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1.4.5 M is for Method

Method is about the way in which a piece of information is produced. This is quite a complex area as different types of information are produced in different ways. These are a few suggestions to look out for:

Opinions – A lot of information is based on the opinion of individuals. They may or not be experts in their field (see P for Provenance) but the key message is to be clear that it is just an opinion and must be valued as such.

Research – You don’t have t
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1.4.4 O is for Objectivity

One of the characteristics of ‘good’ information is that it should be balanced and present both sides of an argument or issue. This way the reader is left to weigh up the evidence and make a decision. In reality, we recognise that no information is truly objective.

This means that the onus is on you, the reader, to develop a critical awareness of the positions represented in what you read, and to take account of this when you interpret the information. In some cases, authors may
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1.4.2 P is for Presentation

By presentation, we mean, the way in which the information is communicated. You might want to ask yourself:

  • Is the language clear and easy to understand?

  • Is the information clearly laid out so that it is easy to read?

  • Are the fonts large enough and clear?

  • Are the colours effective? (e.g. white or yellow on black can be difficult to read)

  • If there are graphics or photos, do they help
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1.3.10 Summary

There is a lot of information available on Modern Languages via the internet. Try the activity below to start exploring what is available.

Activity

1.3.9 Choosing the right tool for the job

Before searching it is always a good idea to check what the source you have chosen covers to make sure it will unearth information that matches your search need (you will notice that all the resources we’ve covered in this guide have short descriptions to enable you to decide which to use). Some of the decision makers, depending on the context of your search might be:

  • Does it have full text?

  • Does it cover the right subject?


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1.3.8 Internet resources

There are many websites where you will find useful information about modern languages. With all information on the internet you need to make a judgement on the reliability of the information.

BBC Languages
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1.3.5 Images

Images can also be found online. Some useful Image databases are:

Flickr The Arts and Humanities Data Service is a national service setup to collect, describe, and preserve the electronic resources which result from research and teaching in the humanities. It encourages scholarly use of
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1.3.2 Search engines and subject gateways

Although search engines and subject gateways will help you find the resources that you need, the types of information that you find will differ.

Search engines such as Google and Yahoo! search the internet for keywords or phrases, and then show you the results. These results are not mediated by the search engines, and therefore you need to use your own judgement on the reliability of the results. You may, for example, find websites written by experts, alongside websites written by someo
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1.2.3 Basic principles

Whatever resource you choose to use to find information on the internet, many of the same principles apply. Each source that you use will probably look quite different from the one you tried before, but you'll notice that there are always features that are similar – a box to type your search terms in, for instance, or a clickable help button. Different resources refer to the same functions using different terminology, but the principles behind them are exactly the same. The trick is to chec
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1.2.2 Choosing keywords

Keywords are significant words which define the subject you are looking for. The importance of keywords is illustrated by the fact that there is a whole industry around providing advice to companies on how to select keywords for their websites that are likely to make it to the top of results lists generated by search engines. We often choose keywords as part of an iterative process; usually if we don't hit on the right search terms straight off, most of us tweak them as we go along based on t
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1.1.6 Keeping up-to-date

How familiar are you with the following different ways of keeping up to date with information; alerts, mailing lists, newsgroups, blogs, RSS, professional bodies and societies?

  • 5 – Very familiar

  • 4 – Familiar

  • 3 – Fairly familiar

  • 2 – Not very familiar

  • 1 – Not familiar at all


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1.1.5 Organising information

How confident are you that you know when it is appropriate to cite references (refer to the work of other people) in your written work?

  • 5 – Very confident

  • 4 – Confident

  • 3 – Fairly confident

  • 2 – Not very confident

  • 1 – Not confident at all

How confident do you feel about producing bibliographies (lists of references) in an appropriate format to accompany you
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1.1.4 Evaluating information

How well does the following statement describe your approach to evaluating the information that you use?

When I come across a new piece of information (e.g. a website, newspaper article) I consider the quality of the information, and based on that I decide whether or not to use it.

  • 5 – This is an excellent match; this is exactly what I do


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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • conduct searches efficiently and effectively

  • find references to material in bibliographic databases

  • make efficient use of full text electronic journals services

  • critically evaluate information from a variety of sources

  • understand the importance of organising information.


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Acknowledgements

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

All materials included in this unit are derived from content originated at the Open Uni
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Acknowledgements

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce materia
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Badminton: Fitness and Training
Playing badminton is like playing chess at 200 miles per hour, it requires a combination of explosive power, speed, agility and strategy. The physiological demands that badminton places on the body requires intense fitness preparation. So what training is vital to ensure high performance? In a series of interviews, sports coach for England’s national Badminton Team, Andy Alford, explores the different training methods used to enhance playing ability, and the principles behind them. This mate
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Sport media and culture: Who's calling the shots?
The media plays a huge part in sport; we find out what's happening and how our team is doing, and it creates great sporting moments and sports celebrities and stars. This free course, Sport media and culture: Who's calling the shots?, looks at the role played by the media in sport and how this has changed with the development of internet and satellite TV. Who calls the shots: athletes, teams or the media moguls? How do social scientists explain this relationship between sport and the media?
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Introduction

Some elite athletes in the United Kingdom are provided with financial support to allow them to train and prepare for competition. Where does the money come from to finance this? This course will examine this question by looking at the funding of elite sport in the UK.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from an Open University course E11
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Exercise and mental health
Each year thousands of pounds are spent on medications to treat conditions such as anxiety and depression. These medications often have negative side effects. Exercise is an alternative treatment that is low cost and has few side effects. In this free course, Exercise and mental health, we will look at the links between exercise and improved mental health and psychological well-being. This will include consideration of the role of exercise in combating stress, anxiety and depression, and in enha
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