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4.2.1 Search engines: what are they?

The computer application that facilitates finding things on the web is known as a search engine. This is an application that serves a similar function to an index in a book. Figure 9(a) shows the home page of a typical search engine called Google.

Figure 9a
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2.1.2 Data and information

So far, I have used two words in connection with computers: data and information. Did you see any differences in the way the two terms have been used? Let me point out one.

Data refers to discrete items, such as the price of an item on the shelf of a supermarket, or the type of product listed on a sign over a supermarket aisle. The word ‘data’ is a plural Latin word but it is generally used as a singular word in English.

In contrast, information involves linking
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Introduction

This course examines four of the ‘grand theories’ of child development: behaviourism, social learning, constructivism and social constructivism.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 2 study in Education.


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Copyright © 2016 The Open University

5.2 Technique 2: Relaxation

Here are three relaxation techniques, which you can use before and during the exam.


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4.2.2 Read the whole exam paper through carefully

Students often describe feeling that everyone else starts writing confidently, straight away. Make sure you allow yourself at least 5 minutes to read calmly through the paper. It is tempting to grab at familiar questions, possibly even misreading them and turning them into the questions you want to answer. If you carefully and steadily unpack the questions, you will inevitably make a better selection.


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3.6.4 Using a computer

Besides other things, a computer offers the opportunity to organise, reorganise, and delete material, without having to write everything out every time you make a change. It also allows you to make notes as you go along, file them easily, and add and update them in your revision period.

You may even find that one of your software packages supports a facility for making notes. You will certainly have a range of layout facilities and graphics to enhance your notes.

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3.6 Stage 5: Understanding and learning the course material

Simply reading and re-reading the course materials will take you more time than you can afford, and is not an effective way of learning material for an exam. Adopt what is called an active approach to learning for your exam. Different subjects demand different active methods but, generally speaking, this approach involves you in manipulating or doing things with the material in a way that helps it to stick, so you can recall it later.

The first thing you need to do is to reduce t
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3.2 Stage 1: Finding out about the exam paper

As a first step, it is a good idea to find out as much as you can about the exam paper for your course. Find out how your exam paper is set out, the way the questions are organised, and what weight each question carries in terms of marks. Different papers adopt different formats. Some require multiple-choice answers. Others ask for essay or short paragraph answers. Some require technical or numerical answers. Reading the instructions on the exam paper is particularly important, as the followi
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3.1.1 First find a place to revise

Other than the obvious suggestions of having a warm, well-lit and comfortable place to work, we also suggest that you think about choosing a revision place where you can spread out your materials and leave them as they are, without having to pack anything away. This means that you can pick up and put down your revision whenever you find time to revise. This will help you to make the most of your revision time.

On the other hand, you may find that you concentrate better away from the dis
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2.2 Your motivation

Activity 2

Why did you decide to become a student and what do you hope to gain from your studies?

Think about this question for a few minutes and then note down your response.


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Learning outcomes

The broad aim of this unit is to provide a framework for learning-based activities and reflective exercises. More specifically, it is designed to offer you the opportunity to:

  • think about and understand how you learn;

  • apply the ideas and activities in this unit to your own learning experiences;

  • learn how to become a reflective learner.


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References

Entwistle, N. (1997) ‘Contrasting perspectives on learning’ in Marton, F., Hounsell, D. and Entwistle, N. (eds) The Experience of Learning: Implications for teaching and studying in Higher Education, Edinburgh, Scottish Academic Press Limited.
Marton, F. and R. Saljo (1997) ‘Approaches to learning’ in Marton, F., Hounsell, D. and Entwistle, N. (eds) The Experience of Learning: Implications for teachi
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7 Conclusion

Reading is a core activity in most courses of study. The purpose of it is to enable you to learn. But learning is not a passive process, you don't just let ideas wash over you. You have to make sense of them as you read and then use them to think with.

Key points


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5.1.6 Are the conclusions justified?

Though I was interested in the idea of treating high incomes as ‘pollution’, I did wonder whether taxing people to pay for the pollution caused by their rising incomes would work. In general though I was reasonably convinced by the conclusions Layard drew. On the other hand, if I was studying the subject more seriously, I might find that wider reading and further thought would make some of the conclusions seem less convincing.


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5.1.4 What evidence is offered?

Layard frequently offers evidence for his main points. I had the impression that this was just a sample from a wide range of relevant evidence that he had reviewed. Because of the prestigious context, I tended to assume that the evidence would be reliable and that Layard's interpretations would be pretty watertight. Nothing in the evidence seemed to conflict with my existing knowledge. However, if I were studying the subject more thoroughly, I would go back to the lectures from which his arti
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5.1.3 Does the argument follow logically?

As I was making sense of paragraph 3, I did pause to consider whether it was logically possible to say that on average richer people are happier, yet getting richer has not made us happier. Later, when I read that women in the US were less happy since their incomes had come closer to men's, it occurred to me that they would be unlikely to volunteer to revert to previous levels of inequality. This made me question what happiness really means, if it is not necessarily a state that a person woul
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4.4 Questioning what you read

Another way to keep your mind active while you read is to ask yourself questions about what you are reading.


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8.1 Balanced argument

In many instances, we are not just concerned with arguing a particular case or taking a particular point of view, we are interested in looking at all sides of an issue and producing a balanced argument. This can be helpful in drawing conclusions on an issue.

4.5.2 Thinking about knowledge and skills

As you learned in Section 3, there are various routes to acquiring knowledge and skills including formal and informal learning opportunities, and individual and social routes to learning.

We now encourage you to think first about formal approaches to acquiring the knowledge and skills you might need and then about informal learning approaches.


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4.4.4 Specific

You need to be quite clear what you are setting out to do. If you are not clear, your goal may be open to different interpretations and you may become unsure of what you intended. For example, suppose you chose a goal like ‘to get better at giving people feedback’. This could be interpreted in at least two ways:

  1. To improve your self-confidence about giving feedback, so that you no longer get nervous about having to do i
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