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Introduction

This course will help you understand the expressions social construction and social constructionism. These terms are used in the study of the Social Sciences and, in particular, in relation to Social Policy. The materials are primarily an audio file, originally 28 minutes in length and recorded in 2001.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 1 study in Author(s): The Open University

6.2 Dual labour market theory

According to this theory, the labour market is composed of self-contained sub-markets or segments. Segmentation economists argue that ignoring the different identities of these segments and the constraints they place on the workers makes it impossible to understand the nature of labour market disadvantage. Basically, the dual approach hypothesises that a dichotomy has developed over time between a high-wage primary segment and a low-wage secondary segment. Working conditions in the primary se
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The Final Cut
It is often said that a movie comes to life in the edit suite. Ben Harrex of Final Cut post production studios in London discusses five themes with examples; The Cut, The Dissolve, Cropping and Resizing, Titles and The Sound. Ben explains how the video editor has a huge amount of creative control over how the final product looks. This material forms part of The Open University course T215 Communication and information technologies.Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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7.6 Arithmetic with binary fractions

My final point in the preceding section brings home the fact that integer arithmetic is not really suitable when divisions are to be performed. It is also not suitable where some or all of the values involved in the arithmetic are not – or are not necessarily – integers, and this is often the case. In such cases, arithmetic has to be performed on non-integers.

The most common representation for non-integers is the floating-point representation that I mentioned briefly in Box 3. You
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6 Manipulating data in computers: introduction

Sections 1 to 5 of this course have shown that in a computer all types of data are represented by binary codes, and that programmers must make sure that the programs they write treat this data appropriately in any particular application: as text if it is intended to be text, as a binary fraction if it is intended to be a binary fraction, and so on.

Programmers must also ensure that the programs manipulate the binary codes in an appropriate way for the particular application. But what so
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4.4 Representing sound

Sound, such as speech or music, is an analogue physical quantity that varies with time, and so the ideas you have already met in Section 2.5 about converting analogue weights to digital form are relevant here too. In particular, samples of the sound will have to be taken, and each sample will have to be quantised to the nearest binary code in the digital representation.

It's important to appreciate that sound such as speech or music varies rapidly with time, and so samples of it will ha
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4.3 Representing moving images

A moving image is simply a series of still images presented at sufficiently short time intervals that the eye smoothes over the change from one image to the next. In practice, this means the images must change at a minimum rate of around 20 per second; if the rate is lower then the moving image flickers or is jerky. Each still image that goes to make up a moving image is known as a frame.

So far as computers are concerned, moving images are of two types. One type is animations
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4.1 Introduction

Personal computers, or PCs, are very versatile computers and can perform a huge range of tasks. So whereas the uses of the kitchen scales and the digital camera indicate clearly what types of data are to be represented, the PC leaves the field very broad indeed. I have therefore chosen to consider some of the data representations used when families and friends use emails to keep in touch. Very conveniently, these lead to some different data representations.

At their simplest, emails are
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3.4 Input and output considerations

CCDs are not inherently able to detect colour, only brightness. So it is necessary to rely on the fact that any colour of light can be made up from the three primary colours of light: red, blue and green. (Note that the three primary colours of light are different from the three primary colours of pigments.) Each CCD in the array is therefore overlaid with a red, blue or green filter and so detects the brightness of, respectively, the red light, the blue light or the green light falling on it
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3.2 Representing still images

There are two basic methods of representing still images in a computer: bit maps (also sometimes called raster graphics or raster images) and vector graphics (also sometimes called geometrical-shape graphics or graphics metafiles). Bit maps are usually used when there is a great deal of detail, as in photographs, or when there are irregular shapes, such as in drawings of natural objects. Vector graphics are usually reserved for line and blocked-colour drawings consisting of regu
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2.7 Input and output considerations

So far in Section 2 I have focused on how the data is represented, or encoded, inside the weighing-scales computer. But how does it get into the computer? And how does it get out again in a form that users can recognise? These are big questions, and ones that later parts of the course will be going into in some detail. But I can sketch some answers here.

Weight is the most important input in the kitchen scales. To detect a weight, sensors are placed under the scalepan. They produce an e
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6.1 Various resources

6.1.1 How search engines work

The Spider's Apprentice offers general advice, FAQs and a page on how search engines work.

SearchEngineWatch.com is a site packed with information about search engines. It is mainly intended for marketing purposes, but also has articles on How Search Engines Work, Major Search Engines and Directories, Kids Search Engines, and Metacrawlers and Me
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4.7 Soundex

You will have seen that most genealogical websites and software can match names despite differences in spelling. For example, FamilySearch provides a check box to choose matches using exact spelling; if this box is not checked, results include many variant spellings. How is this done?

Most genealogy software uses the soundex method; this has been used to index the US census back to 1900. Soundex converts names that sound similar into the same code and the search is then performed on the
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3.1 The World Wide Web

The aim of Section 4 is to describe briefly the main facilities of the Internet that are used to support e-commerce and e-business systems.

The web is nothing more than a collection of files stored at locations throughout the world. These files are written using a special language known as the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). A file written using this language will contain text which forms the information content of the file, together with instructions which define how th
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Learning to teach: becoming a reflective practitioner (Chinese)
本免费课程是“学会教学:成为反思型教学实践者”课程的中文翻译版本,英文原版也在本网站中提供。 This free course is the Chinese version of Learning to teach: becoming a reflective practitioner, which is also available in English. First published on Wed, 12 Aug 2015 as Author(s): Creator not set

Beginners’ Chinese
Do you want to learn some basics in Mandarin Chinese? The tracks presented here are designed to give you a taste of Mandarin Chinese language and culture. You’ll hear short conversations where people greet each other, introduce themselves and their families, describe where they come from and what they do for a living. You’ll hear them talk about sports, ask for directions, buy things, order food in a restaurant, invite someone to dinner – or simply share their experience of learning Chines
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6.1 Making a convincing case

If you were talking to a friend about a picture hanging on your living-room wall, you might say: ‘I really like that portrait because the man looks so lifelike’. That is, you'd make some kind of judgement about the painting. (I've never heard anyone say ‘I really like that portrait because of that little white brush stroke in the top right-hand corner’.) So, in effect, you turn the process we have just been through on its head. When you are communicating your ideas to other peo
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7 Further reading and sources of help

Where to get more help with using and interpreting tables, graphs, percentages, and with other aspects of numerical work.


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2 What makes a good OER?

What is an open educational resource?

The term ‘open educational resource’ is one that encompasses a broad range of items. It can describe a single image or an entire short course, and materials can be in any medium or a mixture. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has defined OERs as ‘digitised materials offered freely and openly for educators, students and
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