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7.4 Writing the first draft

Now that you are beginning to draft, keep the assignment's title in front of you. Refer back to it regularly in ordering your material. Are you doing what you are asked to do, or are you writing about what you want to write about?


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8.6 Research skills

This kind of work teaches some very valuable skills:

  • how to set about an enquiry

  • how and where to find source material and information

  • how to make your own investigations

  • strategic planning

  • time management

  • cutting corners and being pragmatic

  • analysing and interpreting primary and secondary source material

  • forming your own conclusions<
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3.2 Carrying out an analysis

Here, then, is the two-verse poem we will focus on in the next few sections of the course. As you see, I have left out the ends of the lines in the second verse. So it presents you with a kind of ‘puzzle’. (But I have included the punctuation, and added line numbers for ease of reference.)

  1. The grey sea and the long black land;

  2. And the yellow half-moon large and low;

  3. And the startled little waves that leap


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9.7.3 Identify ways of further developing your skills in working with others

Use your assessment and reflective comments to suggest ways of improving your own performance in working with others. How do you intend to make these changes? Working in a group is a skill that you may need to go on developing throughout your course of study and in the workplace. All groups vary, and to enhance the performance of any group, as well as to help individual group members develop their skills, it is helpful to look at how the group has operated.

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9.3.3 Identify relevant sources of information

Exploring and identifying sources of information is about finding out what you don't know as well as using and adapting what you do know. Group projects and assignments frequently require you to carry out research and this will involve identifying specific resources you may need. For example, think about the materials and equipment that might be needed and whether the group needs to get specific expert advice and support and, if so, where you can obtain this.

It is also important to spe
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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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7.5.3 Monitor and critically reflect on your use of number skills

As you use number skills 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 numerical or mathematical 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 make
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Interpret results and identify your main findings

In interpreting your results, think about the coverage of your searches and whether you have missed anything or left out important areas. You cannot find everything, but you should be confident that you have located sources recognised for their accuracy, authority and authenticity. How will you judge the quality and coverage of your material? Be aware that while your information may be accurate and reliable, it may not be unbiased. Look carefully at the sources of your information (ask yourse
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5.7 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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5.2.3 Identify and research relevant sources of information

Spend some time finding out about what you will need to complete your IT work successfully and who you need to consult. You may need to arrange access to a library, to the Internet, databases on CD-ROM or online, or specialist training or publications. If you need to learn more about specific IT procedures or techniques (for example setting up a spreadsheet, using a database, archiving data), then look first at your course material and then at study guides or notes aimed at your area of inter
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4.3 Monitoring progress

This stage is about keeping track of your progress. How confident are you that you are achieving the standards of communication required for your work? How can you check how well you are doing?

Monitoring progress in communication skills involves knowing how to:

  • make judgements about the quality of information that you use from various sources;

  • synthesise information; and

  • communicate information in a form that s
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3.2.2 Identify what you hope to achieve and opportunities to work on this key skill

It is always a good idea to know what you hope to achieve in the future in terms of your learning, personal or career goals. This might be very specific, for example to improve your report writing, or it might be more general, such as, to ask for and use feedback more effectively. If you are using this in a work context, you may wish to include personal and career goals.

This year I have set myself the goal of using
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1.3 About this unit

This unit is for anyone studying in higher education, such as an Open University course, following a programme of studies leading to a qualification such as a diploma or a degree, or working more generally on their own career and professional development within, or external to, the workplace. You can use the unit at any stage during your learning career whenever you want to improve or update your skills. If you are returning to study, you may find it particularly helpful to use this unit at t
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Learning outcomes

Having studied this unit you should be able to:

  • develop a strategy for using skills in Working with others over an extended period of time;

  • monitor your progress and adapt your strategy as necessary, to achieve the quality of outcomes required when working with others;

  • evaluate your overall strategy and present the outcomes from your work using a variety of methods.


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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 below.

Figure 1 (PDF, 1 page, 0.1MB)


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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 and selec
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7.3 Monitoring your progress

Use your records or logbook to help you provide a reflective commentary on:

  • what you did to help you set up and use IT methods and techniques to achieve your goals; for example, what you did to:

     

    • search for information and explore alternative lines of enquiry;

    • exchange information to meet your purpose (e.g. email, computer conferencing, video conferencing, web pages, document sharing
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Introduction

This key skill focuses on the ways in which you receive and respond to information and communicate with other people in your work, study and everyday life. Communication skills include speaking, listening, reading and writing for different purposes. Techniques such as note taking and writing summaries are important, but so, too, are the techniques of evaluation and application, such as evaluating the relevance and quality of information.

Communication is part of everyone's life and impr
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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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7.4 Evaluating your strategy and assessing your work

Present an evaluation that includes a summary of how effective your overall strategy has been in helping you use skills to improve your learning and performance, giving details of:

  • 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?

  • an assessment, referring to your review and targets, of your own progress and perfo
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