Student motivations and choices in a ‘pick and mix’ curriculum module at the Open University, UK

Robson, Linda and Curry, George (2020). Student motivations and choices in a ‘pick and mix’ curriculum module at the Open University, UK. In: INTED2020 Proceedings pp. 972–977.



Making your Learning Count (YXM130) is an innovative new 30 credit undergraduate module at the Open University, UK. It allows students to tailor their own curriculum through selecting external learning resources for incorporation into a defined assessment framework. Students are supported to identify their interests and select appropriate external learning resources such as OERs and MOOCs to make up 150 hours of learning. This is complimented with 150 hours of generic skills-based module material and assessment which is common to all students regardless of their chosen discipline area. The ‘pick and mix’ module is designed to enable interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary study which supports students in developing cross-disciplinary thinking and approaches, as well as giving an opportunity to experience a range of discipline areas prior to committing to a specific degree pathway. This innovative module design allows every student to have a personalized learning experience tailored very precisely to their specific motivation and goals.

This paper reports on an analysis of student declared study motivation and their planned choice of external content for inclusion in their individual learning. Consideration will be given to whether the students’ choice of learning resources is appropriate to support their stated aims, and if the intended promotion of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary study has been achieved.

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