22 Oct 2013

OU Module Groups on Facebook - a guide

OU forums are one thing - they are moderated by staff, who know how to keep people in line and steer debate gently away from DRAMAZ. However, Facebook OU groups are dens of iniquity.
Here are a few of the types you might find there, and just so you don't think I'm being evilly judgemental, I tend very much to be The Know-it-all, combined with The Joker. 

1. The Know-it-all
Sometimes, The Know-it-all has been studying for years, and sometimes they assume their mantel from other sources, such as a former job, or a GCSE in a relevant subject. Wherever their knowledge is gleaned from, they will give it to you, frequently, and in great detail, even if the question you asked has already been answered.

2. The Angry Mod
In any moderated forum, there will be times when the mods and the users have a bit of a set-to. With a few rules, understanding and a sense of perspective, these can be dealt with quickly. However, these attributes are often missing on unofficial forums. Banning, deleting of posts, posts declaring STOP THE DRAMA, users leaving to start their own groups, the whole thing firing up again three days later when someone who's been offline gets caught up. The Angry Mod is a self righteous beast, and prone to overreaction.

3. The Sensitive Flower
This person will have been through many a hard time, and be constantly wafting around, all sad faces and looking for sympathy. Sensitive Flower doesn't know when to start, it's all so daunting. You've just handed in a TMA? Sensitive Flower hasn't started yet :( You're up to Unit 8? Sensitive Flower hasn't finished Unit 1 yet. Eventually, Sensitive Flower will erupt in a rage because someone points out that they COULD just go and do some work instead of being sad. Sensitive Flower will flounce off group at least once a month.

4. The Professor
Unlike The Know-it-all, the Professor gives advice as though they are a tutor. They post endless notes on how to get ahead with tutorials, on how to revise, on how to tackle the latest TMA. Then they fail the exam. True story.

5. The Cheat
It pains me to write this, and I haven't come across one in a while, but there can be people whose behaviour on the groups sails perilously close to the cheaty wind. It usually happens about two days before a TMA is due: a post will appear, asking for help. I once had someone PM me on facebook begging me to tell them what I'd written for a TMA. I judiciously ignored it.I strongly advise you to do the same.

6. The Joker
It's 6am on TMA submission day. Everyone is exhausted, testy and annoyed. Someone posts a jokey picture of a cat that looks like Hitler, with a smiley face. Everyone mentally tells them to do one.

7. The Skimmer
There is always someone who thinks they can do their module by only doing the reading for their TMA, and nothing else. Usually, the Skimmer will appear on a group a few days before submission day and ask what, exactly, they need to read before they write the TMA. This is a godawful idea to do every single time, as you NEED to know your module materials inside out to pass the exam/EMA.

8. The Boaster
The polar opposite of The Sensitive Flower, The Boaster will get hold of last year's module materials so they can start early, and then complain that the TMA system isn't up and running three days into the course. By which point they've finished the course. This can backfire spectacularly, if the course materials change a lot between one year and the next, or if The Boaster does last year's TMA questions.

9. The Giver-Up
Closely related to The Sensitive Flower, The Giver-Up regularly threatens to give up. This tends to result in a deluge of sympathy, hints, help and attention. The Giver-Up does not give up...until the next crisis.

10. The Procrasinators, or as I like to call them, Everyone 
We all procrastinate to a degree, unless we have the self discipline of a ninja. Facebook OU groups may claim to be study groups, but after three days, there'll be a load of ""Look at all this food I'm eating instead of studying!" What colour highlighter do you use?" "What's your favourite biscuit?" "How are you all?" type posts, that take a good twenty minutes to read through...and then you want to add stuff, then you're pulled into checking threads for conversations about nothing more exciting than your cat.

Awful places.
But really, useful, often friendly and less formal than the OU forums. I have made some lovely friends on facebook OU groups. Enjoy, but try not to take it TOO seriously.