The Open University
With privacy and libel cases on the increase, and the recent surge in ‘no win no fee’ law suits, is it now too easy to sue for defamation? And are our privacy laws now so restrictive that we risk extinguishing debate? Gary Slapper, Professor of Law at The Open University, and Frances Gibb,...
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...
What function does comedy serve? What do people in power learn by watching tragedies? In this collection of five animations comedienne Josie Long guides us into the fascinating world of Literary Theory. Along the way we’ll discover two very different types of poet (and lover): The Petrarchan and...
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...
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...
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...
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...
In Ethiopia, 65% of people don’t have access to clean drinking water. In this album we take a glimpse at the struggles Ethiopians go through each day, just to survive. We look closely at the different methods used to improve the quality of life in the rural highlands as well as the conflict...
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...
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...
Italians are world renowned as passionate people, and their passion feeds through to their music and story telling. This album explores the tradition of the Cantastorie - the Italian Storyteller. Cantastorie Mauro Geraci explains the intricacies of the music, the paintings, the instruments and...
How does a researcher collate and analyse information? What are the best methods of investigating/examining a question? Despite not always being well received within the academic community many practitioner researchers would argue that their research is unique as it brings an insider...
Why do Mergers and acquisitions happen? What are the factors that motivate companies to buy sell and incorporate other organisations? In these uncertain economic times it is of paramount importance for companies to be able to weather financial instability while maintaining a profitable business...
How do we learn? Understanding ‘how’ is the key to learning more effectively. This unit looks at the three main categories of theories: the acquisitive, constructivist and experiential models of learning. There is no right way to learn but developing an active approach will ensure that you are...
Want to improve your professionalism and effectiveness in the workplace? This album explains how to develop reflective skills and improve leadership techniques. With an emphasis on interpersonal communication, teaching methods and customer care, it’s relevant to those instructing, coaching or...
How can mathematics help us to understand the world around us? The tracks on this album take us to Antarctica, Hong Kong and New Zealand to find out how mathematicians work with scientists and biologists to create mathematical models, and how collaborations like these can help decipher and...
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...
Would you consider a dilapidated seventies tower block as heritage? In England, some social housing developments have already been given listed status, a level of protection usually associated with castles, monasteries and stately homes. Others are considered as a failed experiment by an outmoded...
How has the arrival of the internet changed the nature of marketing research? Can doing market research with online participants be as effective as with real people? Every company knows good market research is a key factor in getting an advantage over their competitors, knowing specific...
Learning a language, or learning how languages work, can provide a key to the global workplace. In this video a collection of employers and employees outline the benefits that language skills bring to their companies and careers. There is a lot more to language skills than just learning to speak...
What does it mean to be poor, or an immigrant? What form should Aid take? This album begins to explore the complex issues of international development in a globalised world, starting with a look at schemes which attempt to alleviate poverty. Small business owners are empowered by micro-financing...
How and why did ancient Romans use myth to validate their power? Emperor Augustus legitimised his rule by entwining his own ancestry with the mythical stories of Rome's foundation, and created a divine aura around Rome as capital of the vast empire. This album visits key emblems associated with...
Just what is innovation? This unit examines the issues surrounding the concept of innovation. What is the difference between innovation and invention? How are organisations affected by innovation: are all of the outcomes positive? You will learn how to analyse this concept and its impact on...
How do you solve your problems? This album follows two facilitators as they lead a 2-day workshop in creative problem-solving, providing a chance to adopt a new approach to the difficulties we encounter in our daily lives. Their reflections on time-keeping and good facilitation provide insight...
What is photosynthesis, and why does Sir David Attenborough describe it as 'the very basis of life?'. This album explains how the balance of sunlight, water and nutrients are fundamental to the process and how this balance acts to regulate individual ecosystems. But photosynthesis is only part...
What’s in the air you breathe and how do you know it’s safe? Pollution control is vital since nobody has a choice when it comes to inhaling the air around them. This album introduces the scientific processes behind air monitoring and air quality management. The five video tracks explore the...
The volume of stored information is growing exponentially and an increasing share is audio-visual content. This content drives the demand for new services, making audio-visual search one of the major challenges for organisations and businesses today. The Open University is one of fifteen European...
Sir Isaac Newton observed that he could track the movement of the stars but not the madness of men. This fast paced album looks at the history and causes of economic bubbles and focuses on the highs and lows of the dot.com boom of the early 2000s. How do we spot a bubble emerging? Why do we buy...
Does a hospital have to be owned and managed by the same sector that provides its services? In the early 1990s, the Private Finance Initiative was the Treasury's brainwave to provide the public sector with better value for money. Designed to fund public infrastructure such as hospitals, roads and...
