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Another S194 question

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I have read though previous posts of people doing or considering the Open University Course S194

I want to know from those who have done it, what form does the ECA assessment take. Is it a written submitted assignment, is it online exam , is there a time limit on it i.e 1hr , 2hr etc or can you take you time doing it and also are you able to use reference material to complete it or is it like an exam at school , no cheating...

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It's a written assignment which has to be submitted online through the OU submission system. There is a choice of two EMAs for each course; depending whether you decide to study the course over 11 weeks or 24 weeks determines which EMA you need to complete and the relevant cut off date for submission. You can take your time doing it, and the course encourages you to start working on particular questions at various stages of your study, although suggesting that you ought to revisit them as you progress through the course.

The questions all relate to the provided study materials, but what some people seem to be finding difficult is that the answers are sometimes only alluded to by the course materials, not explicitly stated, so you have to use the knowledge gained from the course to make a leap to the correct conclusion. That is one of the things I am really enjoying about the course however.

From some of the posts in the course forum and my own experience, I would say that if you have absolutely no knowledge of astronomy, you might find some of the concepts a bit of a struggle, and some students who have done other OU short courses have said it is one of the most difficult that they have done, but to balance that as I said in the other thread, although having had a previous interest in and some knowledge of the subject, I had not done any real studying since the 1970's, but I have found it a really enjoyable course and there is willing help available either from other students or the University if you do get stuck on anything. I had to ask for help a couple of times, just trying to get my head round some of the maths expressions, but was quickly helped out by others a lot more knowledgeable than me.

I would encourage you to go for it. It's a very good all round introduction to the subject and should give you some ideas as to what areas you are most interested in if you decide to take your studies further.

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Thanks RS3100 , I do have an O level grade A in Astronomy but that was in 1984 and I did a University Certificate in Galaxies from John Moores Uni in 2005. would be doing this course as a tester with the option to do S282 next Feb

as there is no rush would probably do it over 24 weeks

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I suspect that you will really enjoy it :) I was also aiming to take 24 weeks but got so engrossed that I'm on course to complete the 11 week EMA - plus I was totally intrigued by one of the questions in that EMA and felt an overwhelming need to solve it - not that I had a clue about it when I first read it!

Good luck with your studies, and have fun,


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