Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • recognise the interaction of human and physical processes in the making of environments and the understanding of environmental issues

  • understand coastal regions as dynamic and contested environments

  • consider the contested nature of coastal management policies using the case study of managed retreat.


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Learning, thinking and doing
How do we learn? Understanding how is the key to learning more effectively. This free course, Learning, thinking and doing, looks at the three main categories of theories: the acquisitive, constructivist and experiential models of learning. There is no right way to learn but developing an active approach will ensure that you are open to new ideas. Author(s): Creator not set

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2.1 Systems thinking: the first step

The processes of analysis and synthesis in conventional thinking are based on the concept of an object. An object is something that can be clearly distinguished from its environment and can be characterised by its attributes. Attributes enable categorisation schemes that are the basis of our normal thinking. So when you look at a particular ecosystem, for example a pond, you find different animals and plants. And if you look at any ‘book of the pond’ you find each a
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2.2 Introduction to communication

In Reading 2.1 I identified communication with others as being an important way in which humans learn. Unlike many other animals, we don't have to interact directly with our Author(s): The Open University

Stage 4: Generation of routes to objectives (how could we get there?)

This stage explores the different ways of achieving the defined objectives. It is the most imaginative and free-thinking stage of the approach. The idea is initially to generate as many ideas as possible, then to whittle the list down to two or three ‘definite possibilities’ that can be carried further in the development stage.


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2.1 The nature of systems thinking and systems practice

There are no simple definitions for either systems thinking or systems practice. It's difficult to find definitions that capture all the perspectives that the ideas carry for people who think of themselves as systems thinkers and systems practitioners. Most systems practitioners seem to experience the same kind of difficulty in explaining what they do or what it means to be systemic in their thinking. Through experience I've developed some criteria by which I characterize systems thinking, bu
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1.1.1 Learning by experience

It's a familiar idea but it implies two activities: learning and experiencing. Both activities need to happen if I am to say that learning from experience has happened. Experiencing seems to have two components. The first is the quality of attention that allows me to notice the experience and its components. The second is memory. Calling experience to mind allows me to examine the experience and to think about it in ways that were not possible at the time. Learning is what I take away from th
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8.3.5 Alternative plasma chamber designs: MERIE and ICP

There are several variants of the parallel-plate RIE chamber. For example:

  • The ‘magnetically enhanced’ MERIE, where magnetic fields are used to slow the leakage of plasma to the chamber walls, reducing the operating voltage and improving the power efficiency.

  • ‘Plasma mode’ operation, where the RF voltage is applied to the chamber ceiling and the platen is grounded. This reduces the ion energy at the wafer from hundreds of volts t
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18.2.2 Compatibility

An innovation that is compatible with the experiences, values and needs of its potential buyers will be adopted more rapidly than one that isn't compatible. For example mobile phones have spread rapidly because they are compatible with social and cultural trends towards faster communications, increased personal mobility and the desirability of high-tech gadgets. However the car seat belt, patented in 1903, wasn't adopted on any significant scale until the 1970s (Author(s): The Open University

References

Baird, R (1982) ‘Religious or non-religious: TM in American courts’, Journal of Dharma, vol.7, no.4, pp. 391–407.
Barker, E. (1989) New Religious Movements – A Practical Introduction, London, HMSO.

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7.5 Religion: a ‘good’ thing or a ‘bad’ thing?

In considering the value of religions, we can begin by saying that one of the first tasks of the critical student should certainly be to test the basis of judgements offered by other commentators. We saw earlier that the Church of Scientology has had problems gaining official recognition as a ‘religion’ i
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7.4 Religion: true or false?

I noted earlier that differences between the truth claims made by religions has led those who practise Religious Studies to avoid premature judgements when dealing with questions relating to the truth and value of particular religions. By seeming to by-pass truth claims, you may feel that what I have been describing as Religious Studies avoids what many would regard as the purpose of religion – to deal in truths. This is a difficult area to cover briefly, but let me at least try to explain
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7.3 ‘Insiders’ and ‘outsiders’

The claim that it is possible to study religion adequately from a disinterested position has been hotly debated. Can the understanding of the observer achieve the same level of insight and authority as the participant in a religion? No serious student of religion can avoid confronting this question.

The ‘outsider’ cannot escape depending to an extent upon insights from ‘insiders’ when studying a particular religion. An ‘outsider’ who has never been through a particular ritua
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6.3 Setting things apart

The tendency within religious behaviour to set things apart from the everyday does not just apply to time and place but also to ideas of authority (leaders and texts), to beliefs more generally, to institutions and to aspects of behaviour as, for example, in dress and diet. In fact, the concept of ‘religion/religious’ is often set over and against the concept of the ‘temporal’ and the ‘secular’, which both suggest an outlook that is concerned solely with this world, the here and n
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7.1 Evidence required

This Part is about showing that you can develop a strategy for using and improving your information literacy skills, monitor your progress, and evaluate your overall strategy and performance. The evidence you present must show what you have done as you worked through the processes of planning strategically, monitoring, evaluating and presenting your work. Part A must relate directly to the work you have selected for Part B.

You must present evidence to show you can:


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7.3 Monitoring your progress

Use your records or logbook to help you provide a reflective commentary on:

  • what you did to help you set up and use IT methods and techniques to achieve your goals; for example, what you did to:

    • search for information and explore alternative lines of enquiry;

    • exchange information to meet your purpose (e.g. email, computer conferencing, video conferencing, web pages, document sharing systems);

      <
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7.2 Developing a strategy

Present notes/records that show you have planned your use of IT skills. Your evidence must include:

  • the goals you hope to achieve over 3–4 months or so; you should indicate how these goals relate to the context in which you are working and to your current capabilities;

  • notes about the resources you might use, and what information you need to research to achieve your goals; for example, discussions and e-conferences, online resources, s
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3.2 Answering the question

An essay can be good in almost every other way and yet be judged poor because it ignores the question in the title. Strictly speaking, I should say ‘it ignores the issues presented in the title’ because not every essay title actually contains a question. But, in fact, there is usually a central question underlying an essay title, even when it takes the form of a quotation from a text followed by the instruction ‘Discuss’. And you need to work out what that underlying question is, beca
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Psychological research, obedience and ethics
In this free course, Psychological research, obedience and ethics, you will learn about the importance of ethics in research that is undertaken by psychologists. You will read about the famous study on obedience conducted by Stanley Milgram, and watch two psychologists talk about their research with meerkats and chimpanzees. First published o
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Panic attacks: what they are and what to do about them
Panic attacks: what they are and what to do about them is a free course that should be helpful to anyone who experiences panic or panic attacks, for their family and friends, and anyone more generally interested in mental health and mental health treatment. The course starts by exploring formal definitions of panic and panic attack. These are then contrasted with personal accounts of the experience of panic. It also presents some of the key understandings of why panic attacks happen, and pr
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