First Class

I’ve been looking around the OU website as I understand FirstClass is being retired and replaced. I haven’t managed to find exactly what FirstClass was providing and presumably what was there is still accessible without the FirstClass client. Does anyone know about the upgrade and if so could they post an email using this FirstClass feedback form to give me some information to update this page which was obviously quite useful. For the time being I’ll leave the text on this page as it was.

Webmaster 15/08/11

FirstClass: A spotlight on OUSA special interest conferences

Did you realise that if you have a hobby or special interest, there’s probably a FirstClass conference for it? Conferences range from discussions of television soap operas, football and books to gardening, birdwatching, astronomy and cats. And many OU courses have dedicated OUSA conferences, often read by those currently studying the course as well as those who have already studied or are planning to in the future, all moderated by your fellow students. The conferences vary in tone and technical level, but all have the same code of conduct—a copy of this can usually be found towards the bottom of the conference.

OU Conference screenshotSome conferences tend to be very lively, for example OUSA Bookcrossing Conf only opened on 5th December, and two weeks later had over 200 messages! Others go through phases of excitement followed by periods of quiet—OUSA Astronomy is a good example of this. Some conferences tend to be warm, friendly places, others are more challenging whilst being kept firmly within the Code of Conduct by the moderators.

If you’re using the FirstClass client, you can find the full list of open conferences by clicking on the blue Open University shield OU shield logo, then the green OU Students Association logo OUSA logo, and finally the OUSA signpost signpost icon. This brings up a list of conferences, usually in date order (see the box on the right). If you’re looking for something specific, clicking on the Name bar at the top of the list will sort the conferences in alphabetical order, and when you find the conference you’re looking for, right-clicking and choosing Add to Desktop will put the icon on your FirstClass desktop for easy future access. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, provided you can muster support and find volunteers to moderate, you could always post to OUSA Conference Request and ask for a conference to be created.

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