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3.4.1 A computer system is the combination of:

  • the computer (with its processor and storage);

  • other equipment such as a scanner or printer,

  • the software programs that make it all work (software programs that are designed to help with some human task are often referred to as applications).


Author(s): The Open University

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3.1 Making sensation make sense

In the previous section you learned something about what data is, where it can be found, and how it can be used. But have you ever thought about how we get data in the first place? As human beings, we are so used to reading, writing, speaking and observing that we rarely think about the true origins of the data we commonly use with such ease. I don't intend taking you back to these origins – that would take too long. Rather, I want to describe how human beings ‘get’ data and put it into
Author(s): The Open University

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2.1.2 Data and information

So far, I have used two words in connection with computers: data and information. Did you see any differences in the way the two terms have been used? Let me point out one.

Data refers to discrete items, such as the price of an item on the shelf of a supermarket, or the type of product listed on a sign over a supermarket aisle. The word ‘data’ is a plural Latin word but it is generally used as a singular word in English.

In contrast, information involves linking
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Introduction

School governors need to be involved in the monitoring and evaluation of secondary schools. But what areas should you be monitoring and how can you ensure that monitoring is effective. This course will help you assess these matters and also look at the kind of evidence you should be sourcing, and how that evidence should be evaluated.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of postgraduate study in Author(s): The Open University

Introduction

This course introduces you to analysing academic writing and, in particular, the way an article might be structured to clearly explain an investigation to other researchers. It explores the issue of observation of children and young people across the age range birth to 18 years using qualitative observation approaches in small-scale studies.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 3 study in Author(s): The Open University

Geometry
Geometry is concerned with the various aspects of size, shape and space. In this unit, you will explore the concepts of angles, shapes, symmetry, area and volume through interactive activities. First published on Tue, 04 Dec 2012 as Geometry. To find out more visit The Open Un
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4.3.1 Start writing

Using the format of introduction, main body and conclusion outlined in Section 3, write up your answer to the question.


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3.11.3 Maths, sciences and technology

The additional points we would want you to be aware of as you plan your revision in these subjects relate to the different ways in which you are called upon to present your answers. These might be:

  • short reports

  • multiple-choice answers

  • dif
    Author(s): The Open University

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3.10 Thinking about the exam

It is worth noting the difference between exam answers and assignments. Inevitably, a much lengthier and more polished answer can be produced in an untimed assignment. In the short time available in the exam, you need to move quickly through your main points, without paying too much attention to your style. Examiners are fully aware of the constraints exams place on the writer. Focus on the question you have chosen, and underline or highlight the process words or instructions in the question.
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3.8.2 Analysing and answering essay-based exam questions

For the following activity, you can use questions from a specimen paper, past papers or even questions you have devised for yourself.

Activity 9

Exam questions for essay-based courses often contain 'process words'. These require you t
Author(s): The Open University

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3.7 Memory and Understanding

Memory and understanding

Exams are rarely tests of memory, but much more to do with the selection, presentation and interpretation of materials. When you have understood what you have read, you can think about it and use it. Nonetheless, you may still be concerned about your ability to remember the info
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3.3 Stage 2: Gathering the course material together

You will need to gather all your course material and lecture notes together, and organise them properly. Your course material or texts should contain an overview of your course. Keep this to hand, as it will prove invaluable in you come to identify the topics you will need to revise.

There are also other sources of information that you can draw on when gathering information for your revision.

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2.1 Finding out your key concerns

Each one of us has a different set of concerns about preparing for and taking exams. It is worth spending a little time reflecting on these concerns and identifying what your individual needs are, in order to set up good support strategies for yourself.

Activity 1


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Learning outcomes

This unit will:

  • help you to manage your time more effectively when you're revising and in the exam itself

  • help you to learn, or brush up on, revision and exam skills

  • offer reassurance to those of you who experience anxiety and stress at exam time.


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Introduction

Do you feel that sometimes you don't do yourself justice in exams? Perhaps you've never taken an exam and are wondering how to prepare yourself. It may have been a long time since you took an exam, and you feel a need to refresh your technique. You may be looking for reassurance and advice because you've had a bad exam experience in the past.

This unit aims to help you to improve your own revision and exam techniques and reassure others who experience anxiety and stress over exams.


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9.1 Reflection and the four main phases of learning how to learn

If your course encourages this approach to learning, or if you have read other material on learning how to learn, you may have come across the term 'reflection'. Maybe you have been encouraged to reflect on your learning or on your assignments. In this unit, we have deliberately not used the term until now. This is not because we think the term - or the process - is unimportant, but because it can seem vague and not particularly helpful to you as a learner. In fact, all the activities in this
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4.2 Analysing the task

This involves you in analysing both the learning task, (e.g. working through the text, other readings, calculations, experiments) as well as the assessed task (e.g. the assignment). It is important to work out from the start just what this part of the course requires you to do as well as to know.

Activ
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3.1 Introduction to applying your learning

In this part of the unit we invite you to apply some of the ideas we have introduced in a more structured way. One of the easiest ways to really understand learning how to learn as a process, rather than as a series of individual activities, is to apply it to a section of the course you are currently studying. Choose a section that is complete in itself - for example, a block of the course - and that leads to an assignment. We suggest that you read through the whole of this section and
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2.1 Introduction

In encouraging you to think explicitly about how you learn, as well as about what you learn, we are drawing on research about learning which has shown that this approach can actually improve your performance. Certainly it can and will make you a more efficient and effective learner. Before we start to explore the process, let us consider two general points about learning.

  1. There is no single method of learning that guarantees success. How
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1.2 What do we mean by learning how to learn?

Activity 1

This activity will help you to explore what we mean by learning how to learn.

Think back to an example of study you have done in the past, or any fairly structured learning opportunity you remember. Focus on a particular ac
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