6.3 The roots of segmentation

Why does segmentation occur? One approach to this question focuses upon the evolution of the product markets, from the competitive and the localised to the producer dominated, and from the national to an international market. Technological change makes capital-intensive methods of production possible. Employers, however, are unwilling to undertake large-scale investment unless the product demand is stable and predictable; when demand is variable, labour-intensive techniques are preferred. A g
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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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4.2 Security and privacy

The internet is not a particularly secure place. There are two aspects to this: the first is that information is widely published throughout the internet which can be used for criminal and near-criminal activities. The second aspect is that since the internet is an open system, details of its underlying technologies are freely available to anybody. This means that the way data passes through the internet is in the public domain; the consequence of this is that, theoretically, anyone with the
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7.1 Hierarchies of ideas

A useful way of giving sense and structure to ideas can sometimes be to see them in the form of a hierarchy. At one end is the ‘big picture’ (e.g. general context, principles, theories, ideas, concepts) and at the other end are particular facts, examples and other details. For example, the concept of living things contains the category of animals and plants. Animals contains the category of mammals, which contains the category of dogs, which contains the specific type of dog called Dalmat
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7 Giving structure to thinking

Two common thinking problems are: a feeling of not being able to 'see the wood for the trees', and difficulty in being logical and orderly. The key to solving them is being able to think about ideas and information in a conceptual and systematic way so that you have ways to structure your thinking. This can involve:

  • looking at the broader context

  • developing mental models and frameworks to hang ideas and information on

  • bein
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9 Letting go

This is the point where you have to make the decision that the assignment is complete and ready to be sent off. It is not always an easy decision to make. Perhaps you feel that there is always room for further improvement or there is something more that you could have done.

At a certain stage, the potential gain from further refinement is not sufficient to warrant delaying submission or to risk impeding progress with your course. Remember, you should be aiming for what is ‘good enough
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6.2 Turning the spotlight on your work

Having established some general principles, try now to subject your own work to the same scrutiny.

Activity 14

Take one of your most recent essays or reports and ask yourself, ‘What does it look like?’ That is, d
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5.2.2 Opening up ideas: analysing the question

What do you need to know about your assignment? Most importantly, what it's about (i.e. the topic). Once you have worked this out, you are in a better position to gauge how much you already know and how much you will need to find out.

Activity 9


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5.1.2 ‘Good enough’ is OK

We can almost hear you saying that you never have enough time for your assignments, whatever your approach, and we empathise with this view. This may be even more of a problem if English is not your first language. It is well known that time constraints are a barrier in distance learning, and you may well have to be satisfied with doing what is good enough, whatever your circumstances. Your aim should not be to submit the ‘perfect’ assignment (even if there were such a thing). Look again
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Conclusion

This free course provided an introduction to studying the arts and humanities. 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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8.6 Research skills

This kind of work teaches some very valuable skills:

  • how to set about an enquiry

  • how and where to find source material and information

  • how to make your own investigations

  • strategic planning

  • time management

  • cutting corners and being pragmatic

  • analysing and interpreting primary and secondary source material

  • forming your own conclusions<
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8.5 Writing a project report

Finally, you write up your project report. It is important to recognise that this will go through several drafts. You can't just sit down and write a report on this sort of scale quickly or easily. You will have gathered far too much material for that. And it may take you a little while really to get into the writing. Towards the end of the research phase, as you face up to writing proper, you may reach a kind of plateau where nothing much seems to be going on. The excitement of the pl
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8.4 Carrying out research

During this stage you get down to the business of analysing and interpreting the meanings of all your primary and secondary source material (documents, reports, newspaper accounts, books and articles), in the ways outlined in the previous sections of this course. As you do so you will be making notes towards your project report. In this connection, it is very important to write down full references for all the material you use as you read each item. Then you can easily find part
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8.3 Planning your enquiry

I am grateful to Tony Coulson, Liaison Librarian (Arts) at The Open University, for his help with this section; also to Magnus John, Information Services Manager, International Centre for Distance Learning.

At this stage, you will be deciding what methods of enquiry to use and the scale of investigation to attempt. Will examining company papers, government reports and newspapers provide enough of the right kind of information? Or, since independent broadcasting comp
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Acknowledgements

Cover image: CIAT in Flickr made available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions). Thi
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6.4.2 A broad view of technology

This dual nature is not because machines or chemicals are inherently good or bad; it arises from the way societies decide to use them (or not). This makes sense if you take a broad view of technology, outlined at the beginning of this Introduction. This is the understanding that technology, and it's uses from artefacts to infrastructure, is the product of human and social action. It is a major driver of the development of societies and their economies, but the forms and directions thes
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4.3 The UK experience: competing trends

But one striking example does not make an argument. To try to get a fuller and possibly fairer picture of energy use by domestic refrigerators I'd like also to look at the UK experience over the past few decades.

To start with it helps to have a feel for which parts of the UK economy use the most energy. The UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI, 1998), identifies four main economic sectors: domestic (households), industry, services and transport.

In 2003 the domestic sector (h
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2.2 We are part of nature

Take a few minutes to look around at your surroundings before you read on. What do you see? Obviously this depends on where you are at the moment: at home, at work, or perhaps travelling in between, or maybe you have the misfortune to be laid up in hospital. Possibly like me you are at home. I am fortunate to have a study where I do much of my writing and you won't be surprised to hear that I'm looking at a computer screen at the moment. What else can I see? Books and bookshelves, furniture o
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2.4 Worlds in motion: the importance of flows

‘The sea had welled up suddenly through thousands of tiny holes in this atoll's bedrock of coral.’ Do you recall this passage in Lynas's (2003) account of his first days on Tuvalu in Reading 1A? For me, this gives an impression of the islands being quite literally porous, a solid ground that reveals itself, now and again, to be not so solid after all. Lynas offers this particularly striking example of the island's openness to the world around it as evidence of a growing vulnerability that
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1.2.2 Change and response in the ‘meadows of the sea’

Midway along the northern shore of the Blackwater estuary lie the Old Hall Marshes on a peninsula three and a half miles long and lying between tidal creeks and mudflats (see Figures 3 and 15a). It is a wild, flat, remote area of mixed ha
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