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4.8 Mean, median and mode

Most of us are familiar with the word ‘average’. We regularly encounter statements like ‘the average temperature in May was 4 °C below normal’ or ‘underground water reserves are currently above average’. The term average is used to convey the idea of an amount, which is standard; typical of the values involved. When we are faced with a set of values, the average should help us to get a quick understanding of the general size of the values in the set. The mean, median and mode are
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2.4 See what you can do on the web

The web is immense, made up of information held on computers across the world. You can find out things about any subject or topic you care to name, however obscure it might be.

The section entitled Searching later in this unit provides advice and tips on searching the web and finding what you want.


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2.3 Learning more

Consider your main use for the PC, and check that you have the skills or knowledge you need. Although some students use spreadsheets and databases, the key skills for most students are:

  • word processing study notes and assignments;

  • searching for information on the web;

  • using conferencing and email.

If you feel you need to know more about using your computer there are a number of options open to you.
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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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5.1.4 History

There is no general dictionary or companion to the study of history as such. However, there are period and subject-specific companions and indexes, such as:

Jones, C. (1990) The Longman Companion to the French Revolution, London, Longman.

Consult those appropriate to your course.


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3.7.3 Fluency

Try to make your essays flow from one sentence to the next. As we have seen, this is partly a matter of structure and partly of signposting. It is vital to think of your essay in terms of its overall structure – to move points around, and cut and trim, in search of a clear sequence for your ideas. Then, having worked out a structure, you have to ‘talk’ your reader through it, emphasising the key turning points in the essay, summarising where you have got to, showing how ea
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3.7.2 Language

Your language should be direct rather than fancy. Don't strive for effect. You should always go for short and simple sentences where you can – especially when you are building up a basic essay-writing style. You can play with more elaborate words and grammatical structures later, when you have established a secure basic technique. Don't beat about the bush; pitch straight in to answering the essay question in a direct, purposeful way.


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8.3 Acknowledging the sources of ideas

Even when you have used your own words it is essential that you acknowledge the source of the ideas you re-present. This entails making a note of the author and date of publication of the material from which you extract key concepts and points. So at the end of our summary of the Croall extract above, we would need to acknowledge that we got our information from that source by putting (Croall, 1998) at the end of the relevant paragraph. If you use more than one author's work in a paragraph th
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4 Taking the point: identifying key ideas

As earlier activities have demonstrated, active reading and note taking often come hand-in-hand. In order to read effectively we often have to jot down the main ideas and key words introduced in the text. We might also note down one or two questions as we go along to assist in the ‘thinking’ part of the process. But, like reading, note taking comes in all shapes and sizes, and different kinds of notes can be useful for different purposes. Moreover, good note taking, like purposeful, activ
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3.2 Consciousness of the body

Phenomenological theorists distinguish between the subjective body (as lived and experienced) and the objective body (as observed and scientifically investigated). These are not two different bodies as such (phenomenologists pride themselves on overcoming dualisms!); rather they are different facets of our experience and consciousness.

The body-subject, or subjective body, is the body-as-it-is-lived. I do not simply possess a body; I am my body (Merleau-Ponty, 1962
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Introduction

The body has traditionally been treated as a biological object in psychology. However, some psychologists believe there is more to our bodies than that as they recognise that it is through the body that we relate to other people and the world about us. This unit explores one particular theoretical perspective on embodiment: the phenomenological psychological perspective. This is an approach to psychology that acknowledges the social nature of embodiment, placing embodied experience centre sta
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References

Allport, D.A. (1987) ‘Selection for action: some behavioural and neurophysiological considerations of attention and action’, in Heuer, H. And Sanders, A.F. (eds) Perspectives on Perception and Action, Hillsdale, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Baylis, G.C., Driver, J., Baylis, L. and Rafal, R.D. (1994) ‘Reading of letters and words in a patient with Balint's syndrome’, Neuropsychological, vol.
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6 Concluding thoughts

We seem to have come a long way and covered a great deal of ground since I approached this subject by explaining that a mechanism must exist to help us focus on one sound out of many. That clearly is one function of attention, but attention seems to have other functions too. The results of visual search experiments show that attention is a vital factor in joining together the features that make up an object, and the experiences of brain-damaged patients suggest that this feature-assembly role
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5.4 Summary of Section 5

Many familiar themes have re-emerged in this section, together with the recognition that attention is involved in the assembly of remembered material as well as of current perceptions.

  • Attention is associated with the generation of perceptual objects.

  • In addition to being an essential part of external stimulus processing, attention influences remembered experiences.

  • ERP data show that cortical signals derived from una
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5.3 Event-related potentials

When a sense organ (eye, ear, etc.) receives a stimulus, the event eventually causes neurons to ‘fire’ (i.e. produce electrical discharges) in the receiving area of the brain. The information is sent on from these first sites to other brain areas. With appropriate apparatus and techniques it is possible to record the electrical signals, using electrodes attached to the scalp. The electrical potentials recorded are called event-related potentials (ERPs), since they dependably follow
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Module team

Open University staff

Dr Dorothy Miell, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences (Course Team Chair)

Dr Paul Anand, Lecturer in Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences

Peter Barnes, Lecturer in Centre for Childhood, Development and Learning, Faculty of Education and Language Studies

Pam Berry, Key Compositor

Dr Nicola Brace, Lecturer in Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences

Dr Nick Braisby, Lectur
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4.4.6 Do – seek additional funding for expensive adjustments

If a reasonable adjustment requires extra resources, such as using more expensive but accessible software, course providers should ask whether their institutions receive government funding for disabled students and bid for extra resources.


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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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4.4.4 Do – provide alternative academic content

There is a difference between supplying deaf students with a simple transcript of an interview, which is a straightforward translation between formats, and providing blind students with an alternative to a visual image. In some cases, a transcript may require an academic decision about whether to transcribe every ‘um’ and ‘er’ or background noise. Decisions about alternative academic content need to be taken by the author of a resource, or someone with the same understanding of the in
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4.4.3 Do – consider the impact of alternative study methods and helpers

The impact is related to the two types of barrier mentioned above and the intended learning outcomes of an activity. For example, does it contradict the learning objectives if a deaf student relies on a transcript or subtitles for a specific activity? A student may wish to use a helper for course components that cannot be made accessible to them. Returning to the example of someone who cannot hold a stylus, will it be the same experience if they observe someone else using a mobile device?


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