AA100 was exceedingly difficult for me. It wasn’t the content that was the issue, that was, for the most part, at the correct level and not particularly difficult; rather it was finding the time to study in as much detail as I would have hoped that was difficult. I had a large portion of my early summer where I had not planned appropriately for writing my TMA’s and as such I had to ask for an extension on one and only submitted a partial TMA for another.
In some ways I feel as though I let myself down by not taking it as seriously as I could have done. Although, that may not be the correct phrasing, it wasn’t that I didn’t take the course seriously, but that I didn’t prioritise it as much as I should have done. I fell into a loop of pushing myself to complete the reading for the TMA in a week and writing the TMA at the last minute the week that it was due, followed by feeling as though I needed a week, or usually two weeks, off afterwards as a result.
The most important thing I learned from AA100 was that I hadn’t planned enough and I hadn’t given enough time to my studies. Which is a shame, really, as there were some very interesting topics in the course that I didn’t give myself enough time to enjoy. Similarly there were entire chapters that I skipped due to time issues and letting myself fall behind.
It felt as though I had finally caught up when I got to TMA07 and the ECA. I did the absolute best I could on the ECA and was exceedingly happy when I had completed it, as this post demonstrates.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of the trials that AA100 was to put in my way. My results came through in December, bringing with it surprise, horror and devastation as the letter told me that my mark for the course was “fail”.
My tutor had accidentally marked my TMA07 as late, meaning that it was marked in my records as a zero. To pass I had to have over 40% for my ECA, have submitted my TMA07 and have an average of over 40% for all of my TMAs. The incorrect marking meant that the records showed me as not having submitted TMA07, meaning that, in the paraphrased words of Gandalf the Grey, I could not pass.
I went through a range of emotions, including, but not restricted to, anger, apathy and immeasurable sadness. My husband has admitted to me now that he was exceedingly worried about me at the time; he said I seemed to be deflated.
Thankfully, that was not the last thing in the tale of AA100, the OU, in its wisdom has an appeal process. I submitted the documentation that showed I had submitted TMA07 on time and I received the revised result this week – a PASS. As this is a level one course there are only three grades, distinction, pass and fail. I knew I hadn’t done enough for a distinction and as this doesn’t go towards my final result a pass suits me just fine. Overall it appears as though my ECA was exceedingly close to distinction grade, just 5% off, and my continuous assessment was in the mid sixties.
Not bad at all.
So the final lesson from this is – if your tutor incorrectly marks your assignment as late, badger them and your regional centre until they give you the correct grade. This needs to be done before the end of your course, if possible, and it needs to be done with vigour.
From now on I’m going to view every assignment I submit as a small victory, and other people’s mistakes are never going to stop me from having the grades I deserve again.