The OU have now provided a breakdown of the exam part of the course result, so I can compare how I did against the other students taking the exam on the questions I chose. There were 863 of us who sat the exam, and all of us were required to complete 5 short answer questions (worth 25% of the total), and 3 long answer questions (each worth 25%) – 2 from part 2 and 1 from part 3.
Looking at the breakdown across all students, of the 863 who sat the exam, 3 people didn’t complete part 1 – the short answer questions where 8 words from a pre-set list were given and you had to write on 5 of them. I came down in the 70-84% grade, along with 166 other students.
For the long answer questions I chose a question on the behaviourist perspective to learning, one on the study of attention and perception, and one on how teaching language to apes has increased (or not) the understanding of its evolutionary basis.
The behaviourist perspective question was popular, with 590 students attempting it. It was a straightforward discussion of its contribution, which might explain its popularity. I got a 70-84% grade along with 211 other students.
The attention and perception question was less popular with only 335 students giving that a bash. I got another 70-84% grade, as did 83 other students.
The question on the evolutionary basis of language was the least popular of all with only 192 of us having a go. This one I got an 85-100% grade on, along with 13 other students, even though I had a minor panic with my pen running out of ink and not liking the new cartridge until I remembered the tweezers I had included in my pencil case for just such an eventuality (of the cartridge not being broken open properly).
Looking at the numbers, 10 students didn’t complete a question from the 3rd part of the exam, which is 25% gone right there. Time management presumably being an issue there.
OU course results are calculated by looking at two different marks, based on two different forms of assessment with your course result being the lower of the two marks. This might be continuous assessment and a final exam, continuous assessment and a final extended essay, etc. In the case of DSE212 – Exploring psychology it was continuous assessment and a final exam. I already knew my score for the continuous assessment which was 79, but was waiting to see how the exam I sat back in September went to find out my overall course result. The 79 from continuous assessment meant that the best I could achieve was a grade 2 pass (aka a 2:1 in old money), but if the exam mark was a grade lower then that is the grade I would receive.
The mark for my exam was a nice round 80, so a grade 2 pass it is, to match my grade 2 pass for my level 2 philosophy course.
For my level 2 philosophy course I was given a breakdown of my exam marks, with details about how that compared to other people sitting it, but this time I have only (so far) been given a breakdown of the continuous assessment score (which I already knew).
The level 2 course results will be weighted together with my level 3 course results to give my final degree classification with level 2 results being multiplied by the number of credits the courses are worth, whilst level 3 courses are multiplied by the number of credits and 2. The lower your overall points total, the higher the degree classification. So far I have 120 credits at grade 2, giving me 240 points. A first requires 630 points or less, a 2:1 631-900 points, a 2:2 901-1,170 points (and let’s not go any lower than that). There’s also some quality assurance calculations where your best level 3 course needs to be of the top grade indicated by the calculation. So, to get a first I would need to get at least one first and one 2:1 in my remaining 60 credit level 3 courses which would give me 600 points total (60x1x2)+(60x2x2)+240 = 600.
I had to miss parkrun on Saturday as there was a review day scheduled for my psychology course and it started at 10:00 (a bit tight to make it there from a 9am 5km run if I didn’t want to arrive dripping in sweat). As it was I only just made it on time (after a detour via Starbucks) and the day kicked off with advice about the exam. It turns out that a lot of the advice from the run bristol training session was relevant to exam prep: getting a lot of sleep, making sure you eat and drink right, and not panicking but trusting in the work you have already done.
We then moved on to a couple of presentations about the personality and perception and attention chapters, which the neuroscientist giving them let us with the conclusion that they were rubbish and unfortunately won’t get tested on the neuro elements respectively. After which there was a quick break for some lunch.
After lunch we looked at the short answer questions (5 from 8 terms will require a definition and explanation of why they are important), then the lifespan development chapter which I had already decided I wasn’t going to focus on in my revision, which was just as well as my brain decided to check out about then anyway. I then got to go home and frantically tidy and vacuum as people were coming round that evening.
