The Open University since 2006
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Full Steam Ahead: Episode sixSaturday, 27th August 2016 15:30 - BBC TwoThe final episode of Full Steam Ahead looks at how more free time and rail transport allowed Victorians to travel... Read more: Full Steam Ahead: Episode six
Life Story: Growing upMonday, 29th August 2016 22:00 - BBC Four
Full Steam Ahead: Episode fiveTuesday, 30th August 2016 00:40 - BBC Two
Hidden histories: Britain's oldest family businesses: Balson The ButcherTuesday, 30th August 2016 22:00 - BBC Four
Full Steam Ahead: Episode sixAvailable until Monday, 26th September 2016 16:30The final episode of Full Steam Ahead looks at how more free time and rail transport allowed Victorians to travel... Read more: Full Steam Ahead: Episode six
Life Story: First stepsAvailable until Sunday, 25th September 2016 00:50
BBC Inside Science - 2016/2017 series: Proxima b exoplanet, The Hunt for Vulcan, East Antarctic lakes, Deep sea shark huntingAvailable for over a year
Full Steam Ahead: Episode fourAvailable until Thursday, 22nd September 2016 01:15
OpenLearn Live: August Bank Holiday Special 2016Get more than an ice cream out of your holiday weekend - make the most of the last of summer. Read more: OpenLearn Live: August Bank Holiday Special 2016
Take the photographic memory testCan you capture scenes just by looking at them? Find out with our photographic memory test. Launch now: Take the photographic memory test
Internet of everythingThe internet of everything (IoE) is the networked connection of people, process, data and things.... Try: Internet of everything now
Forensic psychologyIn this free course, Forensic psychology, you will discover how psychology can help obtain... Try: Forensic psychology now
This free course, Processes of study in the arts and humanities, is essential reading if you want to look at, and think about, people's ideas, practices and products to try to understand what they mean. Developing your skill in analysisinterpretationevaluation and communication is a good and worthwhile investment. Aimed at learners of arts and humanities subjects, you will find this course invaluable whether you are new to study or more experienced.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- understand aspects of human culture, past and present
- analyse various ‘objects’, interpret their meaning and evaluate them.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 The processes of study
- 2 Becoming familiar with the text
- 3 Approaching analysis
- 4 Interpreting meanings
- 5 Evaluation
- 6 Commmunicating your ideas
- 7 Beliefs and theories
- 8 Making your own enquiries
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Processes of study in the arts and humanities
In this course we turn to the nature of the arts and humanities themselves, and look at the main processes involved in studying them.
Broadly, when you study the arts and humanities you study aspects of culture. You explore people's ideas and beliefs, their cultural practices and the objects they have made. Human history is criss-crossed with the traces of people who did, said and made things and these people were to some extent aware of what they were doing. So all these things mean something. Your task is to look carefully at people's ideas, practices and products to try to understand what they mean. You achieve this understanding by:
analysing the various ‘objects’ of your study (for example, plays, music, paintings, historical or legal documents, philosophical treatises, maps, buildings, religious ceremonies);
interpreting the meanings of these objects;
making judgements of their value;
communicating your interpretations and judgements.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Monday, 8th February 2016
Last updated on: Monday, 8th February 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.
All our alternative formats are free for you to download, for more information about the different formats we offer please see our FAQs. The most frequently used are Word (for accessibility), PDF (for print) and ePub and Kindle to download to eReaders*.
- Word (1.1 MB)
- PDF (1.9 MB)
- ePub 3.0 (808 KB)
- ePub 2.0 (809 KB)
- Kindle (447 KB)
- RSS (365 KB)
- HTML (869 KB)
- SCORM (865 KB)
- OUXML Package (51 KB)
- OUXML File (158 KB)
- IMS Common cartridge
- Moodle backup (665 KB)
*Please note you will need an ePub and Mobi reader for these formats.