The Open University
What teaching methods can be used to improve a school’s performance? What are the benefits of collaborating within an educational institution? Victoria school for the arts in Canada is ranked amongst the best performing in the country. Maths is now one of the school’s most successful subjects;...
Should we have the right to die? Should lawyers be passionate? Why are women still poorly represented in law? And since when did judges decide become of such interest to the public? These are just some of the topics covered in this fascinating compilation of discussions of law by Professor Gary...
How do you see the invisible? Today, mechanical, electrical, chemical and biological engineering of ‘small worlds’ is revolutionising our lives. Atomic Force Microscopes are an important tool when creating engineering solutions on the micro and nano scale. The 4 video tracks on this album examine...
The incidence of obesity is on the increase in affluent societies, and the phenomenon commands increasing attention from health professionals, legislators and the media. This unit looks at the science behind obesity, examining the dietary, physiological and genetic aspects of the topic. This...
Can the concept of human rights be applied across borders or are rights culturally specific? Is it realistic, or even desirable, to aim at an international system based on universal principles of justice? This unit takes a critical view of the assumption that ‘rights are a good thing’ and looks...
Can you picture the future in a world without fossil fuels? Perhaps you think that living an "alternative" lifestyle has to mean painful and radical changes to the way you live now. This album looks at various small scale initiatives which show that living sustainably may not be as unpalatable as...
Do you find it difficult to know what is important when taking notes? This unit will enable you to decide the value of taking notes and improve your understanding of the methods that can be used. This study unit is just one of many that can be found on LearningSpace, part of OpenLearn, a...
Nobel prize winning economist and philosopher, Professor Amartya Sen is widely regarded as one of the most influential public thinkers of our time, his interest and impact ranging across the key questions facing all societies: how can we promote economic well being, fairness and justice and how...
How do young children learn, and how can adults help them? This album looks at how nursery teachers support children in their development. We follow a practitioner’s day, looking at how she works with children, observes and plans for further activities while she also records her thoughts and...
How much do you think about what you throw away? A waste management cycle is essential for a sustainable future. This album considers the policy and legislation that is driving waste management processes across the EU. By modelling the overall environmental impacts of solid waste disposal...
Our planet is at the centre of a cosmic shooting gallery. This album examines the evidence for and effect of asteroid impacts and meteor explosions on Earth. The 6 video tracks assess the environmental effects caused by bolides of different sizes and trajectories. How do scientists detect that a...
What do we mean when we say globalisation? Does the growth of globalisation hinder or benefit mankind? It’s a common assumption that countries globalise but in fact it’s not nations themselves but rather the Industries and companies that trade within and outside their borders. As new forms of...
There is a widespread perception in the West that we live in a secular age, an age in which religion is at best an optional extra, if not a false delusion completely out of place. However, religion still arouses passion and causes controversy; it controls and transforms lives. An informed...
Operations management is one of the central functions of all organisations whether producing goods or services, or in the private, public or voluntary sectors. This unit will provide you with a basic framework for understanding this function and discusses the role of operations managers, in...
HR, Marketing, Finance, Operations and Project Management are all key functions of an organisation. These short audio perspectives give an insight into the roles in these areas and how they interact with the rest of the organisation, with examples of common problems, challenges and difficulties...
Your course might not include any maths or technical content but, at some point during your course, it’s likely that you’ll come across information represented in charts, graphs and tables. You’ll be expected to know how to interpret this information. This unit will help you to develop the skills...
This series of tracks looks at how two quite different industries respond to problem solving. They show that methodology is similar regardless of the industry's focus or size. Material is taken from The Open University Course T889 Problem solving and improvement: quality and other approaches.
The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen presents a new focus for international debate and decisions about energy and its use. What are the countries of Western Europe and Scandinavia doing to promote sustainable energy production? Just how different will the future energy...
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...
How much more can you achieve by working with others rather than working alone? How should you manage relationships across various physical and cultural divides? This album explores how the formation of a variety of partnerships, spanning public, private and voluntary sectors, has radically...
How can the World Trade Organisation (WTO) control international states without one central world government? Is the WTO just a club for the extremely rich and powerful? The Open University’s Dr William Brown leads discussions around the themes of co-operation, interaction and interdependencies....
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...
With global warming and climate change increasing, what can we do to tackle this problem? This album explores the economics of lowering carbon emissions and how Britain is tackling this problem, through expert analysis and opinions on carbon taxes, carbon reduction, renewable energy and...
The landscape of the British Isles has undergone dramatic changes during the history of the Earth, from shallow sea to desert to the familiar terrain of the 21st century. In this unit you will explore the processes that have shaped the British landscape over time, gaining insight into the...
We live in a complex, fast changing and highly social world. One of the most compelling questions we face is how to understand ourselves and other people. The video tracks on this album introduce the four main theoretical perspectives in social psychology - cognitive, psychoanalytical,...
Ever wondered where the Universe came from? Or more importantly, where it's headed? Voiced by David Mitchell, this series of 60 second animations examines different scientific concepts from the big bang to relativity, from black holes to dark matter. The series also explores the possibility of...
