What you will study
If you are particularly interested in maths, or you want to study a maths-based subject or one where maths will feature significantly, Starting with maths offers a friendly introduction. The Openings Access module will help you to feel more confident in using maths in a variety of different situations – at home, in work or in your other studies.
There are four main themes developed in the module:
improving your mathematical skills including using a calculator effectively
developing problem-solving strategies so that you know what to do when you get stuck
practising general study skills to help you become an effective learner
learning how to use your computer for studying.
Using mathematics in the real world is sometimes quite different to tackling a clearly-stated problem in a textbook. During the module, you will consider several real-life examples, including a case study based on a conservation issue, so that you can see the differences yourself, and feel more confident in using mathematics in your own life to solve problems and make decisions. Being able to communicate using mathematical ideas is important, whether you are reading the work of others or explaining your own solutions. The module will help you develop these skills, in particular using notation and language appropriately and writing good mathematical solutions that are easy to understand.
As well as maths that is useful in everyday situations, such as using fractions, decimals and percentages, numbers, graphs, word formulas, geometry and handling data, this module also includes puzzles, bits of history and some mathematical ideas that are fascinating in their own right.
You will find the module useful whether you are building up towards regular, structured study or are simply interested in finding out about mathematics and its place in our lives. In this module the mathematical ideas are emphasised more than the technological and scientific ones, although the skills are equally appropriate for anyone who intends to study technology or science.
These ideas are explored further on the website where you can study two more chapters online. You will have the opportunity to gain skills such as working with podcasts, using online forums, using spreadsheets and searching the internet for information. This experience will provide you with a gentle introduction to using a computer to support your study, and will equip you with the basic computing skills you will need for the next step in your studies.
You only need to use a computer for the last part of the module once you've completed the book, so if you don’t currently have one you’ve plenty of time to make arrangements. You can use your own computer or one at a library or drop-in centre. Please note that you can study and pass this module if you don’t have access to the internet and a computer.