Abstracts

Welcome to the Student Connections Conference

Acting Dean Ian Fribbance opens the Student Connections Conference with an update about what’s happening in the faculty of Social Sciences at the Open University. Accompanied by Associate Deans Alison Green and Troy Cooper this session will outline how the conference works and why connections in our academic community matter.

Deciding what to trust online - Library

Have you ever believed something you read online that later turned out to be untrue? Should you trust Wikipedia? This session will explore these questions and give you some tools to help you evaluate the information you find online. You’ll have the opportunity to contribute your own views and experiences and ask questions of Library staff.

Setting Realistic Expectations

In this session Troy Cooper discusses the importance of setting realistic expectations. Whether you are beginning a new module, or are mid-way though, re-evaluating goals in the context of situation can be very helpful in terms of measuring success appropriately. This session will also include questions from the online audience.

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Understanding Politics: Ideas and institutions in the modern world

In this session, module chair Richard Heffernan introduces the new core politics module in the Politics, Philosophy and Economics qualification, presented for the first time this October, and explains how it was produced. The module, DD211, explores “what is politics?” and “who does politics?", "where"? and "how"? It also condors how we study politics, whether we are looking at concepts, ideologies, institutions and the interrelationship of the local and the global.

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The new Psychology modules and Qualifications

The entire Psychology programme is in a process of redevelopment, and in this session Alison Green, (Associate Dean Curriculum) explains how the Psychology department have developed an innovative new curriculum that has been approved by the British Psychological Society. Accompanied by Rose Capdevila who has chaired the development of second year modules, this session will explain what new qualifications are available, how students experience studying in this discipline, and some of the new online materials that have been developed.

Does doing something “racialist” make you a racist?

In this session social psychologist David Kaposi discusses an incident where a well-known actor was mistaken for someone else. Reacting with the claim “we all look the same to you!” this session considerers where the boundaries of racism lie. Is doing something that can be perceived as racialist an indication that one is a racist, and what are the defining factors of racism. Similarly, what can social psychology tell us about the way in which racism is socially constructed? This discussion will involve a lot of participation from the audience as we consider some of these themes.

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Learning together at the OU

The Open University has used technology in innovative ways to inspire learners. It has posted out microscopes, enabled students to look at art and geology close up using their own computers and built online structures which help students to learn together. Using clips from television to illuminate their perspectives Daniel Weinbren (author of 'The Open University. A history') and John Richardson (who has been involved in the evaluation of OU courses and programmes for over 20 years) will offer ideas on how we've learnt and how we've taught over the last 40+ years.

Careers in the Social Sciences

This session is delivered by the Careers Advisory service who offer OU Students a range of support during and after their qualifications. Siobhan Flint takes a look at what career options are open to those with a social sciences qualification and the range of resources that are available to support OU students.

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