By Leanne Goodall

Open University modules can be tough but help is at hand with these top tips

It might be that you’re finding the module really hard going or it might be that you’re struggling to enjoy it. Whatever the reason for your tricky module, these tips might just help you to get through it and onto the next:

1 – Put it in context. It’s just one module, that’s probably about 9 months of your life. It’s not nice when you don’t get on with a module but you just have to push through for what is, in the end, a relatively short time. Try to remember that every time you feel that things are tough.

2 – Try to engage. You probably aren’t feeling too engaged with the module but the best way to deal with it really is to try and find a way to engage. If you can find even one element that you can get on with then it can start to make a difference to the whole course. Keep coming back with a fresh mind and looking at the materials with a different perspective. You need to find something to engage with and if you can it just might change the feel of the whole thing.

3 – Talk it through. Get talking with others on the module to see what they think and how they are getting on. Your tutor group is a great place to start for this and it might mean that you just feel a bit better that others are struggling too or it might mean that someone wants to link up and become a study buddy so that you can work it out together. Also talk with your tutor and explain your concerns. Talking it out can do the world of good.

4 – Take it one TMA at a time. Break it down and tackle it bit by bit. As humans we often find it easier to deal with small chunks of difficult information than we do if we think of the whole thing. Every TMA you submit is one closer to the end.

Break it down and tackle it bit by bit

5 – Play to your strengths. If at all possible then use the parts you are more comfortable with and play on your strengths. Often modules will contain choices for assignment questions so think about which ones you are more comfortable with answering and head for those.

6 – Do your best. You could give up and just plod through until the end but it will be a pretty miserable academic year if you do that. Why not put your best efforts in and give it a good shot regardless? You might just surprise yourself.

If you’re struggling with a module for any reason at all then I hope that some of these tips can help you out along the way. If you’ve got any tips of your own then do let us know so that we can share them or if you try these tips and find something that works then we’d love to know how that goes for you too.

…and a couple more added by David.

7 – Stay organised. Being prepared and organised means staying on top of things. One of my biggest problems early on was being disorganised which led to many problems.

8 – Relax and don’t get too stressed out. What’s the worst that could happen?

Leanne is halfway through a BA (Hons) in History with the OU and enjoys writing as a freelancer as well as on her personal blog, Growing my Knowing, where she catalogues her experiences as a student. You can catch up on all of Leanne’s excellent contributions for STOU here.

What tips or tactics do you employ to get through an Open University module? Please LIKE/TWEET/SHARE or leave a comment below. This social currency helps us to grow and improve the value we are able to provide for OU students.

The Open University study guide is now available! Click on this image to find out more.

The Open University study guide is now available! Click on this image to find out more.