Time waits for TM129 results . . .

Waiting man sitting high on rocks overlooking clouds below
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

The deadline for the End-of-Module Assessment (EMA) for TM129 passed at the beginning of this month. Now, I have roughly a month and a half to wait for my module result. What to do in the meantime?

Well, for better or for worse, I have chosen two programming-heavy modules, M250 Object-Oriented Java Programming and TT284 Web Technologies, which start in October. So, some degree of preparation is in order.

There are a couple of well-regarded MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) that I will be trying out. For Java, there is the recently updated University of Helsinki’s Java Programming course. It is suitable for beginners and appears to be comprehensive. There is possibly more than I need for M250 but that is not a bad thing.

For web development, I am trying out Free Code Camp. It is possible to earn free certifications by completing their curriculum. This covers subjects such as responsive web design (including HTML and CSS) and Javascript. There are hundreds of lessons and challenges and projects with plenty of support through the forums.

More and more of the Open University module material is being presented almost entirely online. However, I do prefer physical books. Hence, I am quite partial to the Easy Steps books on computing and IT subjects. As the name implies, they take you through the basics step-by-step. At the end, you usually create a small project. Good to whet your appetite for a language.

I think brushing up on my study skills will be important too. With M250, I will have my first exam in a long time. Preparation will be key. There are plenty of past papers for M250 available to download through the Open University Student Union online shop. Interestingly, the Open University has recently decided to have online exams only until at least the end of 2022. Exams for modules starting in October, like M250, will take place in June 2022.

The Open University had a Beyond Coding webinar towards the end of June. This discussed the knowledge and skills needed for computing and IT jobs. A recording should be available soon (you will probably have to log into Student Home to watch it).

As well as technical skills, the presenters stressed the importance of a range of “soft skills”. These include, for example, team working, project and time management and presentations. Encouragingly, they provided reassurance that late career changes to computing and IT are possible. This is probably going to apply to many Open University students.

Applications for student loan funding for part-time undergraduates opened towards the end of this month. A little later than usual. See my previous post on applying for student finance, TM129 beckons and time to reapply for student finance, as the process has not changed that much since last year.

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