How are genetic traits handed down through generations? How did you inherit your grandfather's red hair whilst your parents are both black-haired? Even Charles Darwin himself never really understood the causes behind this. This album traces the development of our understanding of the laws of...
This unit looks at visualisation as it relates to mathematics, focusing upon how it can be used to improve learning. It will also identify ways in which to make more use of visualisation within the classroom. This study unit is just one of many that can be found on LearningSpace, part of...
Visiting a hospital you'd expect to find doctors and nurses, but what about mathematicians? This album illustrates how mathematics is used throughout the Whittington Hospital in London, as well as in every day life. This material forms part of the course MU120 Open mathematics.
Maths in movies has often been used creatively as a method by which to engage students in formulas and numerical theory. The 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz features a maze of potential mathematical problems – not least the Scarecrow’s incorrect pronunciation of Pythagoras’ theorem. Presented by...
Rome: a majestic city with a rich past, spanning over two and a half thousand years. What remains to be seen of ancient Rome? As the heart of the Roman Empire, ancient Rome’s archaeological remains have been studied and admired for centuries, many being well-preserved due to their incorporation...
How do we enter the strange and fascinating world of small organisms? How do scientists explore their habits, growth, and rather intriguing behaviours? In this album, scientists from Italy, the US and the UK reveal some of the technologies and techniques they use to investigate the behaviour of...
‘This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper.’ (T.S. Eliot) But how about the way the world begins? Was this the biggest bang of all? This unit will introduce you to the theory of the Big Bang and will present the three main lines of experimental evidence that support this...
Making the move to residential care is one of the biggest decisions most people have to make in their lives. Focusing on staff and residents at Drummond Grange, the five video tracks in this album explore the organisational and personal aspects of the transition from independent living to...
Life is full of risk. In this unit ‘risk’ describes the probability and consequences of harm or, at worst, disaster. Risk management involves many stakeholders and integrated management systems help to ensure that safety, quality, environmental and business risks are all managed correctly. This...
What does a dialysis machine do? How do people who suffer from renal failure balance their everyday life with being treated for the medical condition? End-stage renal failure is a long term condition in which the kidneys lose their ability to filter toxins and waste products from the blood. It...
What is the future for global health policy? How are the old paradigms being replaced by new ones? What are the key issues in the new globalised world? Ilona Kickbusch reviews the rapidly changing world of global health. In the past there were relatively few organisations involved and there was a...
We might think we know what ageing is, but it’s surprisingly difficult to pin down. In this album a 70-year-old fashion model and her 17-year-old grand-daughter take part in a series of scientific tests to see whether it is possible to distinguish between them. The results give an insight into...
Here you will find out some of the things very young babies can do. You will also discover how babies can contribute to family life and relationships from birth. You will look at what they need from other adults and children, and what they can learn. This study unit is just one of many that can...
Ever wondered why Karl Marx thought religion was like Opium - or whether religion is possible without a god? Voiced by David Mitchell, this series of four 60 second animations examines different ways that religion has been viewed by non-religious thinkers. As well as Marx and Dawkins, religion is...
How do people greet each other and introduce themselves in Spanish? How do they talk about their lives or their everyday activities? This second edition of Portales: beginners' Spanish contains a variety of short conversations covering topics ranging from ordering a meal to discussing holiday...
How - and why - would you build a machine 10,000 times thinner than a human hair? This album features experts discussing the paradigm shift that is occurring in science. Scientists are learning to manipulate atoms on the scale of a billionth of a metre and control them to perform specific tasks....
When you switch on a light or turn the heating on in your home, do you think about where that power has come from? In most of the world, we’re still burning harmful fossil fuels to create energy. However, throughout Europe a growing number of householders have decided to put the environment...
Math can be applied to pretty much everything in existence, and music is of no exception. Across this album, The Open University's Alan Graham shares his wealth of knowledge on the relationship between music and math, demonstrates many easy-to-follow theories and examples, and performs several...
How do we use language in comedy? What is the social importance of comedy? What are the techniques used with language to create different types of humour? This series looks at how entertainers manipulate language to generate humour, and what this reveals about the nature of comedy and its...
This unit is for designers, engineers, technologists and anyone interested in designing and inventing. It is also for managers and consumers interested in innovation and technical change. The unit will show you how design and innovation can create a more sustainable future. It will also help you...
This unit will explore how knowledge and beliefs about death and encounters with death affect people’s lives. It will also examine the concept of a ‘good death’ from an individual perspective in order to enhance the quality of dying. This study unit is just one of many that can be found on...