Learning topics

The learning topics on this website are listed below, along with descriptions. On each topic page you will find a list of open educational resources for the topic.

  • Conventional literacies require you to read and write appropriately in order to communicate with the people and communities that matter to you. Digital literacies require you to use the functionality of digital devices to achieve the same aim. The materials under this topic address popular digital applications such as: the Internet in general, search engines, Wikipedia, social media such as Facebook, blogs, etc. The materials explain how they can be used by researchers and students.

  • University assignments used to be predominately written, but increasingly they may require you to use different kinds of digital media – charts and diagrams, images and audio, PowerPoint presentations, websites, eportfolios, etc. The materials in this topic will give you an idea of how media can be used both on its own and to enhance a written assignment.

  • Collaborative learning – in groups – is an important aspect of studying in many subject areas in UK universities. For some people, collaboration comes naturally; for others it has to be learned. The materials in this topic will help you to develop your understanding of how collaborative learning works, and your skills in working collaboratively in your own university context.

  • Plagiarism refers to the deliberate use of other people's words or ideas without acknowledgement. It is possible to plagiarise inadvertently if you do not know the conventions for acknowledging original sources, so the materials on this topic will help you to understand how to do this in the UK context.

  • University study increasingly involves being able to find information for yourself, rather than simply receiving it from teachers. The main source of information today is, of course, the internet, but finding the information that you want, and ensuring that it is reliable, is not always straightforward. The materials in this topic will take you through some of the ways that you can make searching the internet more useful for your studies.

  • University learning does not just go on in classrooms or virtual learning environments. It goes on continually in the interactions you have with other students and people in the ‘real world’. Today’s social media (environments such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Digg, personal blogs, etc.) provide a global platform for such interactions. The materials in this topic will introduce you to the use of social media for interacting with, and learning from, people with similar (or even very different) interests to your own.

  • In UK universities, all research that involves human or animal subjects is monitored by institutional ‘ethics committees’ to ensure that the interests of the subjects are protected. Similarly, many aspects of the research process (theory, methods, findings etc.) draw on ideas and procedures that are the legal ‘intellectual property’ of others and must not be used without their permission. The materials under this topic will introduce you to key ethical and intellectual property issues that might affect your research, and help you to know where you can go for advice in specific circumstances.