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7.5 Monitoring progress

This stage of the framework is about keeping track of your progress. Are you using number effectively for your purposes? 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 i
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6.7 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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6.5.4 Monitor and critically reflect on your use of IL skills

As you develop your information literacy skills, refer back to the outcomes you hope to achieve and goals you have set yourself. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • am I on track to achieve my outcomes?

  • what difficulties in using information literacy techniques have I experienced and what have I done about them?

  • how have the choices and decisions I made impacted on the quality of my work?

  • do I need to mak
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6.3.3 Identify and research relevant sources of information

Spend some time finding out about what you will need to help you complete you IL work and who you will need to consult. You may need to arrange access to a library, the Internet, databases online, or specialist training or publications. If you need to learn about specific aspects of IL (for example how to reference correctly articles, papers and books, or how to put together a bibliography), then look first at your course material and then at study guides or notes aimed at your area of intere
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6.3.1 Identify opportunities for using IL skills

Where and how will you use information literacy skills over the next 3–4 months? You may need IL to help you identify, search for, evaluate and present information for a specific task, such as an essay or project report. You may have to visit and learn how to use an academic library, or need to search for, select and evaluate information from specialist databases or the Internet. Spend some time thinking about your study or work requirements and what opportunities you will have or can creat
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6.2 Working on improving your IL skills

The three-stage framework for developing and improving your skills provides the basis for you become more confident in:

  • developing a strategy for using a variety of IL skills, including being clear about what you want to achieve, identifying relevant sources of information that will help you to achieve your goals, and planning how you intend to improve your skills;

  • monitoring your progress and critically reflecting on your performance
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5.5.4 Evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy

Using the records in your Skills File, look back over your IT 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 IT skills? Identify what was and was not helpful in achieving your goals and outcomes, and assess how your own IT strengths and weaknesses contributed to this.

Evaluate your achievements against the criteria you establishe
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5.4.4 Monitor and critically reflect on your use of IT skills

As you use IT in your work, refer back to the outcomes you hope to achieve and the goals you have set yourself. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • am I on track to achieve my outcomes?

  • what difficulties in using information technology have I experienced and what have I done about them?

  • how have the choices and decisions I made impacted on the quality of my work?

  • do I need to make any changes in the way I
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5.4.2 Develop and exchange relevant information to meet your purposes

How does the way you communicate information affect the way you work? What opportunities do you have for developing or exploring different ways of working or sharing information using IT (e.g. using email, computer conferencing, video conferencing, web pages, sharing documents)? Depending on your requirements, you may need to consider factors such as the security, archiving and back-up of your data. What steps do you need to take to guard against the loss or misuse of your information? Can yo
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5.4 Monitoring progress

This stage of the framework is about keeping track of how you are doing and what progress you are making. Are you using IT effectively for your purposes? How do you know? Could you have done things differently, such as made use of different facilities and software packages, taken more advantage of 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
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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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3.8.3 Identify ways of further improving your own learning and performance

Remember that improving your own learning and performance is not something that you can do once and then forget about it. It is a process that needs to become an integral part of your normal approach to work and study throughout your career in higher education and in the world of work. Developing and using the skill of improving your own learning and performance can enhance all other learning. As you worked through this key skill, what is it that you have learned? What can you take away with
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3.2.6 Achieving your goals

Now that you have established what you intend to do and identified specific targets to achieve them, think about how you can meet your targets, taking into account what you are trying to do and looking carefully at the most effective way to do it. This might be by attending a training course or skills workshop, prioritising your time differently, taking an active part in e-tutorials, or checking out resources and giving yourself time to practise new ways of working.

Take into account th
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3.2.4 Set realistic targets

You are now in a good position to set yourself targets – the steps towards achieving your goals. As you begin to plan in more detail, think in terms of around 3 months to achieve particular targets, although the time period for some may be shorter/longer. This may depend on other commitments, priorities, and so on. Your targets need to be clear so that you can know when you have achieved them. A good way of helping you to formulate clear targets is to use the acronym SMART – Specific, Mea
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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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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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8.4 Assessing your work

Table 1 below gives the outcomes (italic) and criteria for assessment of your work. Alongside the criteria is a checklist to help you consider and assess your work.

Table 1: Criteria for asses
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