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The family at the centre of early learning
This free course, The family at the centre of early learning, focuses on the positive learning relationships that can exist in any family and how ordinary, everyday domestic activities can sustain learning. You will consider how the traditions and cultural practices of the community to which the family belongs filters through to the child’s experiences. In doing so you will think about why such influences may not have a uniform impact from family to family. You will also explore how learning i
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Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see http://www.open.ac.uk/conditions terms and conditions), this content is made available under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2

Introduction

This course examines the subject of brain-based learning, with a particular focus on the development of the young child's brain and is of particular relevance to those who work with young children. We begin by looking at the structure and functions of the brain, and the impact that sensory deprivation can have on these. We consider the implications of current understandings of brain development for teaching and learning, particularly in an early years setting, and finish by exploring the valu
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Essay and report writing skills
Writing reports and assignments can be a daunting prospect. Learn how to interpret questions and how to plan, structure and write your assignment or report. This free course, Essay and report writing skills, is designed to help you develop the skills you need to write effectively for academic purposes. First published on Fri, 18 May 2018 as Author(s): Creator not set

Introduction

This course is taken from Ouverture, a language course that concentrates on French as a tool for communication, but it also provides some insights into French society and culture through authentic printed, audio and video materials. It will be of interest to all those who want to improve their language skills in order to communicate more easily and effectively in French. This course focuses on the French on holiday.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open Univer
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5.3 Technique 3: Visualisation

Creating calming pictures or images in your mind, or 'visualising', can really help you to relax.


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5.2.1 A relaxation exercise

This is an exercise that can be done during an exam without drawing attention to yourself, or disturbing others.

1 Pull in stomach muscles tightly.Hold for a count of five.Relax.
2 Clench fist tightly.Hold for a count of five.Relax.
3 Extend yo
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5.1 Anxiety management techniques

You may find that exams provoke levels of anxiety which are highly uncomfortable, and that you do not produce your best work under such pressure. If you tend to be a perfectionist, an exam can be particularly stressful because it has a set time limit which limits lengthy planning, rewriting and checking. Even revision can be difficult if you are constantly worrying about whether you will remember and understand your material when you are in the exam room.

Anxiety management techniques w
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3.11.3 Maths, sciences and technology

The additional points we would want you to be aware of as you plan your revision in these subjects relate to the different ways in which you are called upon to present your answers. These might be:

  • short reports

  • multiple-choice answers

  • dif
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3.8 Stage 6: Rehearsing answering exam questions

Just like assignment questions, exam questions should be read carefully, because you need to demonstrate in your answer that you have understood the question. Examiners frequently complain that students lose vital marks through failing to read and interpret the questions properly.


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3.6.1 Making summary sheets or cards

Andrew Northedge, in The Good Study Guide uses a diagram to illustrate this (reproduced as Figure 4). He notes that:

To boil the course down in this way, so as to extract its concentrated essences, is extremely valuable because it converts the broad themes and the detailed discussions of the course
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • manage time more effectively when revising and in the exam itself

  • learn, or brush up on, revision and exam skills

  • feel equipped to approach exams with less anxiety and stress.


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5.1.2 In what context was the text published?

This amounts to asking, when was it written and for what audience. Academic texts are written to make a contribution to the debates going on within the field. To understand where an author is coming from and why arguments are being presented in a particular way, you need to be able to place the text in context. Layard's article was published in 2003 in the UK, and was drawn from a prestigious series of public lectures. So the context is a major statement by a prominent academic
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5.1.1 How much trust can I put in this text?

You would generally assume that any set texts for a are trustworthy. But when you find a text through your own research you need to run a few checks to assess the soundness of its content.

Who is the publisher?

If an article is from an academic journal, you can assume that its quality has been vetted by the journal's editors. Also if a book is published by a major academic publishing house, you would expect it to be ‘respectable’. And if it's a book from an academic ser
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5.1 Critical questions

As well as making sense of what you read, you have to think about whether or not you are convinced by the arguments being presented. At degree level, you don't simply accept what you read – you read ‘critically’, weighing up the strengths and weaknesses of the case the author makes. This means asking another set of questions, such as the ones discussed here.


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3.1 Skimming

Did you read the Layard article quickly enough, or perhaps too quickly? Reading speed is a persistent worry when you study. There always seems to be much more to read than you have time for, so you feel a tremendous pressure to read faster. But then, if you go too fast, you don't learn much. So what is the ‘right’ speed? The answer is – it depends on what you are trying to achieve.

It's surprising how much you can pick up if you push on quickly through a few pages.

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6.3 Planning stages

Having discussed the reasons to plan writing and the impact planning may have, now we need to look at planning itself and its two stages.


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4.2 Reports

Let's look at reports first.

Activity 3

Note down in your Learning Journal what you consider to be the purpose of a report.

Discussion


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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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6.2.4 Evidence ‘from authority’

When you present evidence for your judgements in an essay, you don't only draw that evidence from the text. You also often call on the ‘authority’ of other writers on the subject (critics, academics), drawing on their judgements. You can ‘make sense’ of other people's ideas in books, articles, TV programmes, and so on; and how to weigh up these ideas and use them to help you form your own. As regards your writing, you have to learn how to use this kind of ‘evidence from autho
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