Teaching, learning and assessment methods
You will study both modules for the MA entirely online. You will gain knowledge and understanding through study of published and broadcast literary texts and performance, distance-learning materials and a detailed study guide. You will also benefit from audio-visual materials such as interviews with authors, extracts from books and performances, writing exercises, assignment and project guides, module website resources (including a study planner) and written feedback on assignments. Learning outcomes are assessed by means of assignments: creative writing projects (such as fiction, poetry and drama scripts), reflective commentaries and critical appraisals. You will also be able to share work-in-progress with fellow students in online forums, contributions to which will also be assessed.
You will develop and practise cognitive skills through study of the course materials, through your further reading and writing practice, and through assessment. These skills are also taught and practised through online tutor group work, carefully monitored written feedback by tutors on assignments and through developing competence in giving and receiving constructive criticism to fellow students. This will be assessed in both modules of the MA programme.
Practical and professional skills are taught throughout the programme in a cumulative way. For instance, you will be producing potentially publishable creative work throughout the programme, and part of the peer and tutor assessment will gauge and discuss such work’s position in the literary or media landscape. There is also a 'writer of the world' and professional practice strand in the modules, which considers such elements as media-specific formatting and publishing submission strategies, among other professional issues. This strand will be assessed in various ways. For instance, you will be asked to research markets and write approach letters along with synopses of your writing projects.
Skills in digital and information literacy will be addressed throughout the assessment where, for instance, research for creative projects is assessed, alongside contextual reading and understanding of the creative process. You will be developing IT and information literacy skills by, for instance, using the OU library’s e-resources which include databases, ejournals and ebooks, and by participating in online activities such as asynchronous online forums and workshops. These activities will figure directly and indirectly in assessment. In this way, throughout the programme, you will be assessed on skills valued by employers, such as critical and independent thinking, analysis, creativity and communication. There will also be online tutorials at key moments throughout the programme of study.
Many of the activities and assessments on the MA will have reflective components which invite you to consider your own learning and development. This will feed readily into ongoing personal development planning. These reflective activities will run throughout the programme of study, accompanying all formative and summative assessment of creative work. Such reflections will range from responding to tutor and peer feedback on a specific project, to considering feedback on a project proposal, to reflecting on your overall progress and development as a writer.