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5.2 Developing a strategy

In developing a strategy for improving your IT skills you are aiming to:

  • identify the opportunities you can use to develop and practise your IT skills;

  • establish the outcomes you hope to achieve and targets for meeting them;

  • identify the resources you might use for developing your skills, including people who might be able to help you as well as books, study guides, tutorials, specialist training, databases, libraries
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4.4.1 Organise and clearly present relevant information

You need to know how to present information in ways that best suit your purpose, subject and audience, that is how to structure coherently what you say so that a sequence of ideas may be followed easily; how to use a range of techniques to help present information and support your argument (such as diagrams and models), and when to use technical vocabulary and conventions. Check that your work meets relevant guidelines and conventions. You may have guidelines about this at work and different
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4.3.4 Monitor and critically reflect on your use of communication skills

You need to know how to track and record your progress on your use of communication skills. Try to assess the overall quality of your written and oral work and the way you produced the work. Checklists and criteria provided as part of the project or assignment and those set out in the Bookmark can be very useful tools in helping you to assess for yourself precisely what you are doing and how well you are doing it. Unless you know what you are doing wrong, it is very difficult to improve.

<
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4.3.2 Synthesise information

Synthesising information is about assessing the new information and prior information in relation to each other, looking for logical relationships in the material, identifying the important ideas, and taking a critical attitude towards the material by relating it to your own views and experiences and thinking about how the material can be used. Synthesising information is not just summarising the information or identifying main points.

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3.10 Drawing ideas together

This key skill has used a three-stage framework for developing your skills. By developing a strategy, monitoring your progress and evaluating your overall approach, you take an active role in your own learning. But learning does not necessarily follow a path of steady improvement, it involves change: revisiting ideas, seeing things from different perspectives, tackling things in different ways.

You are unlikely to be able to complete your work by working through it from beginning to end
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3.4 Monitoring progress

Monitoring progress is about keeping track of what you are doing and how well you are doing it as you work towards your targets. It is about being able to make an assessment about yourself and being ‘self aware’ about your own capabilities, how you learn best, things that have helped you and so on. One problem in becoming more aware of yourself and making a self-assessment is that you may not know enough terms to describe yourself. Think of the first time you were asked to describe a pain
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3.2.5 Plan how these targets will be met

You may be anxious to get on with achieving your targets but think first before you plunge in. In setting targets, think about how they will be achieved by identifying action points and deadlines, prioritising tasks and identifying resources and support from others. Include opportunities to discuss ideas/work with others and build in time to receive feedback and reflect on it. Planning how to achieve your targets involves all of the functions that take place before you start on the actual tas
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2.3.1 Developing a strategy

A common feature of how effective people work is that they take time to prepare well. They know which aspects they are competent to do and those that they need to work on, plan carefully and identify possible sources of information and support. In other words they develop a strategy.

A strategy is a plan for taking you towards and achieving a goal. The purpose of planning is to anticipate opportunities to learn that will improve your performance and develop your capabilities. A strategy
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5 Becoming an effective team member

The purpose of this assessment unit is for you to create a portfolio of your work to represent you as an effective team member within your study or work activities. This will involve using criteria to help you select examples of your work that clearly show you can use and improve your skills in working with others. However, by far the most important aim is that you can use this assessment process to support your learning and improve your performance in working with others.

Very few peop
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9 Notes to help you complete your assessment

To complete your portfolio, you must include a contents page indicating how your reflective commentary in Part A and your evidence in Part B are related. An example of a suitable format for the contents page is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 (PDF, 1 page, 0.1MB).

2.2 Before your course starts

Allow some time to get yourself ready for a course that involves using a PC.

If you already have a PC:

  • double check it against the PC specification for your course.

  • don't assume that a lower specification will be sufficient.

If your computer doesn't meet the specification, you might:

  • be able to upgrade it. Check with the institution you're studying with. They should have
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2.1 Introduction

There is a range of quick tips in this section to help you get the most out of your computer when you start using it for study.


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1.1 Ways in which computers can help you to study

Courses use computers for a variety of different reasons. These are a few examples.

  • To let you explore ideas and concepts in more depth, such as by using a multimedia CD-ROM or DVD with interactive exercises.

  • To help you communicate with others on your course. Online conferences offer a way to contact other students and staff for information, discussion and mutual support.

  • To allow you to analyse data, see pictures or
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Learning outcomes

During this unit you will:

  • learn about how computers can be useful for studying;

  • find out how to be prepared – know the minimum computer specifications for your course or institution;

  • learn what you can do on the web;

  • find out where you can learn more about computers and how they work;

  • learn to back up your files;

  • learn about communicating online using email, real time chat and conferencing;


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Introduction

Information technology is an integral part of courses. It's used to enable students to learn about their subject, contact one another, and find resources.

Using a computer for study can be useful for students on any course. For example, about a half of all Open University courses expect students to use a computer.

In this unit, you'll look at:

  • the different ways you might be asked to use a PC in your course;

  • top tips to ge
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1.2 Challenges to child-centredness: the curriculum and assessment 5–14 programme

In Scotland, the Scottish Curriculum and Assessment 5–14 Programme is an essential part of the initiative that has been promoted by HM Inspectorate as upholding and maintaining the standard of pupils' achievements in Scottish schools. A Scottish Education Department (SED) consultative paper enjoined the inspectorate to ‘pay particular attention in their inspection of schools to the extent to which schools and education authorities have had regard to the national curricular policies’ (SE
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Acknowledgements

Author

This unit was originally prepared for TeachandLearn.net by Dr Kate Daubney, Visiting Research Fellow in Film Music Studies at the University of Leeds. She has taught film music to students from musical and non-musical backgrounds, and her research interests include comparative analysis of film music as written and aural texts.

Other acknowledgements

The content acknowledged belo
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1.1 Creating creativity

Read the poem below, ‘The Hundred Languages of Children’ by Loris Malaguzzi (translated from the Italian by Lella Gandini). Consider how the school curriculum and environment may or may not encourage creativity in children. Do you agree or disagree with the statements expressed in the poem? Note down your thoughts or the thoughts of your group so you can review them as you continue to work through this unit and engage with some of the debates on creativity.

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5.2 Scientists as a community of practice

Science has been described as involving observation, description, categorisation, investigation, experimentation and formation of theoretical explanations for naturally occurring phenomena – activities performed by scientists using scientific methods.

Jacob Bronowski (1973) said, ‘That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to a pertinent answer’ – an apt way to put it, as with science, we set off from a starting point of curiosity and inc
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2.5 Communicating with language

It has been suggested that our ‘linguistic competence’ (Chomsky, 1965) consists simply of the ability to construct ‘well-formed sentences’. The sociolinguist Del Hymes (1979) considered this notion to be far too narrow, and proposed the term ‘communicative competence’ to account for speakers’ ability to use language appropriately. Communicative competence lets us know when to speak and when not to speak, how to take turns in conversations and how to start and end them, and how t
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