2.2 Teaching materials

Tutors at the OU mainly teach with online teaching materials that are already available through the OU Virtual Learning Environment, and on the websites for the module(s) on which they teach. The aim of the OU is to be open and accessible to all, so online teaching materials come in a variety of formats, which are designed to suit the variety of learners that study with us.

Materials are mainly available in the formats shown in the diagram below.

There may also be occasions where printed materials are used, for example, a book that students have to refer to as they progress through their course. In this case, printed materials are supplied by the OU (not the tutor) and are delivered to the home address of the student.

Module websites also provide additional resources for students, to aid them on their journey, for example:

  • A study planner, which guides students through the learning materials and acts as a study calendar, showing assignment cut-off dates and other module-related dates
  • Forums to communicate with other students on the module, as well as the academics involved in teaching it
  • Resources that are specific to that module, for example, third-party software for students to download.

The image below displays a typical OU module website, along with some important features highlighted.

Not all the materials that a tutor uses are supplied by the OU. There are occasions when delivering online tutorials that tutors choose to develop their own presentations, tutorial notes and tasks. You learn more about the OU website and online tutoring later in the course.

2.1 The role of a tutor

2.3 Teaching as facilitation