Home » Uncategorized » Does anyone else think OU grading system is weird & overly harsh? Got A/Bs normal uni but D/bare passes at OU!?

Does anyone else think OU grading system is weird & overly harsh? Got A/Bs normal uni but D/bare passes at OU!?

I've gone from getting Firsts and 2:1s at normal uni, and excelling at my subject overall to barely passing/getting Thirds in my OU courses. It's weird and I won't be studying with them again after this year. I'm going back to normal uni to finish my degree. These are subjects I have excelled in my entire life. I have taken two courses with them. Something I else I noticed is this - one of my courses, in the area of humanities, seemed to have an inappropriately high feminist content and it seemed I was given lower grades in essays where I took a balanced view of male and female. It has destroyed my confidence in my academic ability even though I have been academically gifted my whole life. It's weird. I wondered if anyone else had experienced the same thing?Thanks!

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3 Responses so far.

  1. overwise says:

    The first year of any degree course is always the easiest – sometimes by a considerable margin.Your low marks don’t mean you aren’t bright enough, but they may mean that you haven’t made the transition from first year to second year work as well as you might?For example, in the first year if you had an essay which said ‘describe and analyse….’ then you might get reasonable marks for an insightful description even if the analysis was somewhat lacking. But that wouldn’t happen in the second year – the analysis would be paramount. (and in the third year it would be unlikely that you got any marks at all for the description bit)One of the things that you learn in any Uni is that different lecturers will prioritise different things/aspects of the work. This SHOULD be made clear in marking guides – ie you should be told what the purpose of the assessment is and what markers would be looking for. Students sometimes don’t read this properly, and so don’t give due attention to what’s significant.I’m not sure what you mean by an ‘inappropriate’ feminist content – it all depends on the course. Usually module descriptions will be quite clear about the perspectives taken in any path of study.Of course lecturers are only human and it may be that you were unfortunate and got someone who just really didn’t like the tone of your work.You should have had extensive feedback about what, exactly was wrong with your work so that you can learn from it – do make sure you understand why someone has given you a low markAs someone else pointed out, not all Unis are equal – however much they will argue that they are. It may be that your ‘main’ Uni is one where it’s easier to get a good mark (this would especially be the case if we were looking at a ‘traditional’ subject like English or Politics, for example)Whatever the reason, don’t let it get you down. You’ve had the experience of learning in two places and discovering what works for you and what doesn’t. Think of that as a positive and enjoy going back to your main Uni

  2. hypsidolichocephalism says:

    That’s why open university degrees are worth having, they are difficult to get and judging by your comments maybe you’re not as gifted as you you believe.

  3. ststart says:

    LOL. I think anyone who has spent considerable time in college understands exactly how you feel.I started my MBA coursework at a top 10 university in the US at the age of 35, with considerable project management experience behind me. What killed me was not the professors but the TAs. Even the PhD students were younger than I, and had NO actual work, business, or management experience. Their lives to date were purely academic. And the undergrad readers were pathetic. These kids would read my case studies and ask questions/make comments which highlighted their inexperience and lack of real world understanding, but my academic grade was dependent on their scoring. I realized quickly that my mastery of a subject was not dependent on convincing some kid with zero real-world experience of my arguments. It was no surprise that I had all As in the harder quantitative courses, and B+ or A- in the fuzzy qualitative case-study classwork.Point being this: It is nearly impossible to write a excellent test, even for a fully-tenured, experienced professor. Throw in Assistant Professors, PhD students with no real experience, and undergrad readers looking for an easy buck, and your grade becomes a very poor reflection on what you know. Absolutely, if a reader decided you were a chauvinist because you took a balanced view, and that you had no right to that opinion because you’re male, then you are screwed from the beginning and there is nothing you can do.As I said, almost everyone experiences this at some point. The truth is that grades are completely artificial, a measure to manipulate students into competition and expending effort. Eventually you reach a certain maturity where your time becomes extremely precious. You will not dedicate the intense effort required to learn unless you have a genuine passion to learn that subject, regardless of grades; and if you have that passion, you could care less how others evaluate you. You reach that point to learn just to learn; and if some moron gives you a B- because of your penis, you let it go as an unjust academic reality.