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Skills Check 0

The Skills Check is a short survey which should take you no more than 3 minutes to complete. Once you have completed the Skills Check we provide you with a personal learning plan targeted to your personal study needs and goals.

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  1. Home
  2. Computing skills
  3. Using your computer
  4. Working with a computer

Working with a computer

As an OU student you are likely to engage in a variety of writing tasks. You will almost certainly handle significant amounts of text and, depending on your module, perhaps also numbers or diagrams.

A word processor allows you to type text directly into your computer. You can then edit the content using functions such as

  • delete
  • cut
  • copy
  • paste
  • undo.

When writing by hand you have to carefully plan and draft your words. It is still important to plan when writing on a computer. When planning on a computer, it is advisable to

  1. type your notes and ideas,
  2. develop them into paragraphs, and then
  3. move the paragraphs around to form a coherent essay or report.

Once the document content is ready, you can change its appearance by adding text formatting such as bold or italics, or by changing the margins or the line spacing. In this way you can ensure that your work is in a form to suit its purpose. For example, you might be asked to use double spacing, or an extra wide margin so that a tutor can add their notes to your assignment.

Other functions that are particularly useful for assignments include spell check and word count.

These Demonstrations show you how to perform basic tasks with your word processing software. You can work through them in any order to improve your skills. Demonstrations will start playing automatically 5 to 10 seconds after you open them. Each demonstration provides a transcript of all instructions shown.