Acknowledgements

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

This extract is taken from D218: Social policy: welfare, power and diversity, produced by the BBC on behalf of the Open University.

© 2007 The Open University.


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16.7 A loyalty card scheme

Supermarkets, and other types of retailer, use loyalty cards to encourage customers to use their particular shops. Points are awarded when a customer spends money in the shop. Supermarkets ‘reward’ their customers by converting loyalty card points into vouchers. They may also give them discount vouchers for a range of products.

Supermarkets use their loyalty card schemes to collect data about their customers. Data about each customer is held in a large database where each customer i
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15 Computers and communication systems working together

The combination of communication systems and computers has produced powerful new systems not possible when these technologies are used separately. In section 15–19, I'll be using an ICT system in a supermarket as an example, as it is something that you have probably experienced. The material in this study session is not intended to be a comprehensive examination of how ICT systems are used in supermarkets; I'll just be focusing on some of the supermarket's activities in order to highlight t
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11.2 The processor

The processor can be thought of as the ‘brain’ of the computer in that it manages everything the computer does. A processor is contained on a single microchip or ‘chip’. A chip is a small, thin slice of silicon, which might measure only a centimetre across but can contain hundreds of millions of transistors. The transistors are joined together into circuits by tiny wires which can be more than a hundred times thinner than a human hair. These tiny circuits enable t
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2.2.2 Drawing the boundary

Deciding where to place the system boundary is an important consideration in that we have to think about what to include and exclude. This isn't always an easy decision to make and it often depends on the perspective of the person viewing the system.

The system maps in Figures 1
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3.5 Establishing Ethernet standards

The first Ethernet network was developed in the early 1970s, long before the days of the World Wide Web and personal computers (PCs). It was designed by researchers at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre in California, USA to connect the Centre's ‘Alto’ computers to an office printer.

Ethernet's journey from its modest roots to become the dominant network technology is a fascinating one. One of the main reasons for its success lies with the decision to publish the standard. Standard
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5.4 Conclusion

You have seen that although the three products you have looked at are very different types of computer, they all embody the same basic functionality and a version of Figure 3 can be drawn for each product to illustrate this.

One feature of the PC is the range of forms of secondary memory it can use, and
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5.3 Digital camera

The last computer I am going to look at is the embedded computer in a digital camera.

Figure 10 shows a picture of a digital camera. The screen of the camera is displaying a picture that has previously been stored in a memory card within the camera. This memory card is not the camera computer's main memory, nor is it the secondary memory used to hold the computer's program; it is a form of removable secondary memory where the computer stores the images taken. Next to the camera in Figur
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2.1 What is modelling?

Modelling is about building representations of things in the ‘real world’ and allowing ideas to be investigated; it is central to all activities in the process for building or creating an artefact of some form or other. In effect, a model is a way of expressing a particular view of an identifiable system of some kind. Models are:

  • a means of understanding the problems involved in building something;

  • an aid to communicati
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7.2.7 Collaboration platforms

Companies whose internet offerings can be described by this business model provide sites which enable companies to collaborate with each other, usually when the companies are spread over large distances. For example, a company which runs a collaboration platform might provide facilities for companies who wish to come together in order to tender for a complex project in a particular market sector such as aerospace.


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2.3 Your learning history

Activity 3

You do not need to explore this in detail - just pause for a moment and think about:

  • one good (enjoyable and effective) learning experience
  • one experience that was perhaps less effect
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3.3.2 What problems might you have with this?

One way to think about the problems you might have with using academic theory on Learning to change is to think about the difference between getting personal feedback and using academic ideas. Academic theory about learning is unlikely to have considered your particular experiences or the story of your life. This may mean that some parts of theory may not seem to apply to you. Often theory is found written down in books or journal articles which are read by other academics; they
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4.5 An overview of problems and solutions

You may come up against problems in online conferences that cause you frustration or annoyance, and make you less likely to participate. In the following subsections we discuss ways to handle the challenges of:

  • not knowing what to say;

  • feeling you are saying too much;

  • not everyone participating;

  • there being too much to do;

  • nobody saying anything.


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2.5.2 Punctuation

Some of the sentences we have looked at are harder to understand than they might be because they are not very well punctuated. Punctuation marks are the ‘stops’ in a sentence that divide it up into parts. They make it easier to follow the meaning of the words. For instance, it is easier to read this sentence of Philip's if we put a comma after ‘wealthy’:

With society becoming more wealthy, it was possible for t
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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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1.3.4 Stage 2: Find a way in

Bearing in mind your analysis of the overt purpose of the piece of writing, whether it is explicitly social science or art, politics, entertainment etc., try to establish its basic point, its most obvious message. What is the title or headline; is it clear and ‘factual’, does it refer to some previous debate or require some sort of previous knowledge? Are there sub-headings and can you get an idea of how the ‘story’ goes from them? Skim read the introduction and the conclusion. Can yo
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • recognise some of the skills which are particularly associated with the way social scientists work;

  • describe some basic techniques relating to reading, for example, highlighting, note-taking and the processing;

  • write in your own words using references and quoting sources.


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Introduction

This unit is about the very basic study skills of reading and taking notes. You will be asked to think about how you currently read and then be introduced to a some techniques that may help you to alter the way you read according to the material you are studying. In the second section you will be asked to look at some useful techniques for note taking and how you may apply them to the notes you make.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Introducing the soc
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1.5 Summary of Section 1

The auditory system is able to process sounds in such a way that, although several may be present simultaneously, it is possible to focus upon the message of interest. However, in experiments on auditory attention, there have been contradictory results concerning the fate of the unattended material:

  • The auditory system processes mixed sounds in such a way that it is possible to focus upon a single wanted message.

  • Unattended material a
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1.2.4 Personal distress

Another way of defining psychological ‘abnormality’ is to ask whether certain behaviours or styles of functioning cause distress to the individual concerned. Think about your response to what you consider to be ‘normal’ alcohol consumption. Perhaps you specified a maximum number of units per day or week? If so, why did you do this? Is it because of the health problems associated with excessive drinking, or because of its association with antisocial behaviour? Some of you may believe t
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