Advent is a time of great expectation and waiting for many Open University students, as the exam results for the October examinations are published just a few days before Christmas. The OU have always embraced the web as a way to publish information about their courses; and for students to keep up to date with their progress and interact with other students, so the results appear on the web site long before the letters make their way through the Christmas post. Therefore I visited the site for the first time since October in order to see whether the news on my Philosophy course was good or bad.
I was distracted from the exam results on discovering that the OU had redesigned their site, using XHTML and CSS, and aiming for WAI Priority 2 in terms of accessibility. There are the usual unencoded ampersands and silly little things causing validation errors on some pages. All in all however, this is a great job, and the redesign runs right through the site including the areas where OU students can log in, download course information, and find out their exam results … which for me, was a grade 2 pass. Making me 60 points closer to that most useful of qualifications – a BA Honours in Humanities with Religious Studies.