Reading diagrams is an equally useful skill to that of drawing diagrams. Not only does it help you understand what other people are trying to convey, it also helps you be critical of the diagrams you draw yourself. In some cases diagrams are used to make the text look pretty or appealing and do not add to the understanding of the reader (hopefully not the case with the diagrams here!). Even when they are used more effectively there is a need to be critical of what information is being conveye
Author(s): The Open University

Influences on how we perceive diagrams

A few people find diagrams unhelpful; but many people who regularly use words find the discipline of conveying ideas in diagrammatic form both sharpens their understanding of the ideas and opens their eyes to alternative views. Diagrams are, like words, intensely personal ways of sharing information and seeing someone else's ideas in diagrammatic form can give a new view of what they are trying to communicate. Diagrams can also suggest new a
Author(s): The Open University

Diagrams are normally intended to describe either structure or process and not both. Table 1 gives a classification of diagram types by structure or process. Another way to view this is to note that there are diagram types that represent largely static relationships and those that represent situa
Author(s): The Open University

As there is variety in the types of diagrams we can see and use we need to think more broadly about what diagrams are trying to represent. One distinction which follows on from the discussion above is:

• Analogue representations: these diagrams look similar to the object or objects they portray. At their simplest they are photographs of real objects and at their most complicated they are colourful, fully labelled drawings of the inner workings o
Author(s): The Open University

Diagrams come in many forms and uses, but for systems thinking and practice it is useful to think of them as models (meaning â€˜representations of realityâ€™ in everyday usage). The term â€˜modelâ€™ is used in a variety of contexts, even when there is a more commonly used term especially appropriate to its own context: models of terrain are usually called â€˜mapsâ€™; models of electrical components wired together are usually called â€˜circuit diagramsâ€™; and models of the configuratio
Author(s): The Open University

Questionnaires are lists of questions that enable information to be gathered efficiently from a relatively large number of respondents. Most questionnaires require a fixed type of response, such as a choice between available answers, or along a scale of response. For example, a product design questionnaire might suggest, â€˜I found the product easy to useâ€™ and provide a five-point scale of response from â€˜agree stronglyâ€™ to â€˜disagree stronglyâ€™. Or a question might be, â€˜how often do
Author(s): The Open University

In this section I will review some of the approaches and methods used by companies for identifying and exploiting marketing opportunities.

All over the world, producer companies have increasingly learned to keep a careful watch on emerging consumer requirements and changing user needs and wishes. They have not only learned to listen to what consumers say, but to watch what they do. Techniques used in market research to gather consumersâ€™ views on products include both quantitative meth
Author(s): The Open University

Click on the 'View document' link below to read Jordan on 'Immersion'.

User trips and immersion can generate a surprisingly high number of ideas for improvements to everyday products. This is particularly so if you can adopt a naive or inexperienced user approach
Author(s): The Open University

This section aims to develop your awareness of weaknesses in product designs, from the perspectives of usability and the variability in user populations, and to consider the opportunities for product design for different populations.

Although most producer companies devote major resources to researching the market for their products, many products still appear on the market that seem not to have been designed with their user in mind. You must have experienced or noticed some dangerous,
Author(s): The Open University

Medicine transformed: on access to healthcare
Access to healthcare is important to all of us. Did the arrival of state medicine in the twentieth century mean that everyone had access to good medical services? If you fell sick in 1930 where could you get treatment from a GP, a hospital, a nurse? This free course, Medicine transformed: On access to healthcare, shows that in the early twentieth century, access to care was unequally divided. The rich could afford care; working men, women and children were helped by the state; others had to rel
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Approaching literature: Reading Great Expectations
This free course, Approaching literature: Reading Great Expectations, considers some of the different ways of reading Great Expectations, based on the type of genre the book belongs to. This is one of the most familiar and fundamental ways of approaching literary texts. The novel broadens the scope of study of a realist novel, in both literary and historical terms. The course includes extracts from critical writings, which are discussed in detail.Author(s): Creator not set

Discovering music: the blues
This free course, Discovering music: the blues, will introduce you to a musical tradition with roots in the nineteenth century but which is still relevant to making music today. You will learn about how the lyrics of blues songs reflect the social environment in which they were created, and about the musical techniques that underpin the structures of blues songs. You do not need to play an instrument, to sing or have any prior musical knowledge to be able to complete this course.
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Introducing the philosophy of religion
In this free course, Introducing the philosophy of religion, Timothy Chappell, Professor of Philosophy, asks what the words 'God' and 'religion' mean, and what it means to ask philosophical questions about them. First published on Mon, 01 Jul 2019 as Author(s): Creator not set

Art in Renaissance Venice
This free course, Art in Renaissance Venice, considers the art of Renaissance Venice and how such art was determined in many ways by the city's geographical location and ethnically diverse population. Studying Venice and its art offers a challenge to the conventional notion of Renaissance art as an entirely Italian phenomenon. First published on Fri, 02 Aug 2019 as <
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Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce materia
Author(s): The Open University

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

Author(s): The Open University

The Hinduism of Bengal, as in other regions of India with their own languages and distinctive historical traditions, has absorbed and retained many local elements which make it peculiarly the Hinduism of Bengal. The city of Calcutta has exerted its own considerable influence upon the surrounding region. Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal, was founded in 1690 originally as a British trading post on the Hugli, a stretch of the Ganges (or Ganga), a river sacred to Hindus (see Author(s): The Open University

Apart from being intensely visible, participation in devotional practice at temples and festivals is extremely widespread within popular Hinduism. If we make allowance for regional and sectarian variations, we can gain some truly representative insights into a central preoccupation of living Hinduism. As in Section 6, I would like you to look
Author(s): The Open University

The complex tradition now known as Hinduism has emerged largely from the coming together of four main elements:

1. The traditions of the original inhabitants of India, some of which may still continue in the cultures of India's more remote tribal peoples.

2. The influences of the Indus Valley civilisation that flourished in northwest India until approximately the middle of the second millenium bce.

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Author(s): The Open University

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 â€“ to deal in truths. This is a difficult area to cover briefly, but let me at least try to explain
Author(s): The Open University