T317 EMA Project Lessons
I’m now done studying until late September. For once I didn’t finish the T317 EMA Project. Instead, I deferred until the next presentation. I keep the scores for the first three TMAs and need to repeat TMA4 and TMA5, which are linked to the T317 EMA Project.
There were three reasons why I deferred, all linked to each other. In no particular order they were:
– lack of time to study/work on my T317 EMA project
– poor choice of T317 EMA project subject
– unhappiness with quality of output & grades
All of these are my fault. Partly they are circular. I had a downward spiral of motivation because I wasn’t enthused by the project topic. This meant I didn’t make the time to study. Also not studying meant that the grades deteriorated. The root cause for most of this is that I didn’t come into the course with a clear idea of what I wanted my project to be about. I also didn’t play to my strengths. I’ve worked as an enterprise architect and designed services. Somehow I ended up trying to do a project on a waze like service that was supported by a Head Up Display for a car. Instead I ought to have picked redesigning a digital service that I could sell to someone at work.
Choice of T317 EMA Project
T317 is my second to last OU course for my degree. I’ve already done another level 3 course, and a couple of level 2 courses with project based EMAs. I thought it was better to leave the choice of the T317 EMA Project to later in the course when I had a clearer idea of what needed to be done for the T317 EMA. However there’s a flaw in that logic. Tutors don’t talk much about the EMA requirements until the TMAs are all but done. However in T317 TMA4 determines the problem you are trying to solve with your project. TMA5 builds on that by generating potential solutions and evaluating them against criteria from TMA4.
Time for the T317 EMA Project
The T317 EMA project then runs from the output of TMA5 and references both TMA4 and TMA5. You then spend 40 hours (although many students seem to have spent 100+ hours) developing the concept.
If I’d had a hundred hours spare in the six weeks between the TMAs and the EMA I’d have done the project. However I work full time, have a family and also help as a cub scout leader and as a school governor. Mainly I rely on my train commute to study. This gets me about 3-4 hours a week. However, recently I’ve not been able to get a seat with my laptop. I can read OK, but typing is hard. I think I managed to get about 30 hours in, mainly in a couple of days off work. Unfortunately about half of that was in dealing with Block 6 rather than the EMA.
I’m on this now and what you say sounds all too familiar! I regret starting this module as it’s really quite boring to read (I find) and that makes it even harder to study. I thought it seemed more interesting in the description but not so the reality unfortunately. Plus the fact that it’s all online makes it painful (literally) to study. We had just been allocated one week in the study calendar to complete TMA 2 and it sounds like lots of students struggled to meet that dl. Unless you don’t work (or hardly work) I don’t know how people can keep up with this one TMA a month workload but if I didn’t work I couldn’t afford to pay the £3000 !!? OUCH course fee. NO win situation really 😦
It was pretty rough, but I managed to finish it fine the second time round (which didn’t cost me any more money because I deferred at the right time). I think most of my trouble came from trying to do it at the same time as being promoted at work and having a terrible boss. With a more supportive boss in the following year it was straightforward. I also used a real life work problem as the subject for the project and got a distinction level pass for the EMA (my solution also got implemented). Sadly a last minute admin error on my part with the second last TMA (I uploaded the wrong version) meant that my overall mark wasn’t quite as good as the distinction that it could have been.