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Further reading

  • *The Good Study Guide by Andrew Northedge, published by The Open University, 1990, ISBN 0 7492 00448.

    Chapter 4 is entitled ‘Working with numbers’

    Other chapters are entitled: ‘Reading and note taking’, ‘Other ways of studying’, ‘What is good writing?’, ‘How to write essays’, ‘Preparing for examinations’.

  • The Sciences Good Study Guide by Andrew Northedge, Jeff Thomas, Andrew Lane, Alice
    Author(s): The Open University

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4.1.2 When is a line graph not a good format to use?

When you have a large amount of data without an obvious link. For example, when your data shows shares of a whole, in which case, you would use a pie chart.


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3 Reading articles for mathematical information

We gain much of our mathematical information from our surroundings, including reading newspaper and magazine articles. A skill that will be useful to all of us in our studies is the ability to do this in a structured way, as it is very easy to be uncritical of the information that we see. Newspapers and magazines frequently place mathematical information in the form of graphs and diagrams. All too often, we tend to assume that the information is correct, without questioning possible bias or i
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1 Your worries and concerns with charts, graphs and tables

Do you sometimes feel that you do not fully understand the way that numbers are presented in course materials, newspaper articles and other published material?

What do you consider are your main worries and concerns about your ability to understand and interpret graphs, charts and tables?

Spend a few minutes writing these down before you read on.

One student has said:

I am never quite sure that I
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • reflect on existing skills and mathematical history, set up strategies to cope with mathematics and assess which areas need improving

  • understand the following mathematical concepts, through instruction, worked examples and practice activities: reflecting on mathematics; reading articles for mathematical information; making sense of data; interpreting graphs and charts

  • draw on a technical glossary, p
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this course:

Course image: Sebastien Wiertz in Flickr made available under Creati
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1.3.7 Summary

  • We can learn to use writing of all sorts as evidence by practising how to interpret it and by becoming aware of the conventions attached to its primary purpose for example as personal testimony, journalism, commercially produced material, such as market research and academic writing as well as material produced specifically through research such as interview data.

  • When approaching a piece of writing:


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1.2.4 Stage 2: Find a way in

It's easy to be distracted by the surface appearance of a diagram, but we are really interested in the underlying message. This is rather like the distinction made between the content and context reading of photographs. Once you are sure that you know what the main heading means, focus on a particular element and think it through. If it is a bar chart, for instance, pick on one of the bars and tell yourself what it represents, what it is telling you. Is it showing a percentage or a total? Wha
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Conclusion

This free course provided an introduction to studying sociology. It took you through a series of exercises designed to develop your approach to study and learning at a distance and helped to improve your confidence as an independent learner.


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Exploring Psychology
How humans think, develop, and experience the world around us has been fascinating psychologists for over 100 years. The tracks in this album cover a range of case studies, looking at factors which can influence the development of our personalities. What is the impact of significant people in our early lives? How do you go about the process of researching topics like this in social psychology? The audio tracks feature disabled people who reflect on how disability has affected their sense of ide
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3.2 Questionnaires and interviews

If we are interested in what people think or feel, or in behaviours that are difficult to observe in humans, we need to ask people about themselves. This is a variant on introspection, in that researchers are not looking inside themselves but are using the best possible means to obtain other people's introspections. Psychologists do this through both questionnaires and interviews. Many of you will have filled in questionnaires from market researchers on the street or at home. Questi
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2.1 An evidence-based enterprise

We have seen that psychology is an evidence-based enterprise and we have also seen that disputes about what should count as evidence have had an important impact on the development of psychology as a discipline. For example, the rise of behaviourism was driven by the idea that only observable behaviour is legitimate data for psychology because only data that can be observed by others, and agreed upon, can be objective. Many other disciplines have had less trouble with this issue
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3 Using the Menu

Activity 2

0 hours 20 minutes

This activity follows the previous one by encouraging you to explore the menus available in the SPSS software. Each item has been annotated to provid
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1 The SPSS statistics tutorial

This online tutorial is designed to help you familiarise yourself with the software package SPSS and learn about basic statistics. You will need to follow the instructions within each activity in the sequence presented to complete the course.

Some activities have questions, whilst others will encourage you to explore the various software options. All are designed to help you think about how SPSS works and how to carry out some basic statistical work.

All the required work for this
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2 How active should young people be?

Physical activity in childhood has a range of benefits, including healthy growth and development, maintenance of a healthy weight, mental well-being and learning social skills. It is particularly important for bone health, increasing bone mineral density and preventing osteoporosis in later life. Although there is only indirect evidence (compared with adults) linking physical inactivity in children with childhood health outc
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4.2 Exercises from video

Here are some questions that were explored in the video. You may want to provide your thoughts and considerations before looking at the comments. 

Activity 8: exercises from the video

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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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3.1 The Extended Schools initiative

The last few years have seen a plethora of initiatives for English schools: two significant initiatives are ‘Extended Schools’ and the ‘Every child Matters’. What are the implications for a business manager?

Government thinking places schools at the centre of local provision for a wide range of options, from health centres to full community facilities. These ‘extended schools’, as the government terms them, offer an opportunity for schools to contribute to and work more clos
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1.4 What is creativity?

All people are capable of creative achievements in some areas of activity, provided the conditions are right, and they have acquired the relevant knowledge and skills … creative possibilities are pervasive in the concerns of everyday life, its purposes and problems … creative activity is also pervasive … creativity can be expressed in collaborative as well as individual activities, in teamwork, in
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4 The student's view

Activity 3 should have helped you to clarify your ideas about the aims and purposes of geography education. One of the advantages of doing this is that it encourages you to focus on what you think is important about teaching geography. In our experience, this is sometimes difficult given the hectic pace of life in schools!

Missing so far in this discussion has been the voice of the students who are on the ‘receiving end’ of geography lessons. After all, they are the people who will
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