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Open University Associate Lecturer posts

User: Pip - 26 September 2009 15:16

Hello Has anyone had any experience as working as an OU associate lecturer? I am currently part way through my MSc (very mature student) and would like to get some teaching experience. I've looked on the OU website and there are two modules open in my locality which I feel I could competently apply for but has anyone gone through their recruitment process and could shed some light? How difficult is it to get these places? I have no teaching experience unfortunately but have the necessary qualifications. Thanks in advance Pip

User: eska - 26 September 2009 16:07

======= Date Modified 26 Sep 2009 16:07:45 =======
I tried, as a first year PhD student, but got nowhere. I did get work at three other unis though, two of them before I'd started the PhD - and I was a module leader, so, in my experience, OU work is very competitive.

I'm arts, and had an MA and industry experience when I applied.

User: missspacey - 26 September 2009 16:56

I also got the impression that it's competitive too. In my field, I noticed a lot of established academics did OU work, and decided not to apply because I didn't have any experience at the time.

User: pamw - 26 September 2009 17:58

======= Date Modified 26 Sep 2009 17:59:03 =======
I also applied once I had started my PhD and had teaching experience. But also got nowhere. I thought I had all the qualifications and experience they wanted but obviously they were looking for more. I would think that if you have no teaching experience it would be very difficult to get a position with the OU. I think it depends on how expert you are in the field and I'm trying to think of a better way of phrasing this but really how desperate they are to recruit for those modules. I noticed a while ago they were recruiting for a lot of arts and humanities courses but recently there have been hardly any vacancies apart from certain courses and certain areas and some where they have extended the closing date. So if they have a real shortage of tutors, you may have a better chance. I'd say go for it anyway but be prepared for a knock back. None of this is intended as any reflection on your ability, which obviously I have no knowledge of.

User: missspacey - 26 September 2009 19:32

======= Date Modified 26 Sep 2009 19:33:04 =======
I was just looking at the vacanices, and at first glance it does look quite attractive i.e. teaching a basic course with a pay of £5k. But then I imagine it would be awfully time-consuming having 20 students, each producing 7 assignments, and each wanting individual help every week (I remember a friend telling me how he would email his tutor every week for advice and feedback).

I am tempted to apply though.

User: Java - 26 September 2009 20:05

Hi, I have responded to their ads before, thinking it would fit in well with my PhD, I have a Masters and relevant teaching experience, and didnt even get an interview; probably just as well really as I'm already busy with the PhD, family and p-t lecturing.  I know some of the more experinced professors and lecturers where I work have taught there before - so I assumed perhaps they were looking for more experience than I have got, or could be that all the advertised posts go to the lecturers already working there. Judging by these posts, doesnt seem to be an easy place to get into, but in this present climate no where is.  It does appear that most lecturing positions require teaching experience. But dont be put off, you never know, you just might have that something that they are looking for - good luck (up)

User: Pip - 09 October 2009 13:09

Thank you for your replies and I didn't get anywhere. There were 8 pages of applicants the admin lady told me. I think I will have a go at getting on one of the personal tutoring lists and see if I can get on a marking list somehow. Starting to feel as if I'm never going to get a foot on the ladder and if people with Phds can't get in what chance have I got. Its ok saying in adverts that mature students can offer valuable life experience in the adverts but when push comes to shove I don't think it is considered at all.

User: Stephen - 17 October 2009 18:37

Hi Pip, don’t be put off I have just started my part-time PhD and at the same time I have started tutoring my first OU course. I have no previous teaching experience and I only hold a BEng (Hons) albeit from the OU but this didn’t seem to hold me back. I think you should give it a try, the application process wasn’t too bad and I enjoyed the presentation I had to do as part of their interview process.

Good luck


User: MatildaL - 17 October 2009 22:50

======= Date Modified 19 Oct 2009 13:21:22 =======
I did work as an AL ( Associate Lecturer) for the O U and it was a very good experience, I found that they offered a very structured support network and mentoring system that was more help as than the Visiting Lecturer, hourly paid, posts that I got in other universities. ( Working as a visiting lecturer can be a very lonely experience and very hard work!)

The OU normally say how many hours a week tutoringwill take, and they are quite accurate, but you do have to be willing to be very structured with the amount of time you spend, and be prepared to set aside a block of time when it comes around to assignment marking.

If you can get a position it is worthwhile - and they do tend to keep your application on file. I heard from them about 8 months after I had initially applied for a position. - Their recruitment system is the only thing about the university that is unclear!

User: Hugh - 20 August 2016 15:42

Hi Stephen and Matilda,

I've just been shortlisted for a AL post at the open university. I was wondering if its OK if I could PM you please? thanks