Mathematics and have a degree in Philosophy and Mathematics. I am naturally drawn to the more mathematical and foundational side of computer science such as algorithms, computability and complexity. The course M269 would be a good match to my academic background. I am still very interested in the subject and keep up-to-date with recent developments (e.g. where does quantum computing fit in to our classical picture of complexity?).

I have 10 years industry experience as a software engineer, including 7 years working in the iCloud division of Apple. This has given me the background to teach M250, TT284, TM354, and TM352.

Discussion tags: section 4