Tuesday, 20 May 2008

The Fog Clears....

First of all I'd like to thank Simon Knights for his e-mail last week regarding my last blog entry, and in particular the AI course.

Simon made a very valid point which I hadn't considered. Whilst thinking about my future study path I was proposing to study all my level two courses up front leaving the last 2 and a half years of my degree as back to back level 3 courses. This got me thinking, is it wise to leave all the hard work until the end, or should I intersperse the level 2 and level 3 courses??

Unfortunately the choice was/is out of my control. There is a lot of uncertainty/rumours surrounding jobs at the moment and I need to get all my Java learning up together ASAP in case the worst happens and I find myself looking for work (Java seems to be a fairly employable skill set). As a result I have registered for M256 (30 points) and M257 (20 points) commencing January 2009 and October 2008 respectively.

I also contacted the OU regarding M253, the 10 point course which has the tag line of being the worst course people have ever studied (if you believe the reviews that is). The OU suggested I studied the May 2009 Presentation of M253 which would keep workloads down to a minimum over the academic year and mean that by September 2009 I will have my Diploma in computing. I haven't actually got around to registering for this course but I think it is inevitable that I will follow the OU's recommendations.

Obviously this is going to leave me with a whole load of level 3 work to tackle at the back end of my degree, I can only assume this is how traditional degrees pan out anyway??

M263 TMA04 is still being a real pain in the backside and is due in on Thursday, I have had to take some time off work tomorrow to really try and tackle these proof questions (work commitments have really limited the amount of time I can spend on these). I have managed to answer all the recursion and efficiency questions though, so worst comes to worst, the score will count towards substitution which will hopefully help out. I do plan on getting some marks out of these proof questions, whether or not it happens is a different question.

The next 4 weeks are stacking up with an assignment due in every Thursday for the next 3 weeks followed by an end of course examination. Couple that with normal study time of M255 and revision and I'd say I've waived goodbye to my social life for a month.

90 Credits really is not a good idea unless you have plenty of spare time!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Results for MU120 TMA03, M263 TMA03 and how much I hate proof

I got these results a few weeks ago, MU120 came in at 92%, which was a bit unexpected to be honest as my work rate on the units for this TMA was very low. If I had studied harder it probably wouldn't have taken so long to complete though!

M263 came in at 78% which is my lowest grade so far, however this course is getting TOUGH!! I really am having THE toughest time getting my head around proof. I checked in to the forums on FirstClass the other day and fortunately I don't appear to be the only person finding it hard. On looking at previous exam papers it has barely featured, and where it has you can choose an alternate question so I am not stressing too much..... well enough to spend £5 on passed papers!

(There was a tutorial yesterday to go over proof and recursion, however I was unable to attend, but to be honest I haven't found tutorials that great, we basically sit there and go through examples, and if you don't grasp the concept in the first place it isn't much help!)

I really don't want to throw this course away on the exam, I am determined to get a reasonable score, although I'm not sure if I have done enough assignment wise to get a distinction?? can anyone enlighten me??

On a separate note, my employers have been asking how much they need to budget for 2008/2009 studies and this has got me into the mindset of picking next years courses. I definitely don't plan on studying 90 credits in a year again! But I do find it exciting deciding what to study next. I think it will end up being Java Courses M256 and M257 but the interesting stuff seems to be at level 3 with courses such as Artificial Intelligence really catching my eye.

I'd be interested to hear what others have planned for next year?? For now though I am back to the books..... finish off these Java Classes on M255, which I will say over and over again is the most interesting and enjoyable course I have studied so far!