To what extent does Man have a right to exploit nature in order to live? Do animals have rights? Should we modify the genes of crops if it allows us to increase production, and even alleviate poverty? This album explores the arguments for and against genetically-modified crops, hearing the views...
Is the world of politics anything like "Yes Minister" or "The Thick Of It"? Are scientists all as geeky as Denzil Dexter from "The Fast Show"? This collection of videos looks at the funny side of different professions and the stereotypes within them, through the best of British comedy. Using...
This album explores the science of waves. Five video tracks feature two pair trawling fishermen from the Cornish village of Looe. Their lives and livelihoods depend on gadgets like radio, GPS and radar. This album explores the physics behind this technology, gives a simple introduction to...
What does the world look like to a person with a visual impairment? How does restricted vision impact on everyday life? How can you offer assistance without taking control? The video tracks on this album simulate what the world looks like to people with a range of visual impairments, and show...
How are our laws made? What is it like to be a criminal defence lawyer during a murder trial? What are the challenges faced by family lawyers or immigration law advisers? What if you have credit card debt or are faced with an eviction notice and can't afford a lawyer? This collection gives us...
This unit examines David Hume's reasons for being complacent in the face of death, as these are laid out in his suppressed essay of 1755, ‘Of the immortality of the soul’. More generally, they examine some of the shifts in attitude concerning death and religious belief that were taking place in...
How do you see the invisible? Today, mechanical, electrical, chemical and biological engineering of ‘small worlds’ is revolutionising our lives. Atomic Force Microscopes are an important tool when creating engineering solutions on the micro and nano scale. The 4 video tracks on this album examine...
At least 171 million people worldwide have diabetes, and this figure is set to double by 2030. This chronic condition, which occurs when the body cannot produce or effectively use the insulin it needs, can be the cause of many serious health complications leading, amongst other problems, to...
What are ecosystems, and what do different ecosystems have in common? How are they affected by human activity? From the diverse rainforests of the tropics to the smallest microbial communities, ecosystems support life on Earth. This album reveals the ecological relationships that create these...
BBC News 24, Sky News, CNN – we live in an era where news has become almost instantaneous. This unit will look at how news is gathered and the technology used for its dissemination. You will also be encouraged to examine how information might be manipulated by questioning its reliability. This...
How was The Cold War fought? What types of evidence do historians use to understand the events that took place? The Cold War was a state of political and military tension between the USA and the Soviet Union, along with their respective allies in the Western and Eastern Blocs. As The Cold War was...
Geology is the scientific study of the Earth, its origin, structure, processes and composition. This album is concerned mainly with the interpretation of geological maps and the relationship between the landscape and underlying rocks. It reveals how the geological history of any area can be...
In this wide-ranging and provocative interview, David Puttnam spells out the impact that digitisation will have on both traditional TV broadcasters and on specialist providers such as the OU. Essentially, viewers will be able not only to control what they see amd when they want it, but also use...
We encounter designed products every day, from bus tickets to buildings. We travel on, wear and even eat products that have been designed. What it is like to be a designer? What are the design processes that generate products? The 28 video tracks on this album reveal the importance of creativity...
What is biodiversity and why does it matter? How can everyday observations and online databases help to increase our knowledge about the diversity of species? On this album, Jonathan Silvertown, Professor of Ecology at The Open University, presents a guided tour of iSpot, a nature website that...
We know drunk-driving causes death on the roads, but how does taking drugs like cannabis affect your driving skills? This album offers a chance to see how psychologists perform experiments which measure how much cannabis distorts a normal state of consciousness. Tracks 5-8 explore human...
We know that culture guides the way people behave in society as a whole. But culture also plays a key role in organisations, which have their own unique set of values, beliefs and ways of doing business. This unit explores the concepts of national and organisational culture and the factors that...
This series of tracks focuses on geological phenomena, Gaia theory and volcanoes. Included is a discussion on Climate Change and whether the uplift of Tibet caused global cooling. Material is taken from The Open University Course S269 Earth and Life.
Your heart beats around 100,000 times every day and, in that time, pumps about 23,000 litres of blood around your body. But what happens when it doesn’t work as well as it should? This unit explains what happens in cardiovascular disease, when the heart’s performance is affected, how the normal...
Everyone has their own perspective on mental health, especially those who have experienced it. 'An untimely death on Passchendaele Ward' is written and performed by members 'The Orphans of Beulah' - a theatre group consisting of mental health service users and survivors. It is a modern day...
What can Marxism teach us about marketing? Is Communist thinking relevant when applied to a modern drink’s marketing strategy? The successful sale of white cider to people from poorer economic demographics has not gone unnoticed and many social commentators have criticised the manner in which the...
Gantt charts, critical path analysis, SMART objectives and estimation skills are just some of the topics covered in this unit to help you understand how to plan for a project. You will gain an appreciation of the range of planning techniques available and the situations in which it is appropriate...
When it comes to technology are you an optimist or a pessimist? Are social media changing the way that children form relationships? How is technology changing the way that children think, and how will it shape the classroom of the future? The amount of technology available to children today is...
From diamonds to dynamite everything involves a chemical reaction. This unit introduces you to the concepts and principles that underpin chemistry at the molecular level. Everyday experiences are used to help you to understand the more complex issues. This study unit is just one of many that can...