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    Hi, was wondering if any OU students can give me an idea of some of the essentials I need to get ready for my course start in October. For example I obviously need a laptop, but what about the smaller things such as highlighters, folders etc?
    How much is actually done on paper?
    Thanks in advance
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    (Original post by Rmk90)
    Hi, was wondering if any OU students can give me an idea of some of the essentials I need to get ready for my course start in October. For example I obviously need a laptop, but what about the smaller things such as highlighters, folders etc?
    How much is actually done on paper?
    Thanks in advance
    I haven't done an OU course, but I have done a distance-learning/part-time course with a different university. It really depends on your own preferred learning style. Everything we did could be done online, but some people preferred printing off slides, notes, journal articles etc. Personally I made up a folder for each module.

    Also think about the non-academic aspects - do you have a dedicated study area, will you have set times for studying, are you familiar with referencing, note-taking and revision skills? How's your time management? Do you get distracted easily? Do you know other students who you can chat with and share the stresses and motivation? I'm sure you'll settle in to the swing of things quickly, good luck!
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    (Original post by Duncan2012)
    I haven't done an OU course, but I have done a distance-learning/part-time course with a different university. It really depends on your own preferred learning style. Everything we did could be done online, but some people preferred printing off slides, notes, journal articles etc. Personally I made up a folder for each module.

    Also think about the non-academic aspects - do you have a dedicated study area, will you have set times for studying, are you familiar with referencing, note-taking and revision skills? How's your time management? Do you get distracted easily? Do you know other students who you can chat with and share the stresses and motivation? I'm sure you'll settle in to the swing of things quickly, good luck!
    Yes I think I would prefer to have bits printed off aswell, I'm doing two different modules along side each other so that will help me with organising things.
    Referencing, note taking etc I'm not really familiar with but I have ordered a book called 'how to write your undergrad dissertation' and that has sections on how to reference so I'll give that a good read through before I start.
    Materials will arrive in sept so I'll have a month to get to grips with things and try and get a head start before things officially begin.
    No students so far but as far as I am aware there will be a student forum available once my course begins where all the students on the same course can post and ask for/give advice.
    Thank you
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    I haven't started my course yet, but I've been preparing for a while and my Mum completed an OU degree, so I have a little advice:
    Read through everything on the Study Skills sections of OU. There's loads of really useful information, so definitely give it a look.
    If you have time to order one and read through it, there's an OU specific book called the Good Study Guide - I got mine for free from my Mum, but that basically goes into more depth than the online Study Skills sections. That said, it's definitely not necessary, but it can be helpful.

    In terms of physical materials, really it depends on your needs and preferences - are you going to take (paper) notes, or are you going to annotate your books? (Or both?) It'd be useful to have some kind of folder to keep any important bits and pieces together, but if you're not going to be taking notes, then you won't need a folder per module. (I'm a big note-taker, so I'm going to have one folder per module, and dividers to keep different topics/chapters separate.) I like to use colour to prevent the whole "wall of text" happening in my notes, so I use coloured fineliners for important words or phrases. If you're annotating books or colour-coding notes, highlighters will be useful - just make sure you don't highlight everything.
    Also, for annotating books (or notes), post-its might be useful. Tipex is great for correcting mistakes, as well.
    There's a whiteboard in The Works for £5 right now which is pretty big, so you could use something like that to write up any important dates - like for assignments and tutorials - and your plan for what you want to get through each day/week. Or motivational quotes, or points from your course that you're struggling to understand or remember.

    Probably more important than highlighters and post-its is some kind of student planner. Whether it's an app like MyStudyLife, which lets you put in "classes" (aka study sessions), assignment due dates and exam dates, and shows you a daily/weekly/monthly schedule, plus a countdown to when an assignment's due, and a to-do list. Or a physical planner, bullet journal, or just putting assignment dates in your phone. Your module websites will also have a "study plan" of sorts - basically "deadlines" for when you should have completed certain parts of the coursework, so keeping an eye on that, and writing up a study plan based on it, or just writing "Chapter 1, pages 1-4" under a to-do list or in your phone calendar etc., will probably be helpful to keep you on track and prevent falling behind.
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    (Original post by Rmk90)
    Yes I think I would prefer to have bits printed off aswell, I'm doing two different modules along side each other so that will help me with organising things.
    Referencing, note taking etc I'm not really familiar with but I have ordered a book called 'how to write your undergrad dissertation' and that has sections on how to reference so I'll give that a good read through before I start.
    Materials will arrive in sept so I'll have a month to get to grips with things and try and get a head start before things officially begin.
    No students so far but as far as I am aware there will be a student forum available once my course begins where all the students on the same course can post and ask for/give advice.
    Thank you
    There are different styles of referencing. You need to use Harvard referencing - if this isn't what your book uses, it will be useless.
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    I used things like diary to write down due dates for TMAs. I had folders for each module.
 
 
 
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