from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Thinking Allowed: The Ethnography Award winner 2015Monday, 27th April 2015 00:15 - BBC FourIn this episode of BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed, Laurie Taylor announces the Ethnography award winner 2015.... Read more: Thinking Allowed: The Ethnography Award winner 2015
Secret History Of... Deptford High StAvailable until Friday, 22nd May 2015 03:00How did the "Oxford Street of South London" come to be one of the poorest shopping streets in modern London? Read more: The Secret History Of Our Streets - Deptford High Street
Secret History Of... Deptford High StAvailable until Friday, 22nd May 2015 03:00
Thinking Allowed: The Ethnography Award 'Shortlist' 2015Available until Friday, 15th April 2016 10:30
A History of Ideas - Descartes Cogito Ergo SumAvailable until Thursday, 14th April 2016 08:30
OU on the BBC: Andrew Marr's History of the World - SurvivalAndrew Marr sets off on an epic journey through 70,000 years of human history, starting with our... Read more: OU on the BBC: Andrew Marr's History of the World - Survival
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
Eating to win: Activity, diet and weight controlWhat should we eat before and after exercise? This free course, Eating to win: activity, diet and... Try: Eating to win: Activity, diet and weight control now
Succeed with maths – Part 1[BETA] If you feel that maths is a mystery that you want to unravel then this short 8-week course... Try: Succeed with maths – Part 1 now
An introduction to data and information
Ever wondered how a computer processes data into information? This unit will help you...
Ever wondered how a computer processes data into information? This unit will help you to understand the distinction between the two and examines how a computer-based society impacts on daily life. You will learn what computers can do with data to produce information and how computers can be used to work with data and search for it, control machines, and support commercial operations.
After studying this unit you should be able to:
- identify some of the instances in daily life where a computer is, or is likely to be, involved;
- given a simple scenario, list most of the obvious information or data required by the parties in that scenario, and give some examples of how the information or data might be used;
- explain briefly what perceptual data is, and how it is turned into a form that can be used by a person for reasoning or by a computer for processing;
- given a figure, identify whether it is a sign and, if so, what it symbolises;
- describe, in simple terms, the difference between data and information;
- give a simple explanation of why computers are important to people in terms of data and information;
- describe what a parameter is and identify the parameters in a particular scenario;
- explain in simple terms what a computer program is, and why one is necessary;
- explain the role of the computer with respect to the data given to it;
- make use of a search engine to find websites corresponding to a topic of your choice, using some of the advanced search features, and be able to state how many computers (at a minimum) are involved in using a search engine and which role each has;
- understand what a gateway is and what advantages it offers a user in searching for a topic;
- briefly explain how requirements (e.g. considering the environment in which a computer might be used) affect the presentation of information, giving a simple example;
- list some of the problems raised by very large databases even when the basic unit of data is very simple;
- explain briefly what advantages a computer system can offer a creative artist and what characteristic enables it to do so;
- describe briefly the elements of a distributed system that are needed for selling on the web;
- describe the role of computers in controlling mechanical devices;
- explain the role of sensors and actuators in a computer-controlled application, given a brief description of that application;
- identify some simple safety considerations in a computer-controlled application;
- identify appropriate information displays in a given situation.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 An introduction to data and information
- 2 Daily life and computers
- 3 Sensing data and turning it into something usable
- 4 Computers as tools for finding
- 4.1 Where am I and how do I get to … ?
- 4.2 Finding information: the web
- 4.3 Computer-based activities
- 4.4 Summary
- 5 Computers as tools for working with data
- 6 Controlling things; selling things
- 7 Unit summary
An introduction to data and information
This unit is from our archive and it is an adapted extract from Data, computing and information (M150) which is no longer in presentation. If you wish to study formally at The Open University, you may wish to explore the courses we offer in this
Computers are used to find, store, process and share data and information. The World Wide Web is an example of a vast store of information, which can be searched. This material will introduce you to what a web browser is and how to use one. The use of search engines to find information more effectively on the web will also be demonstrated. This unit looks at how data is transformed into information and relates the topics of data and information to the computer. These are fundamental issues in an understanding of the way in which the computer has shaped and changed contemporary life.
This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Data, computing and information (M150) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this subject area.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Computing and ICT course units or view the range of currently available OU Computing and ICT courses.