The Student Leadership Team (SLT) discussed three more issues that were raised via the Student Issues page of the OU Students Association website at the July quarterly Student Leadership Team meeting.
The three issues discussed were:
- The inclusivity and accessibility of language used in TMAs and EMAs
- Difficulties in accessing tutorials with students’ own tutors
- Module staff becoming less responsive to student queries throughout the module
The inclusivity and accessibility of language used in TMAs and EMAs
Students raised the issue of language used in assessment, stating that questions are often unnecessarily overcomplicated and unclear, and can feel exclusionary towards neurodivergent students.
The Student Leadership Team agreed to add this issue to ongoing work being done by the Students Association to address issues the neurodivergent students are facing across the University.
Difficulties in accessing tutorials with students’ own tutors
A student submitted an issue suggesting that they struggle to access tutorials with their own tutor rather than have to watch a recorded tutorial.
The Student Leadership Team agreed that the Open University’s policy of having one recorded and one non-recorded tutorial per module was reasonable, and that it may not be realistic for every student to be able to receive the non-recorded tutorial from their own tutor. However, the team are keen to hold the University to account to ensure that this policy is adhered to.
Additionally, the SLT agreed to exploring the possibility of providing more advice and guidance to students to help them get the most out of their OU experience via a new page on the Association website.
Module staff becoming less responsive to student queries
A student raised the issue of “a disconcerting lessening of replies from OU staff and forum moderators”, and a number of students commented in agreement.
The Student Leadership Team were concerned to hear about this issue, which may be impacting many more students, and worried that there may not be a consistent experience across the different faculties and schools.
Faculty Representatives will be leading efforts to gather evidence across the OU’s faculties in order to try to better understand the issue and hopefully find a solution.
If you have an issue you want the Student Leadership Team to discuss at their next quarterly meeting, you can raise it via the Student Issues page on our website.