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8.7.2 Assess the effectiveness of your strategy

How did you carry out your work? What lines of enquiry did you follow to reach your conclusions? Were there any dead-ends where you felt you could not make further progress, or particular insights that you felt helped you to better understand your work? You should be able to explain why you pursued some approaches but rejected others; what decisions did you make to keep you on track?

In stating your conclusions and interpreting the results of your work, you should refer back to what you
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8.7 Evaluating strategy and presenting outcomes

This stage of the framework focuses on identifying what you have achieved and how well you have achieved it. It involves you in evaluating your strategy and presenting the outcomes of your work. As you evaluate and assess your strategy, identify aspects of your problem-solving skills that you want to develop further. At the end of this stage, use the records in your Skills File to complete the activity ‘Evaluating your problem-solving strategy and presenting outcomes’ and pull together th
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8.5 Monitoring progress

This stage is about keeping track of your progress. Are you tackling your problem-solving activities effectively? How do you know? Could you have done things differently, made use of different tools (such as software packages) or facilities, taken more advantage of tutorials, training sessions or local expertise, or recognised that such support would have helped you?

Monitoring your own performance and progress needs practice; try to stand back and look at what you are doing as if you w
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8.3.3 Explore problems

Recognising and framing problems so that you can tackle them effectively is a central part of a problem-solving strategy. Often, problems are not presented in a well-defined way, and it is up to you to define exactly why a problem exists and what its boundaries are.

Recognising a problem means identifying that there is a gap between the present situation and what is desirable, and establishing that no immediate solution is at hand. This exploratory stage is about finding out more about
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8.3.1 Identify opportunities for using problem-solving skills

Where and how will you use problem-solving skills over the next 3–4 months? What opportunities do you have to develop your skills? For example, you may be working on a course project with a defined goal but the best route to that goal is not clear; you might be involved in contributing to the design of a system, improving its performance or investigating the feasibility of ideas; you may be involved in resolving resource or staffing difficulties, or in planning a major event.

Problems
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7.6.4 Evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy

Using the records in your Skills File, look back over your number skills development work and think about how your decisions, and the facilities and constraints of your working environment influenced the way you tackled the task. How effective was your strategy in improving your skills? Identify what was and was not helpful in achieving your goals and outcomes, and assess how your own strengths and weaknesses contributed to this.

Evaluate your achievements against the criteria you estab
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7.6.3 Explain results in relation to your work

You should be able to explain the results of your work, drawing attention to any patterns, trends or relationships you have identified. What are the consequences of your work? Does it support the hypotheses or assumptions you started with? How did you carry out your work? What lines of enquiry did you follow to reach your conclusions? Were there any dead-ends where you felt you could not make further progress, or particular insights that you felt helped you to understand your work better? You
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7.6.2 Present information effectively

Organise your data so that you can use it to illustrate and support your arguments or point of view. To do this successfully you must be clear about what you want to say, who is your intended audience, and what points you want your audience to understand. Think about the most appropriate way to present your findings, and whether particular types of charts, graphs or diagrams will bring out the relationships you want to demonstrate. Choosing graph axes carefully (for example using non-linear s
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7.2 Developing a strategy

Present notes/records that show you have planned your use of problem-solving skills in tackling a selected problem from your study or work. Your evidence must include:

  • the goals you hope to achieve over 3–4 months or so; you should indicate how these goals relate to the context in which you are working and to your current capabilities;

  • how you planned and explored the problem and set out the next stages of the work, for example, usi
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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:

  • U529_1 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 key skills, gives examples of key skills work from students, and helps you prepare an
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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.

Figure 1 (PDF, 1 page, 0.1MB)

5 Effective use of information literacy skills

The purpose of this assessment unit is for you to create a portfolio of your work that shows you can improve your information literacy skills and apply them within your study or work activities. A central aim is for you to use the process to support your learning and improve your performance overall.

You will need to show that you can search for, select and critically evaluate information. Using information literacy skills effectively involves applying your skills appropriately in diffe
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

Unit Image

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All other materials included in this unit are derived from content originated at the Open University.


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9 Notes to help you complete your assessment

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 in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1 (PDF, 1 page, 0.1MB)

8.3 Synthesis

Your synthesis of what you have learned needs to show you can comment critically and reflectively on the ways of learning you have used. Think about what you had to learn, how you learned it and make an assessment of how well you learned it. On reflection, would you change anything? If so, what would you do differently? Your synthesis does not have to be long (e.g. one side of an A4 page), but it does need to show you can think critically about your learning, relate it to specific work (that
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7.2 Developing a strategy

Present notes/records to show you have planned to use skills to improve your learning and performance. Include:

  • A review of your current capabilities and your goals over an extended period of time (at least three months). Indicate how your goals relate to the context in which you are working and your current capabilities.

    Your evidence could include a skills audit based on the key skills criteria and other criteria given as part of your course
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1.1.5 Clearing the previous calculation

To clear the previous calculation, click the ‘C’ button.

Provided that no operation has been performed on an entered number, an incorrect entry can be deleted one digit at a time by clicking the ‘Backspace’ button. (This is labelled ‘Back’ on some versions of the Windows calculator.)


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8 Technical glossary

This glossary is intended to provide a basic explanation of how a number of common mathematical terms are used. Definitions can be very slippery and confusing and at worst can replace one difficult term with a large number of other puzzling concepts. Therefore, where an easy definition is available it is provided here, where this has not been possible an example is used. If you require more detailed or complete definitions, you should refer to one of the very good mathematical dictionaries th
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7.4 Spread

7.4.1 Range and inter-quartile range

So far in this section, you have seen that the mean, median and mode can all give a useful typical value of a set of data. However, there is further information that you can get from a set of data which can help to complete the picture.

Consider the following two sets of data.

Data set C: 113, 48, 26, 99, 64 The number of runs scored by
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