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3.4.2 ‘Real world’ skills

Although we are describing these as a separate set of skills, we hope that you can see the value of these skills in supporting your learning, as well as being important for many other aspects of your life. In this unit we have been focusing on:

  • communication skills
  • problem-solving (decision-making) skills
  • organisational (self-management) skills.

The next activity is similar to the one you have just done, but here the focus is o
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3.3.1 Why it might be useful

The main similarity between using academic theory and getting feedback is that both can offer you a perspective that may be different from your own. We have already seen how additional perspectives can be valuable in rounding out the understanding that you have about yourself. One possible big advantage with academic theory is that this additional perspective can come from someone who has become recognised as an expert or authority. Drawing on theory opens up the possibility of building on th
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3.2.2 What problems might you have with getting feedback?

Only you can answer this. However, you might think that you will not find it easy to ask someone else to be a mentor and give you feedback about your own qualities, knowledge or skills. There may be all sorts of reasons for this. You might not feel that you know anyone that you would trust to give you feedback in a way in which you would find helpful. Acting as a feedback giver can put someone in such a powerful position that you might feel uncomfortable. You might feel that you do not know a
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References

Adair, J. and Allen, M. (1999) Time Management and Personal Development, London, Hawksmere.
Allen, D. (2001) Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, London, Penguin Books.
Bennett, A. (1910) How to live on 24 Hours a Day [online], http://www.web-books.com/Classics/AuthorsAD/Bennett/How/Home.htm (Accessed 18 October 2006).
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2.7 Conclusion

This section has asked you to do a great deal of work on gathering evidence about what qualities, knowledge and skills you already have. There are two main reasons why this is important if you are going to use learning in order to achieve change. First, it is really important for you to have the self-confidence to know that you can achieve change. The activities in this section have been designed to provide you with opportunities to build up this much clearer picture. Another important aspect
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2.6.1 Referencing

Referencing is a good way to illustrate this similarity. You will have noticed that when the unit refers to someone, the name and some other details (often a year and a page number) are given. An example in this section would be: Allen (2001, p. 24). Here, the year (2001) and a page number are provided because reference was being made to a particular aspect of this book. If the discussion had been about the book in general it would have been fine just to give the year. If you look at the list
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2.2 Everyday learning – what’s going on?

This section will start with two examples of the sort of learning that occurs on an everyday basis. The aim here is to start you thinking about the ways in which learning goes on all the time. To illustrate this, read Jim’s story. As you read, you might like to begin to think about whether any aspects of Jim’s story might also be a part of your ‘story’. (In this context, we are using the word ‘story’ to mean what has happened in your life so far. We are not using it to mean someth
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2.1 Introduction

This unit is about using learning to bring about personal change. This assumes that learning can help achieve such change. Section 2 aims to be the first step in showing you how this is possible. This section has three separate but related aspects:

  1. Section 2 looks at what the word ‘learning’ includes. This turns out to be a very wide ranging idea that suggests that human beings learn all the time. What we learn has impo
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1.6 Conclusion

At the start of this section, there was a list of what we hoped you would get from your study of this section. To save you looking back, the aims of the section were to:

  • provide you with a clear idea of what the unit is about and how it is structured
  • help you understand the importance of the word ‘skills’
  • start you thinking about your own learning.

It would be useful to think back over this list before moving on to section
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1.5.2 Planning your study time

One of the most difficult aspects of being a student is fitting in your studying with everything else in your life. This is why this unit focuses on organisational skills including time management. It is important both to find enough time to study and then to try to make the most effective use of your time. Finding enough time can be quite a challenge! It often means giving up some activities you currently enjoy or perhaps negotiating with your family and friends to pass on some of the daily
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1.4 Study skills, other skills

You will find many references to ‘skills’ in this unit. Before we explain how we will be using this word, we would like you to think about what you understand is meant by ‘skills’.

Activity 2 What’s in a word – skills?

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1.3 Learning through activities

The unit has been designed to actively involve you in your own learning. One of the most important aspects of this are the activities that you are asked to do.

For each activity, there is a suggested time, for example, ‘Allow about 10 minutes for this activity’. These estimates are intended to give you a sense of the amount of effort required. However, you may find that you spend longer on each activity. That is fine, so long as you feel you are learning. If you come across ideas th
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1.1 Welcome

Learning to change is a unit for people who are interested in learning about making changes in their lives. We think that you will find the unit interesting and that it will give you ideas that are useful for bringing about personal change.

The aims of this section are to:

  1. provide you with a clear idea of what the unit is about and how it is structured
  2. help you understand the importance of the word ‘skills’
  3. start yo
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1.2.5 Coping when things go wrong

Personal computing is not a mature technology. It is changing so fast and becoming so complex that it never gets a chance to settle down and become really reliable. You need to learn ways of coping with this unreliability, to learn to laugh at the frustrations you will encounter and find ways of minimising the damage.

There are various ways of coping with computing problems:

  • Save your work often – every few minutes, not every few hours.


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1.2.3 Computing with confidence

When it comes to learning about computers and gadgets, have you noticed the apparent ease with which children learn to use these tools? This may be because they are more likely to use the activist learning style. They try out and investigate rather than follow instructions rigidly or ponder the different approaches to a problem.

In this unit we want to encourage you to be an activist when learning how to use computers. We want you to explore technological problems in the same way as a c
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1.2.1 Your learning style

Imagine you are going to learn a new task. It could be laying a laminate floor, following a new recipe or learning to use a new TV remote control. How do you approach the task?

  • Approach 1 Do you sit down with the instructions and read them through before trying?

  • Approach 2 Do you get stuck in to the task straight away? Do you ask others for help and then move on to a new task as soon as this one is complete?

  • <
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1.1.1 How to do it

In this unit we aim to give you some first-hand experience of learning online. You will carry out some activities during which we hope you will learn some useful skills.


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11 Conclusion

Just as we have advised earlier, we are not going to introduce any new ideas in this concluding section. We are using it to reinforce what we think our main points are.

Writing essays or reports can be time-consuming; individual assignments tend to focus in depth on specific topics rather than fostering a wider sense of the whole course. However, three or four or more assignments will bring benefits as linkages start to become apparent and the total programme of written work help
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8.1.1 Achieving a good polish

Here is a list of indicators you can use to judge your polishing techniques. Most guidance notes given to students include these points, but they are not always followed.

Positive indicators Negative indicators
It is word-processed or clearly and neatly hand-written. The assignment is written on paper t
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6.3.1 Stage 1 Brainstorm

To begin your planning, you need to generate ideas or brainstorm. At this stage, you are including everything that you think may be relevant. Nothing should be dismissed yet; this part is about gathering your resources and your thoughts.

For instance, using the essay title ‘There are advantages to studying as a mature student. Do you agree?’, we tried to brainstorm for ideas and produced this list (but, of course, it wasn't this tidy):

  • <
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