T214: TMA06 and the EMA

I had a very welcome email from the Open University last night informing me that my mark for TMA06 had arrived. I’d been worried about this, because I needed a mark over 80% in order to achieve the magical 70% average over the six assignments, enough to give me a chance of a grade 2 pass for this course (the equivalent of a 2.1).

As it turns out I’d managed to get 86%. I am very, very pleased with this! This means that the course materials are finally starting to sink in, and that my chances of an eventual 2.1 degree are not dashed at this early stage. I still have a lot of course concepts to work on – I still struggle with emergent properties of systems, and I find it difficult to break out of my cognitive biases – but I’m starting to use the diagramming techniques better and managed to gain my best mark of the course just when I needed it.

I’ve put a lot of effort into this, although I could be much more organised in my approach. My poor wife has had to put up with me ignoring her for a couple of hours in the evenings while I tap away at my computer, or read through the course materials. I couldn’t do this without her support. I’ve also benefited greatly from some excellent comments by my tutor, who’s provided me with some much-needed guidance when I’ve been heading in the wrong direction, or missing the point of the course concepts. Cheers!

I’m now feeling more confident for the End of Module Assessment (EMA), due in by the 12th October. I still have 5,000 words to write but I think I can get something sensible down on paper in time. I need to exceed 70% on that in order to get the grade 2 pass, so I’ll be aiming high with my analysis.

I’m still looking at potential problems to analyse for this and I’m now considering the recently reported killing of a British man and the kidnapping of his wife in Kenya. This event is a tragedy for their family – and I feel a bit ghoulish for even considering this as a study opportunity – but there are all sorts of environmental, conflict and control issues involved with that story (and the whole Somali pirate thing) that would allow me to generate some interesting ideas and conclusions.

We shall see. In the meantime, I have a systems thinking framework to create. Should be fun!

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