The Pesky OU Student

Student Enrolment

I want to introduce you to my friend. She is a bit crazy but in a lovely way. Last year she started a crazy journey. She signed up as a student with the Open University. However, I know she is dyslexic, so this came as a bit of a surprise. Also, I can hear everyone now. A dyslexic person can’t achieve an academic degree. Indeed, shock and horror! What crazy person with a learning difference starts a degree during a worldwide pandemic? Only my crazy friend Wilma.

Challenges

First, there is the challenge of filling in all forms. Not an easy task, but there was plenty of time being stuck in the house. Then Wilma found an email, seeing she had been accepted. Finally, she was going to study for a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology. She was beginning her journey with the study of social sciences. Also, the delivery crew from yodel dropped off all her books. This gave a start to an unexpected journey into the academic world.

Disability Student Allowance

At the same time, Wilma had started to apply for her disability student allowance (DSA). She filled in all the forms and sent them away, along with the reports that had been done thanks to access to work. However, The Open University kindly emailed Wilma asking for more evidence. This made Wilma panic! How would she get an assessment with an educational psychologist during a pandemic? So, she phoned the dyslexia Scotland helpline for advice. A time when everything is shut and no assessments would be happening, right? The lovely adviser at the other end of the phone told her this would be possible for new students. It would happen with a Zoom meeting. This took a bit of time. But, the assessment went forward and was passed to the Open University.

Information Overload

I know you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the beginning of the course was a bit messy. The dyslexic organisation came into play. I should really say this disorganisation! There was a lot of information to take in. Online lectures, forums, how to submit your essay and setting up student emails. The list was long and messy, and needless to say many mistakes were made. Wilma found this out to her horror after sending in her first essay. She had emailed it to her tutor instead of putting it through the tutor-marked assignment. This had been set up electronically. Oops! Later, in the course, she submitted the wrong essay for marking! The tutor phoned her with the information on the mistake. Furthermore, a mistake she does not want to repeat! At least it made her tutor laugh on the phone.

New Software

While waiting for her disability student allowance. Wilma had an opportunity working with new software. This was Claro writer helper! It has many great features to aid students with dyslexia write their essays. Including the dreaded referencing! Wilma was blundering around trying to figure out how it worked. They made it look so easy on the YouTube videos and webinars! The academic essay writing was also completely new to Wilma. She was fortunate that the lovely team at Claro said she could ask them any questions. Over the months that followed, the poor manager aiding her regretted saying this! Probably hiding under the desk by now saying Oh no! It’s that pesky OU student again! The questions were endless! For example, how do I show a plan as part of my assignment? Where am I going wrong, I can’t get this to work? Does this software work with Dragon software?

Whoop Whoop Pass

The manager was very patient with Wilma. After several emails with some of the issues she was having a Microsoft, teams meeting was set up. This enabled Wilma to figure out some of the issues she was having, but a great help going forward. The swearing at the laptop has calmed down. Including the urge to throw the laptop out the window. Now that she has got used to using Claro writer helper. Over several months with her dyslexic processing. I am delighted to say that so far Wilma has passed everything! Whoop Whoop!

Tales Of A Pesky OU Student

This is only the beginning of me telling you about my friend Wilma. There are still plenty of tales to come as she blunders around the academic world. A world some say she shouldn’t be in. I know she will prove these people wrong. Look out for more tales of a Pesky OU Student.

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