This key skill is about helping you understand how you learn; think about how you can improve your own learning and performance, and consider how you might generalise the principles and processes for future learning.

Improving your learning and performance could be considered to be a â€˜meta-skillâ€™, that is the skill of learning how to learn. This unit, then, is a little different from the other skills units because improving your own learning and performance is not a separate option
Author(s): The Open University

The Windows calculator is supplied with the Windows operating system. This section provides you with basic instructions for its use, and a few practice activities. The Windows calculator also provides a help menu that you can use.

Author(s): The Open University

The charts about different modes of transport and that on attendance figures at a range of cultural events all use what might be called â€˜word categoriesâ€™. Each category (e.g. bus, rail, cycle, and walk) is quite distinct from any other in the set of categories. Such distinct categories are known in mathematics as â€˜discrete variablesâ€™.

Word categories are not the only type of variable that is discrete; numbers can also be discrete. For example, at the beginning of this section, w
Author(s): The Open University

Social scientists use particular methods to gather qualitative evidence, from observation to interview, but they also use autobiographical accounts, journalism, and other documentary material to flesh out and add meaning to statistics.

As with reading numbers, reading textual evidence requires us to practise, to set time aside to learn how to do it, and to understand the conventions of writing which operate in the different forms of writing we encounter. One of the main pr
Author(s): The Open University

• What we must do to understand numbers as they are used as evidence in social science is to practise and so become familiar with them, and to understand the conventions which determine how they are used.

• Sets of numerical data can be presented in many ways, as tables, bar charts, pie charts or line graphs. These are just different ways of trying to represent or make a picture of numbers. Which is used is largely a matter of which best shows
Author(s): The Open University

When you are absolutely sure that you know what the diagram or table is all about, start to look for patterns, for discrepancies, for peaks and troughs, for anything unusual. Diagrams and tables are highly patterned information, and they often tell a relatively simple story underneath. Don't get bogged down in the relationship between individual numbers, but look to see whether one relationship is like another, or whether one set of numbers stands out significantly from the rest.

Author(s): The Open University

Social scientists collect evidence to support their claims and theories in different ways. Such evidence is crucial to the practice of social science and to the production of social scientific knowledge.

You may be aware of the idea of active reading, which is about reading with the aim of understanding and grasping something: a definition, an argument, a piece of evidence. What that suggests is that active reading is about reading and thinking at the same time. In
Author(s): The Open University

Gould, P. and White, R. (1974) Mental Maps, Harmondsworth, Penguin.
Knox, P. and Agnew, J. (1989) The Geography of the World Economy, London, Edward Arnold.
Smith, R. (1997) Simple Map Reading, Edinburgh, HMSO. This is a short handbook on the techniques of map reading, explained in a str
Author(s): The Open University

For many of us the concept of attention may have rather negative connotations. At school we were told to pay attention, making us all too aware that it was not possible to listen to the teacher while at the same time being lost in more interesting thoughts. Neither does it seem possible to listen effectively to two different things at the same time. How many parents with young children would love to be able to do that! One could be excused for feeling that evolution has let us down by failing
Author(s): The Open University

We can draw the following general conclusions about cognitive and biological explanations of abnormality from the material presented above.

• Both cognitive and biological accounts of dyslexia are offered as theories which explain the behavioural difficulties that are observed. While some theories may dominate accounts of a given condition (e.g. the phonological deficit hypothesis), and may result in influencing the nature of interventions, they are sti
Author(s): The Open University

These different methods alert us to the fact that psychology is not just one enterprise, but a series of interlocking enterprises in which psychologists have different views about the best ways to try to understand or explain people and their behaviour and experience. These are arguments about epistemology; that is, what questions to ask, what sort of evidence to look for, what sort of criteria to use to evaluate explanations, and what sort of methods to use.

All knowledge and al
Author(s): The Open University

A second kind of data is people's inner experiences, including their feelings, beliefs and motives. These cannot be directly seen from the outside; they remain private unless freely spoken about or expressed in some other way. Examples of these inner experiences include feelings, thoughts, images, representations, dreams, fantasies, beliefs and motivations or reasons. These are only accessible to others via verbal or written reports or as inferred from behaviours such as non-verbal communicat
Author(s): The Open University

IBM, â€˜Software accessibilityâ€™ guidelines and checklist,

IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center

Trace Research and Development Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison,â€˜Application software design guidelinesâ€™

Author(s): The Open University

School governors are responsible for establishing the performance management policy of the school and for reviewing the performance of the headteacher. This unit will guide you through these processes, including the appeals procedure should the headteacher have any concerns. You will also learn the importance of linking performance review to pay review.

Author(s): The Open University

Composing for an entire film is an intense and intensive experience, which must usually be completed in a very short time. Composers are always the last people to work on a film, and cannot begin writing the score until the final edit of the film is ready, often only a few weeks before the film is to be released.

Composers work in many different ways: David Arnold (the current James Bond composer) uses an electronic keyboard and computers to record and manipulate his ideas, which are or
Author(s): The Open University

There are close to three thousand museums, galleries and heritage sites in the UK and there are approximately 100 million visits made to them every year. Internationally important collections of ancient relics and artistic masterpieces jostle for our attention alongside personal collections of precious oddities.

We have a dynamic national network of hi-tech, interactive science centres, encouraging creative thinking and practical experimentation. The centres look back at the history of
Author(s): The Open University

Harnessing the power of original, real things, that's what learning in museums is all about â€¦

Osborne (2004)

Pupils are handling a Second World War gas mask. This is part of their work on the Home Front. They can feel the weight of the gas mask and smell the stifling warmth of the mask on their face. This gives them a depth of understanding that nothing else could. For the moment they are
Author(s): The Open University

All people are capable of creative achievements in some areas of activity, provided the conditions are right, and they have acquired the relevant knowledge and skills â€¦ creative possibilities are pervasive in the concerns of everyday life, its purposes and problems â€¦ creative activity is also pervasive â€¦ creativity can be expressed in collaborative as well as individual activities, in teamwork, in
Author(s): The Open University

Birkett, D. (2001) â€˜The school we'd likeâ€™, The Guardian, 5 June 2001. Available from: http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,5500,501374,00.html [Accessed 23 November 2003].
Brown, P. (2001) â€˜The erosion of geographyâ€™, The Guardian, 20 November 2001. Available from: www.education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,5500,597485,00.html [Accessed 20 November 2003].
Author(s): The Open University

Davies, S. White Man Sleeps, performed by Siobhan Davies Dance Company.
Rist, R. (1991) â€˜Dance Scienceâ€™, The Dancing Times, December 1991, p. 243.

Author(s): The Open University