Friday, 7 December 2012

Choosing an Open University Module

The story so far...

I'm a student with the Open University, as well as being a Business Intelligence Analyst. One day I saw some OU module results and wondered what they would look like in a visualisation. The method of getting the data together from various sources is described in a previous post - the method behind the madness - on the other blog. I have the results from 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 - showing the number of students who were registered for each module - how many didn't finish, and of those who did finish, the percentage that passed and their grades.

I've chosen to use Tableau (and moved over to Blogger, as it allows me to embed the Tableau charts) where I've played around with a few different charts - and ended up with this one to show the correlation between the number of students who failed and the number who didn't finish - against the total number of students - illustrated by the different module levels (undergraduate levels 1,2 and 3, and postgraduate), and the number of credits on offer.

I mentioned Module B190 in the original post. This was the weird one that originally caught my eye in the 2011 results where only 29.9% finished the module. You can see it clearly in this visualisation:
The results are grouped by the level of the module (Undergraduate levels 1,2 and 3, and Postgraduate), and by the number of credits that are awarded for the module. B190 is a short introductory course in Accounting and Bookkeeping at level 1, worth 5 credits.

So - it seems that in 2011, those unfortunate students who chose modules M150 (Data, Computing and Information) and MST121 (Using Mathematics) were most likely to fail. Indeed, more likely to fail than  not finish.

If you toggle between the years, you'll see quite an increase in the number of students in 2011. I suspect that this is caused by the OU offering transitional financial arrangements for students in England starting their qualification before September 2012 - to beat the huge increase in fees imposed by the Government.



In the next visualisation, I'll look at modules that have consistently run over the last few years - and look at the trends in results.



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