Hi - I worked for the OU some years ago, and communications with students was part of my remit - it hard to get the OU reach into perspective when you compare it with 'normal' universities, and the lack of face to face contact with any of my PGs really did throw me at times, communication in those days was really through email, over the phone and standard OU mail shots, and of course interaction through Regional Centres - things have moved on since I was there, and as you say even more emphasis on online stuff, which Im not sure is the most desirable way forward as an OU student, sometimes you want to operate in a non virtual world with real people dealing with you.
I never read the email the OU send. I never use the OU forums (and really dislike having to access so much course content online, although that's outside your remit) I really only use the FB sites to communicate with other students - and they are outside of the OU's control (and sometimes get shut down by the OU, I believe) Not sure that helps you much
I was wondering if I could pick your lovely brains. I've got an interview for a communications job with the OU next week and think it would strengthen my case if I went armed with a few opinions from their audience. I'm primarily interested in peripheral communications with students (ie not details about courses, tutors etc) but the community communication side - eg OU Platform and the news emails etc we get, also Facebook and Twitter. Is there anything you'd like to see more of or different ways to communicate (eg, less online stuff, physical magazines etc), and what sort of content interests you? Do you actually read emails they send or read stuff on OU Platform? Also in terms of accessibility, are there any issues with the way they deliver community content. I would really appreciate your thoughts. Many thanks in advance x