The Open University
Thanks to cutting-edge radio and infra-red astronomy, our understanding of the universe is moving very fast. Ideas about black holes and cosmic jets are constantly being refined as new discoveries are made using new, more powerful telescopes. This album explores the incredible discoveries and...
Do you hate making decisions? Does the ability of others to make snap decisions really frustrate you? This unit will help you understand some of the processes involved in decision making. Attention to the psychology of decision making and the social context in which decisions are made can improve...
What can current theories about children’s learning and development contribute to the development of new teaching and learning methods in schools? And how are new digital technologies changing the ways children think and learn? This album introduces two elements of The Open University's presence...
How is genetic information stored in cells, and how is the information accessed and used? On this album, Dr Norman Cohen of The Open University uses models and graphics to provide easily understood explanations of how genetic information is stored in DNA, how DNA is replicated, and how genetic...
Aerobic fitness is integral to successful sports performance and to maintaining good health. But what sort of exercise should you be doing to develop your aerobic fitness? This unit will help you to answer this question by introducing you to principles of aerobic exercise prescription. This study...
How do emotions affect financial decisions? Is their impact always bad, or are emotions an important part of making good financial decisions? Can a better understanding of emotion help us avert future financial crises? These are some of the questions being asked by the xDelia project: a European...
The music of North India is mesmerising, and shrouded in tradition and culture. There, raga is the art of life - it is the music of the mind. The tracks in this album focus on three instruments - the tabla, the alap and the voice - all central to the existence of Raga. Each instrument is broken...
The Louvre was designed to house a great art collection for the people of France. Was there a plan from the outset to build a canon of work where the relationships between artists, their origins, their schools and faiths could be traced across centuries? And how did architect I.M.Pei persuade...
The Egyptians are known for being ahead of their time in comparison to some civilisations that came after them. This unit looks at how the Egyptians solved mathematical problems in everyday life and the technology they used. An understanding of this area has only been possible following the...
What are cyborgs? Would a cyborg future deliver positive human advances or a Hollywood-style nightmare in which human beings have become a sub-species? Could we one day download our minds? This album gives an insight into the development of cybernetics and how it is used to fuse technology and...
Ever shaken an invisible hand? Been flattened by a falling market? Or wondered what took the bend out of Phillips' curve? David Mitchell helps reveal some of the great dilemmas faced by governments trying to run an economy - whether to save or spend, control inflation, regulate trade, fix...
How do you address problematic issues at work? This album reveals more creative ways to solve problems, other than relying on rational techniques such as brainstorming and lateral thinking. Employees at a small software company are shown how to access their unconscious minds using the power of...
Philosophy and philosophical enquiries are relevant in some shape or form to many aspects of everyday life, for example our treatment of the environment, the rapidity of today's technological progress, whether animals should have rights and if so how they should compare to ours. Philosophy also...
How was mythology used by ancient Romans in their everyday lives? At Nemi to the south of Rome, the sanctuary of the goddess Diana provides us with a snapshot of Roman life and society. This album explores some of the fragments of objects found at the site of Diana's temple, such as a street...
Have you ever wondered how marketing techniques have been used to promote positive social change? In a series of lively interviews, Professor Gerard Hastings of the Institute of Social Marketing, faces questions from members of ISM-Open (the Institute of Social Marketing at The Open University...
This series of tracks looks at Health and Fitness centres and how they are run as well as providing an insight into the training of future elite athletes in Britain. Material is taken from The Open University course E112 Introduction to sport, fitness and management.
How do biology, psychology and social science contribute to our understanding of mental health and mental illness? How do the biomedical and biopsychosocial models compare when it comes to diagnosis and treatment? This album reveals the importance of the perspective scientists and health...
How can we prevent a country from returning to civil war? When and how should external parties intervene in serious conflicts? This album looks at the decade of violence and destruction that occurred in Sierra Leone in the 1990's. Now that peace has finally come about through the efforts of the...
Have you ever clicked on a link you were unsure of, or downloaded a risky attachment? If so, then you are in danger of becoming part of a Botnet, also known as a ‘zombie army'. The term ‘zombie army’ is used to refer to a number of computer networks that have become infected as a result of...
This unit explores reasons for studying mathematics, practical applications of mathematical ideas and aims to help you to recognise mathematics when you come across it. It introduces the you to the graphics calculator, and takes you through a series of exercises from the Calculator Book, Tapping...
Traditional Indian singing is intoxicating - but what is it about singing, and listening to others sing, that makes it so significant? In this album, Sudokshina Chatterjee breaks down the unique Indian style, and explains the emotions and meaning behind the songs of her culture. This material is...
What does ‘2001: a Space Odyssey’ have to do with Odysseus? How does Brad Pitt's Achilles in 'Troy' match up to Homer's original hero? And is Arnold Schwarzenegger the new Heracles? This collection of video animations and audio discussions examines how the heroes of Greek mythology have been...
The Restless Universe introduces you to major achievements and figures in the history of physics, from Copernicus to Einstein and beyond. The route from classical to quantum physics will be laid out for you without recourse to challenging mathematics but with the fundamental features of theories...
Hibernation is an ingenious adaptation that some animals employ to survive difficult conditions in winter. This unit examines the differences between hibernation and torpor, and discusses the characteristic signs of hibernation behaviour. It explores the triggers that bring on hibernation, and...
Is Shakespeare still relevant today? How does his work influence pop culture today? Do the themes of his plays continue to resonate with modern audiences or as a result of his legacy has he become a caricature of himself? Stephen Regan, accompanied by experts from the world Shakespeare congress...
