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2.4 Using the framework

The three-stage framework focuses on the processes of learning, and is a general approach that you can use in different ways. However, skills development also needs a context and should be linked into your course or work activities. A useful starting point is to use your course or project to provide a timeframe for your skills development work.

If you are following a formal course of study, the course will have been designed to develop your knowledge and understanding of a subject area,
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2.3.3 Evaluating your strategy and presenting outcomes

This stage is about evaluating your strategy – what you've achieved and judging how well you achieved it-and presenting your work. An evaluation requires you to assess your overall strategy and work in terms of its strengths and weaknesses. Evaluating your strategy, however, is not simply describing what you have done, listing your successes, or even blaming yourself or others for things that didn't go according to plan.

Evaluation is about considering how successful were the methods
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2.3.2 Monitoring progress

As the focus moves from preparation to action it is important to keep a check on what you are doing and how well you are doing it. Use your plan to help you review your progress, noting your successes and achievements as well as whether you met your deadlines and targets. Often, learning involves bringing together different activities, ways of studying and approaches to the subject. Consciously draw these different strands together, and don't be afraid to make changes where necessary to help
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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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2.3 The key skills framework

In this unit each key skill section uses a common three-stage framework to help you develop your skills. The stages of this framework are:

  • developing a strategy for how you are going to tackle the key skill;

  • monitoring your progress as you develop your skills;

  • evaluating the strategy you have used and presenting outcomes of your work.

But working on your skills and techniques i
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2.1 A framework for learning

This section introduces the key skills approach to learning, outlining a three-stage framework to support the development of your skills, and relating this framework to learning tasks you are likely to come across.

All of us use key skills as part of our study and work. Working with others in teams, sharing ideas, solving problems, researching information and writing essays and reports are all activities using key skills. Developing our key skills is not about remembering facts – but
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1.5 Getting started

After you have worked through Sections 1 and 2, the place to start is the key skill of improving your own learning and performance.

As you began to read through these materials, you were probably not surprised to see that we had included as key skills such things as communication, numeracy and information technology. These are certainly essential operational tools for students – indeed, many would say that they are also essential tools for most occupations.

However, including
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1.4 Using this unit

There is no single way to use this unit and no single way to develop your key skills. The unit is designed so that you can use it flexibly, moving around the sections to suit yourself. You can also choose when to use the unit, but remember that skills development does not happen in isolation – it requires ‘content’. Therefore, you will find it helpful to use the unit alongside a course or a specific project so that it provides you with opportunities to develop, practise and get feedbac
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1.1.1 When do we use key skills?

Key skills underpin almost everything we do. In the following table, there are some examples of when we use key skills as part of our studies or in other areas of our lives. As you read through the list, think about how confident you are in each of the key skills.

Click on 'View document' below for a printable version of Table 1 that you can fill in.

Introduction

This unit focuses on higher level skills. Skills development is complementary to other learning – it cannot be done in isolation. The higher level skills in this material aim to raise your awareness of the processes of learning and development – other subject-based material must supply the context and motivation for this. Key skills underpin the ability to carry out successfully, and improve on, a wide range of tasks in higher education, employment and wherever there is a continua
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9 Notes to help you complete your portfolio

To complete your assessment 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 (first introduced in Section 4).

Figure 1 (PDF, 1 page, 0.1MB)

7.4 Evaluating your strategy and assessing your work

Present a reflective summary that includes:

  • Those factors that worked well to help you improve and those that have worked less well. Which factors had the greatest effect on your achievement of what you set out to do?

  • A judgement of your own progress and performance in those skills you set out to improve, including an assessment of where you feel you have made the greatest progress. Discuss your use of criteria and feedback comments t
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7.3 Monitoring your progress

Use your records or logbook to help you present a commentary that includes what you did to:

  • obtain the necessary resources and support from others;

  • allocate/negotiate responsibilities;

  • comply with particular requirements, health and safety, company policy, etc;

  • establish and maintain co-operative working relationships;

  • exchange feedback on progress;

  • resolve problems a
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7.1 Evidence required

This part is about showing you can develop a strategy for using and improving your skills in working with others, that you can monitor your progress and can evaluate your overall performance and strategy. The evidence you present must show what you have done as you worked through the processes of planning strategically, monitoring, evaluating and presenting your work. Part A must relate directly to the work you have selected for Part B.

You must present evidence to show you can:<
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6 What you should present

This assessment unit has two parts. Part A requires you to show what you did to plan, monitor, evaluate and reflect upon your skills. Part B requires you to select examples of your work that demonstrate you can use and improve your skills in working with others. Together the two parts form a portfolio of your achievements. You can use the guidance, bookmarks and skills sheets included in the OpenLearn Unit Author(s): The Open University

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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4 Structure of the assessment units

This key skills assessment unit does not have specific questions with word limits and no statements indicating you include, say, an essay or a report. Instead, as you tackle the unit you need to ask yourself ‘Which pieces of work show my skills and capabilities to best advantage?’ When you have identified and selected evidence of your skills, you must then relate this evidence directly to the criteria.

This method of building a portfolio is based not on providing right or wrong answ
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3 Key skills assessment units

This section gives advice and guidance to help you compile and present a portfolio of selected work. You are strongly advised to read through this section so that you have an idea of what is expected.

The key skills assessment units provide an opportunity for you to integrate your development of key skills with your work or study. You may choose to concentrate on skills that you need to develop and improve for your job, for a new course, or personally to help you keep abreast of new dev
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2 Sources of help

This assessment unit is designed to be self-contained. However you might like to access the following sources for support and guidance if you need it. These sources include:

  • Key skills – making a difference This OpenLearn unit is designed to complement the assessment units. It provides detailed guidance and activities to help you work on your
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1 About working with others

Very few people study or work in complete isolation. Some courses now set projects and assignments that need to be completed in pairs or groups, either face-to-face or using econferencing. Even if your course does not formally require you to do this, working with others is an important part of your skills portfolio. Most jobs require you to work as part of a team, and employers value individuals who can demonstrate this.

In working on a work project or an assignment with others – in p
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