TT284 TMA 01 – tightening the screw!

There is a palpable difference between Level One and Level Two modules. There is a lot more work and each TMA feels a lot harder. Especially, if you have no prior experience.

Normally, I would aim to submit my TMAs by the end of the weekend before the cut-off date. A few days before the deadline.

Even if I could complete it in my sleep (which I cannot), I would never submit it weeks, if not months, in advance. Some people have and may have regretted doing so. If tutors start marking TMAs upon submission, they may not accept resubmissions.

I ended up submitting TMA 01 for TT284 the day before the cut-off date. I really needed the extra time on this one. Getting the HTML and CSS coding elements of the TMA took a lot of trial and error. Sometimes it felt like the wording of the TMA left a lot to the imagination. Other times there were very specific requirements for how your web page should look.

The Open University supplied students with a marking scheme for the report writing section of the TMA, which I found very helpful. Often, with writing essays, what constitutes a right answer can be very subjective. Knowing what points you need to cover comes in very handy.

The module forums have really come into their own in TT284 Web Technologies, and M250 Object-oriented Java Programming for that matter. They are a substitute for the in-person discussions with fellow students and seminars with tutors that you miss in a distance learning environment and with everything being remote these days. So no in-person tutorials.

I found them invaluable in clarifying the TMA for TT284 (and for M250, though the cut-off date for that is next month). Of course, you cannot discuss potential solutions in the module forums, though there is often a fine line between clarification and giving the game away.

I mentioned in my previous post, that the Open University have stepped up a gear with the tutorials this year. Attendances have dropped since last month and we are back into single figures. However, many tutors record their tutorials and provide the slides as downloads. The best tutorials work through a practical example similar, but not the same, as the TMA.

So, my advice would be to take advantage of the module forums. Someone else is likely to have asked the question that has been bugging you and more than likely received a helpful response from other students or the moderating tutors.

The Open University could organise module forums more effectively. I found it difficult to find relevant posts. For M250, for example, this could be by Chapter.

Nevertheless, it looks like I will also be working until the eleventh hour on TMA01 for M250.

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