I put the OU on hold for the rest of Saturday and Sunday (I had a family commitment on Sunday), but did receive the mark for my final tutor marked assignment (TMA) on Sunday morning. A healthy 78 which gives me an average (before substitution, which will probably push it up a little bit) of 79%. This is a solid pass 2 grade. The OU module results aren’t the average of your assignment marks and your exam marks, but the lower grade you achieve in the two, so if I want to keep my pass 2 then I need to get at least 70 on the exam, which after the review day I feel is achievable.
I have also just applied and paid for my first level 3 course: A333 – key questions in philosophy. This is scheduled to start 4th October, which will give me a whole two week break between courses.
I didn’t feel great about the last assignment, a qualitative project using thematic analysis, but told myself that as long as I got over 70% that I would be happy. My tutor marked and got it back to me last night and I checked the score online: 72%. A little disappointed, but it keeps me well within my current grade boundaries (there’s no way I could score high enough to move up a boundary and it would need to be a total disaster to fall down a boundary – I have already got a passing grade for the assignment portion of my grade and still have one assignment to go).
The comments about the content of the assignment were good, but it seems I’m still not referencing correctly even though I am following the examples given by the OU exactly and the feedback from prior assignments, which is frustrating but at least there is only one more assignment involving referencing to go, I’d just rather not lose easy marks that way.
This week’s topic was sex and gender, looking at the psychology of same through different perspectives: biology, evolution, social constructionism and psychoanalysis (hello again Freud). As with everything in this course there is no one answer, it’s all probably a combination of lots of different theories. Interesting to view all of the different arguments though.
That’s the last of the material for the course. One final TMA and then exam time in just over four weeks.
The last few weeks have all been looking at thematic analysis, leading up to the completion of the qualitative project using, yes you guessed it, thematic analysis. Once that assignment was submitted on Wednesday it was time to use this “break week” to catch up with studying after my break in Ireland. The topic for this week was language and meaning. It looked at whether language is uniquely human (maybe), different viewpoints as to how it came about (evolutionary advantage, social advantage, evolution of thought, all of the above), the processes involved in establishing meaning from identification of letters words and sentences all at the same time, and what it all means for psychology if language creates reality rather than describe it (some form of Cornish knot of reality and language). I’m still not sure if Kanzi understood language or not, but then no-one else seems to be sure either, and there seems to be a lot going on with excitation and inhibition at all levels of recognition. I’m not going to get involved with the tangle of language creating and describing and creating and describing and creating and describing reality, at least not whilst using language to do so.
Only one week of study material to go, then it’s a final assignment and working towards the exam in a month’s time.
The result for my most recent assignment on the accuracy of memory came back while I was away in Ireland and I was only able to pick up the mark (a healthy 82) but not the comments until I got back. I only got round to doing that today (as I procrastinate with regards to TMA05). I need to cut back my introduction, remove a small amount of repetition and pay a bit more attention to the APA style of referencing (tricky when what the OU calls APA style is not actual APA style), but overall I am happy with it.
There haven’t been any recent posts about the weekly study I have been doing as it has all been about thematic analysis and very much focused towards the next assignment, due next week, which is a project using thematic analysis.
My shortest week in terms of notes written (other than for a rest or TMA week). The chapter studied in the book was looking at thematic analysis using a lot of examples and different ways to approach the same transcript, so there wasn’t that much to actually write about as it was specific to the example. All useful for the next TMA though and handy since I’ll be away for a week and will be playing catch up when I return.
A quick dip into the final book of the DSE212 psychology course with a look at a more challenging psychological issue of lifespan development. Some old ground covered with attachment theory, Bowlby, Ainsworth and her Strange Situation, a look back at Erikson but also some new theories from Piaget and Vygotsky. The end of the course feels incredibly close now with two more challenging psychological issues (with an associated TMA) and a project involving thematic analysis.
Only two of us at this, the sixth tutorial for my psychology course. I am missing the next one, so was grateful to make it to this where we got some practice in at doing some thematic analysis (making stuff up) ahead of TMA05 which is a report based on this and cannot be substituted. I also got a bit of extra help with TMA04 which is due next Wednesday. A shame that more people couldn’t make it, but a nice sunny Thursday evening during July is a tricky one.