Why does the way a page looks influence how we interpret the information it contains? This unit looks will examine how typography and images can be combined to improve literary creativity and allow a document to communicate more readily with the reader. This study unit is just one of many that...
How can you analyse children and their development? This unit allows the learner to analyse how children's cognitive shills develop over time. You will also learn about how various different investigative methods have developed over time and how different techniques can produce different results....
What does mathematics have to do with nature or art? The video tracks in this album trace the origin of the mathematics of chaos and describe how the chance discovery of fractals became the basis for some real - and revolutionary - commercial applications such as the fax and the modem. A closer...
From the middle of the 15th century onwards, the intellectual and cultural life of the West was revolutionised by the development of the printing press. This album explores the technological problems and solutions specific to the printing of music and shows how technology has transformed the way...
This album provides the budding author with everything they need to know about approaching the art of fiction writing. Each track contains discussions and interviews with best-selling novelists from a variety of backgrounds including Alex Garland, Louis de Bernières, Abdulrazak Gurnah and Monique...
How have individual female scientists contributed to the advancement of science through time? To celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (March 8th) and to mark International Year of Chemistry 2011, The Open University asked some of the female scientists currently working in...
To what extent did Alan Turing influence the evolution of modern computing? The 20th Century mathematician is considered by many to be the father of computer science and many would argue that it is largely due to his research that we are able to read this text on a PC, laptop or smart phone. ...
In the last 50 years, developments in technology have had a profound effect on the production, recording and manipulation of music. The 8 video tracks in this album introduce Simon Whiteside, a television and film composer, explore his recording studio and explain how he uses MIDI to create music...
What do English language teachers in the early 21st century need to know about the relationship between language and meaning? How can teachers enable students to learn language, learn through language and learn about language in the myriad different contemporary contexts of formal and informal...
This unit explores the Holocaust, as the destruction of European Jewry is commonly known. The mass killing represented by the Holocaust raises many questions concerning the development of European civilisation during the twentieth century. This unit, therefore, covers essential ground if you wish...
Have you ever wanted to pick up a video camera and make a short video or film, but felt intimidated by your lack of knowledge? The explosion of film-making for websites and mobiles gives people and organisations the opportunity to tell their stories and show what they have to offer, at low cost. ...
What is ecology and why is it important to our understanding of the world around us? This unit looks at how we can study ecosystems to explore the effect that humans are having on the environment. This study unit is just one of many that can be found on LearningSpace, part of OpenLearn, a...
The Galapagos Islands are famous for inspiring Charles Darwin to form his Theory of Evolution based on the biodiversity he'd observed there. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of his "On the origin of species", and the unspoilt islands still fascinate researchers. Some of...
This unit will define basic concepts and terms that are essential for an understanding of the culture and identity of the Roman empire. Terms such as ‘Roman empire’ and ‘imperium’ will be introduced in the context of the formation and expansion of the empire, and the unit will provide you with...
This unit looks at the process of design – from assessing the complexity of design as an activity, to exposing the difficulty in making general conclusions about how designers work. You will be able to identify innovation in a wide variety of designed objects and evaluate the impact of this...
The Science Behind the Bike is a series of films that investigate how science and technology have transformed the sport of cycling. We talk to Olympic gold-medallists Chris Boardman and Rebecca Romero, and Paralympian gold-medallist Sarah Storey, take a trip to a wind tunnel, consult with Team GB...
Ever wanted to understand the key themes driving over five hundred years of European history? In this album, architecture reveals the social, religious and economic fortunes of some of the most influential people between 1400 and 1900. By the end of the 19th century Queen Victoria presided over...
Change, diversity and uncertainty are unavoidable features of modern life. Collectively, we may be living through a major transformation in society and the traditions that hold it together. Individually, we may face increasing barriers to taking responsibility for our own destinies, exercising...
The tracks on this album offer an invaluable insight into a wide range of techniques and practices surrounding Creative Writing. Writers as diverse as Alan Ayckbourn, Ian McMillan and Tanika Gupta talk openly about their approaches and attitudes to all aspects of writing from original concept to...
This course revises and consolidates your knowledge of French and teaches more advanced language skills whilst offering insights into many aspects of every day life in modern France. Your knowledge need not be formal; it could come from adult education classes, time spent in French-speaking...
How does your body control your breathing unconsciously? This album explores this complex process in fascinating detail using a battery of detectors attached to human guinea-pigs to monitor their breathing, blood flow and heartbeats. How does an anxious mind affect this system during a stressful...
Are prisons effective and does trial by jury still work? How should the law deal with companies that cause fatal accidents? And what extra rights should children conceived using donor sperm have? This album introduces the legal reasoning behind legislation, rights and justice. Experts and...
In the world of economics, does a person’s well-being really matter? What is more important, social objectives or profit maximisation – or are they even compatible? During a trip to Burma in 1955, Ernest Schumacher pioneered the concept of Buddhist Economics, a set of principles based on the...
How and what can we learn from fragments? Thousands of fragmented inscriptions survive from the ancient city of Rome, the majority of which are funerary inscriptions or epitaphs from tombs. This album looks at the impact of funerary monuments. From the Mausoleum of Emperor Augustus, to the more...
The complex field of finance is relevant to everybody in one way or another and is particularly relevant to all aspects of management. Representatives from Boots, De La Rue and ABN Amro offer insights into the various issues surrounding risk – what kinds of risk their companies are concerned...