Walton Hall Campus

Students offered additional learning support following OU operational difficulties

The Open University has announced to its student body that it is putting in place additional learning support to help them through their studies following the operational difficulties of a new policy and system designed to increase access to tutorials.

The introduction of the new tutorial delivery policy has been accompanied by a number of issues and has led to late publication of information concerning both online and face to face tutorials as well as other operational measures.

At a recent meeting of the OU’s academic governing body, Peter Horrocks, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University offered a personal apology to all students and staff who have been impacted by the tutorial issues. He acknowledged the disruption to student’s studies and gave his deepest thanks to the efforts of staff and tutors.

“I’d like to offer an unreserved apology to all students and staff who have been impacted by the tutorial issues. We intend to do all we can to ensure that no student’s study suffers. We are developing additional learning support to ensure students have the help needed throughout their study. To staff, including all our tutors, I thank you for the herculean efforts so many of you have put in to help to recover the situation.”

The new policy and system, the aims of which are supported by the OU Students Association, has the overall aim of delivering greater flexibility, a greater range of tutorial choice and a consistently high quality experience for all students.

Following a student consultation in 2014 the OU adopted the new Group Tuition policy. Under the new Group Tuition Policy, students will still be in module specific tutor groups which will be allocated to one Associate Lecturer (AL). This tutor will be the student’s first point of contact and guidance for academic matters and assignments.

Face-to-face tuition is important in many modules, but not everyone can make face-to-face tutorials so there will always be at least one online alternative provided for physical events. Under the new policy students now have the option to book into events of their choice in a location that is convenient to them with the added online support of their module tutor.