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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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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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1 Developing your problem solving skills

This Key Skill Assessment Unit offers an opportunity for you to select and prepare work that demonstrates your key skills in the area of problem solving.

This unit provides you with advice and information on how to go about presenting your key skills work as a portfolio.

In presenting work that demonstrates your key skills you are taking the initiative to show that you can develop and improve a particular set of skills, and are able to use your skills more generally in your studi
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8 Part B: Evidencing your IT skills

This Part requires you to present a portfolio of your work to demonstrate that you have used and integrated your IT skills within your study or work activities to achieve the standard required. For example, you might include learning about new software for a particular task, using databases and other resources more effectively in searching for information, setting up and using different ways of communicating and sharing information, setting up and using computer-based models to predict, expla
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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
Author(s): The Open University

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1 Information and communication

This Key Skills Assessment Unit offers an opportunity for you to select and prepare work that demonstrates your key skills in the area of communication.

This unit provides you with advice and information on how to go about presenting your key skills work as a portfolio.

In presenting work that demonstrates your key skills you are taking the initiative to show that you can develop and improve a particular set of skills, and are able to use your skills more generally in your studie
Author(s): The Open University

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1 Understanding how you learn

This Key Skill Assessment Unit offers an opportunity for you to select and prepare work that demonstrates your key skills in the area of: improving your own learning and performance.

This unit provides you with advice and information on how to go about presenting your key skills work as a portfolio.

In presenting work that demonstrates your key skills you are taking the initiative to show that you can develop and improve a particular set of skills, and are able to use your skills
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6.1 Introduction

As a student, you're likely to engage in a variety of writing tasks. You'll almost certainly handle significant amounts of text and, depending on your course, perhaps also numbers or diagrams.

This section looks at the different way that you write using a computer, and also provides some referencing advice.


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3.2.1 How might you use it?

Chat has its limitations for serious discussion, but you may find it helpful to keep in touch with other students. You might ‘meet’ with other students in your group by arranging a time once a week when you can all be online. It can really help to know that there are others out there with problems similar to your own.


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3.3 Real time chat

Online chat is a means of having a quick written conversation with one or more people who are online at the same time. Compared with email, there's less of a time lag in waiting for a response. Messages are likely to be more spontaneous, and it can be anarchic when several people reply at once.


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3.1 Introduction

One of the most useful and rewarding things you can do with your computer is use it to communicate with your tutor, other students, and course staff.

If you like exchanging ideas and information, sharing support with other students, asking questions and getting feedback from your tutor, then online communication can add a whole new dimension to your learning:

“Email from another student really kept me going
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5.1.7 Literature

Drabble, M. (ed.) (1995) The Oxford Companion to English Literature, Oxford, Oxford University Press.


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3.7 Writing clearly

A final point that emerged from our analysis of Philip's and Hansa's essays was that a good essay is easy to read. Grand-sounding phrases and elaborate sentences do not make an essay impressive. Clarity and economy are what count. Such ease of reading is achieved at several levels.


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2.5.2 Punctuation

Some of the sentences we have looked at are harder to understand than they might be because they are not very well punctuated. Punctuation marks are the ‘stops’ in a sentence that divide it up into parts. They make it easier to follow the meaning of the words. For instance, it is easier to read this sentence of Philip's if we put a comma after ‘wealthy’:

With society becoming more wealthy, it was possible for t
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2.5.1 Sentences

We can see that Philip knows what a sentence is because he writes some perfectly good ones. For example:

In many ways going into urban life from the countryside was beneficial to woman of the upperclass.

This sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop. It has a subject (urban life) and a main verb (was). As any sentence is, it is a self-contained ‘unit of meaning’. It m
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1.1 Why write?

Of all aspects of studying, writing is probably the most challenging. That is because when you write down an account of your ideas for other people to read you have to explain yourself particularly carefully. You can't make the mental leaps you do when you are in conversation with others or thinking about something for yourself. To make your meaning clear, using only words on a page, you have to work out exactly what you think about the subject. You come to understand it for yourself i
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1.3.4 Stage 2: Find a way in

Bearing in mind your analysis of the overt purpose of the piece of writing, whether it is explicitly social science or art, politics, entertainment etc., try to establish its basic point, its most obvious message. What is the title or headline; is it clear and ‘factual’, does it refer to some previous debate or require some sort of previous knowledge? Are there sub-headings and can you get an idea of how the ‘story’ goes from them? Skim read the introduction and the conclusion. Can yo
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Introduction

Social scientists collect evidence to support their claims and theories in different ways. Such evidence is crucial to the practice of social science and to the production of social scientific knowledge.

You may be aware of the idea of active reading, which is about reading with the aim of understanding and grasping something: a definition, an argument, a piece of evidence. What that suggests is that active reading is about reading and thinking at the same time. In
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Acknowledgements

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

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this booklet.

Text

Wilson, J. (1998) ‘Hamilton child safety cu
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