Thursday, 24 July 2008

M255 TMA03 Results and response from OU

These came through yesterday and I scored 97%! which I am more than happy with! I dropped 3 marks in total which wasn't that bad, still, there is room for improvement though.

I received a reply from the powers at be over at the OU computing help desk (particularly Sue) regarding my query about syncing the OU personal calendar with Outlook or iCal. Apparently there is a small icon at the bottom of the personal calendar that allows you to sync it with iCal (I haven't checked yet) which is great news! Sue also said that they are working on getting all the course teams to have there TMA and Tutorial dates up on the personal calendar asap, although this may take a while, so keep your eyes peeled!! Hopefully by next year all our course info will be on there and we will get those prompts in student home reminding us a deadline or a tutorial is approaching for all of our courses.

I'm off to the continent for 3 weeks by car on 1st August but I will get on top of the blog as soon as I get back. I had an e-mail from a fellow M255 Student, Tim, who made some suggestions about possible useful things to have on the blog and I am going to try and incorporate them. I was also thinking of putting some of my past TMA's up for previous courses but I am not sure if this will annoy the OU?? Anyone know their stance on this?? I assume they change the questions each year, and I figure it might be a useful way for prospective students to get an idea of the work involved. I'll stew on that one over the summer break and decide when I get back.

Enjoy your summer!

P.S I'll be chucking a mint condition Ti-83 Calculator on eBay in the next few days which is required for MU120 so keep a look out!


Sonja said...

Regarding TMAs, somebody quoted some OU regulations on one of my last courses that the OU does not want TMAs to be published online. At least that's how I interpreted it.

Simon said...


I guessed as much. I'll try and read the literature and see what it says.
As ever thanks for the prompt reply.



Simon Knights said...

Hi Simon,
Another interesting blog from you - keep them coming!

As for the TMA's - I think Sonja is correct, I'm sure I've had a similar conversation with the OU in the past.

Now, I wonder what I'd get for mine on Ebay........only kidding!

Have a good trip around Europe.


s said...

If you are going to do the AI course, you might want to hang on to your calculator...

Simon Knights said...

Simon, sorry to hi-jack you blog here but here is a question for 's' - I take it that you have done the AI course - could you post some info somewhere about what it was like, depth, workload, scope, that kind of stuff. Thanks.
Simon K.

s said...

That page covers pretty much all the material presented in the course, although the course goes into much more depth.
I found it quite interesting but tough-going, as there is quite a lot to get through, and there is a LOT of statistics and mathematical proofs in the coursework, although none came up in the exam.
I think the overall feeling from those who did the course this year is that there was far too much material for a 30-point course, and there is very little guidance and hand-holding in the TMAs. i.e. with some of the questions the hardest part was deciding what exactly they were asking you!
Additionally, the exam strayed away from the core A.I. subject matter, and there were questions on brain neurons and philosophical aspects of A.I., which although it was in the course books, didn't seem to be appropriate subject matter for exam questions. Not revising those areas resulted in me dropping a grade in the exam, although I did get a much better mark than I expected.
Hope that helps!

Simon said...

S, thanks for your comment, I'm in Switzerland at the moment and unfortunately I have sold my calculator already. Thanks for the info on AI and I'm sure mr knights also appreciates it.

s said...

I wouldn't worry too much about the calculator - it was mentioned somewhere in the M366 course materials that you should take one into the exam, but there weren't any questions that needed it.

Anonymous said...

Re the AI M366 course, there is a thread in the CC-Maths and Computing forum saying that there was a 17% failure rate on the exam and a very high drop-out rate early in the course.

Simon said...

anon, thanks for your comment. Very interesting about the forum, I'll be home monday and look into firstclass and see what's going on. First presentations are always problematic to some extent, it would be interesting to see where those stats came from, and to see if the course team will make any announcements.

s said...

I can confirm the 17% failure rate, and do recall a lot of complaints early on in the course, mostly to do with the use of Netlogo in the first 2 TMAs. If I remember correctly, the main issue was that the course description had stated that no prior programming experience was required, yet there were programming questions in the TMAs. To be fair, tho, the amount of programming was minimal, and the course team did provide relevant examples which could be used to get the correct answers without much effort.

Simon Knights said...

Hi Simon, S, and Anon,

Thanks for all your comments about M366 - very interesting (and Simon, thanks for allowing me to 'hijack' your blog like that!).

I had planned to do M366 next year (2009) but am having to put my OU studies on hold after the October exams. I think I'll still do M366 at some later date - AI is a really interesting subject area - and NetLogo also looks interesting (but then I love solving problems though programming).

Keep well!
Simon K.

Simon said...

Simon, thanks for taking the time to get involved in the discussion. I managed a brief look at first class on Monday morning and there were plenty of posts surrounding the course, reiterating the comments that S and anon made. I was planning m366 Oct 2009 and will probably stick with that plan, as although it sounds difficult I'm sure it will be far more interesting a topic to study than databases.

Hope the study break doesn't have to last for too long. Make sure you keep blogging!

Thanks again


Tim said...

Hi Simon,

I know this is a very belated follow-up, but having suggested ages ago that you put a course "overview" (or something) on your blog I eventually got around to putting my "course planner" online:

Don't know if you're interested, but I find it really useful to see a snapshot of the entire degree plan - I'm now doing the Maths as well for a "bit of a challenge" (ouch).

The original is a spreadsheet, which allows me to jiggle the courses and see how the dates and costs pan out - I removed the monthly ousba payments from this version as I figured my monthly finances probably aren't that interesting.

I notice you're doing M257 - ready for that exam? :)