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3 Key skills assessment units

This section gives advice and guidance to help you compile and present a portfolio of selected work. You are strongly advised to read through this section so that you have an idea of what is expected.

The key skills assessment units provide an opportunity for you to integrate your development of key skills with your work or study. You may choose to concentrate on skills that you need to develop and improve for your job, for a new course, or personally to help you keep abreast of new dev
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1.2.4 Rounding

It looks as if there was an extra 0.2 of a person in the last calculation – why was this? Probably because the figure of 85% that we used was not precise. In fact 809 people, as a percentage of 952, is very slightly less than 85%.

Values are often rounded, and using these rounded numbers in calculations can give answers like 809.2 people. Here we can round the answer down to 809 people, because we know it must be a whole number and it is more likely to be 809 than 810.

When we w
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8 Technical glossary

This glossary is intended to provide a basic explanation of how a number of common mathematical terms are used. Definitions can be very slippery and confusing and at worst can replace one difficult term with a large number of other puzzling concepts. Therefore, where an easy definition is available it is provided here, where this has not been possible an example is used. If you require more detailed or complete definitions, you should refer to one of the very good mathematical dictionaries th
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7.3 Frequency tables

So far you have looked at small sets of data, which are relatively easy to analyse. Naturally, this is not always the case and you need to consider how to work with a larger set of data. Data set B shows 30 TMA scores recorded by a tutor in the order that the scripts were marked.

Data set B:

86 78 93 <
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Make your conference work

You can make a big difference to the effectiveness of any conference, and to your tutor group conference in particular.

We are going to discuss in turn the four main ways that you can help a conference work well:

  • get involved;

  • help people to get to know you;

  • construct clear messages;

  • take some responsibility.

To get the most out of conferencing on your course, get involved
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2.2.2 Reading graphs and charts: manipulating numbers

Text is just one way of communicating information. Numbers are another way, but whether presented singly, in groups or even as tables , numbers often require a lot of work from the reader to uncover the message. A much more immediate and powerful way to present numerical information is to use graphs and charts. When you use single numbers or tables, the reader has to visualise the meaning of the numbers. Graphs and charts allow the reader to do this at a glance. To show how powerful these rep
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1.2 Types of diagrams

As there is this variety in the types of diagrams we use, we need to think more broadly about what pictures and diagrams are trying to represent. You will encounter three main types of diagrams when studying MST subjects.

  1. Pictures or pictorial diagrams that attempt to represent the essential features of a part of reality – for example, diagrams of equipment, molecules or parts of a plant.

  2. Diagrams that try to describe
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7.2 Reorganizing notes

The technique of re-reading completed notes and supplementing them with comments and queries is a useful way of processing ideas. Another way of processing ideas is to reorganize notes around a set of questions or thematic headings. This is particularly useful for those notes that you will be drawing upon for planning and writing assignments. They can be reworked and key concepts and ideas can thus be applied to different types of questions and issues.

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2.6 Environmental explanations of dyslexia?

‘Environment’ is often used to refer to only social or non-biological influences. However, it actually also refers to the biological, cognitive and behavioural environments that we may be exposed to. If you refer back to Frith's framework (see Figure 2) you will remember that the environment can be h
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1.8 Reflecting on definitions of ‘abnormality’

The main thing to remember is that the way that ‘abnormality’ is defined will have consequences for the method of identification. It will also impact on people's expectations of their future development. For example, we discussed the way that dyslexia is defined in relation to a person's IQ. Does that mean that if someone has a low IQ and an even lower reading age we should adjust our expectations of what that person can achieve with help, or let IQ influence how much help is offered? Sim
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1.4 Experiencing dyslexia

To illustrate just how problematic the idea of ‘abnormality’ is in practice, we will consider the condition of developmental dyslexia, dyslexia for short. Dyslexia is relatively common and you may have knowledge of it from friends or personal experience. The following section illustrates many of the difficulties experienced by people with dyslexia, and it also highlights more generally some of the problems that can occur if you are not, in some sense, ‘normal’.


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5.4.2 When to evaluate accessibility

Technical and usable accessibility should be evaluated throughout the design life cycle, just as general usability should be. As with usability, the earlier in the process accessibility is evaluated the more likely the final product will be both technically and usably accessible. Accessibility can be evaluated or tested in early ideas and paper designs as well as prototype systems, and different aspects of accessibility can be evaluated at these different stages. For example, the general acce
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5.1 Design decisions

In this activity, we examine in more detail the design decisions that affect accessibility for different groups of disabled students. The activity will help you to create accessible resources, or can be used as a basis to inform your discussions with those who create such resources on your behalf.

We introduce the process of including accessibility considerations in the specification of online learning resources, including 10 principles for accessibility that can be included in a specif
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4.6.3 If the objectives CAN be achieved

If a major learning objective cannot be achieved, this should be apparent from the early stage of course planning. Once the learning objectives have been considered, the accessibility of each component of a course should be examined.

Responsibility for delivering adjustments varies between organisations. Some higher education institutions may have a centralised system for providing web-based resources, with a central responsibility for accessibility. The institutions may also have a sys
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4.4.5 Do – provide information

Clear information for students and advisors is essential. Disabled students need to know whether they can complete all the learning objectives and what adjustments they can expect. They need this information in good time before they start the course so that they can plan ahead. We have more to say on this subject in the section, ‘Informing students’.


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4.2 Pedagogy and reasonable adjustments

It has always been part of the OUs mission to make higher education available to all potential students, regardless of background or circumstance. To quote the OU mission statement: ‘It promotes educational opportunity and social justice by providing high-quality university education to all who wish to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.’

The DDA Part 4 makes it clear that education providers are responsible for:

  • anticipating
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2.1.3 Handicap

A disadvantage for a given individual, resulting from an impairment or disability, that limits or prevents the fulfilment of a role that is normal (depending on age, sex and social and cultural factors) for that individual.

If you are interested in political aspects of disability awareness, the DEMOS ‘Disability Awareness’ module is a good place to start. This topic also studied in two OU courses: K222 Care, Welfare and Community for Social Workers and D218 Social Policy:
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2.1.2 Disability

Any restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.


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References

Bush T. and Middlewood D. (1997) Managing People in Education, Paul Chapman, London, p. 172.
The Education (School Teacher Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2000
DfES/Ofsted 2005, A New Relationship with Schools: Next Steps.

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5 Further information

The Scottish Government: Education & Training Curriculum for Excellence

www.ltscotland.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence/whatiscfe/purposes.asp

Learning and Teaching Scotland Literacy

www.ltscotland.org.uk/literacy/index.asp

Department for children, schools and families: Standards Site

www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/primary/


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