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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 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
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions). This content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

Unit Image

Wonderlane: www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/37529792/

All other materia
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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 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 select
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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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Learning outcomes

Having studied this unit you should be able to:

  • develop a strategy for using skills in improving own learning and performance over an extended period of time;

  • monitor progress and adopt your strategy, as necessary, to achieve the quality of outcomes required;

  • evaluate your overall strategy and present outcomes of your work.


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Scottish Learning Network

The Scottish Learning Network at www.globalweb.co.uk/sln.html is a gateway to information, guidance, assessment and on-line education and training opportunities in Scotland.


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9.1 Further reading

  • *The Good Study Guide by Andrew Northedge, published by The Open University, 1990, ISBN 0 7492 00448.

    Chapter 4 is entitled ‘Working with numbers’

    Other chapters are entitled: ‘Reading and note taking’, ‘Other ways of studying’, ‘What is good writing?’, ‘How to write essays’, ‘Preparing for examinations’.

  • The Sciences Good Study Guide by Andrew Northedge, Jeff Thomas, Andrew Lane, Alice
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6.2 Pie charts: Activities

Activity 14

7 Further reading and sources of help

Where to get more help with using and interpreting tables, graphs, percentages, and with other aspects of numerical work.


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4.8.2 Median

The median is the middle value of a set of numbers arranged in ascending (or descending) order. If the set has an even number of values then the median is the mean of the two middle numbers. For example:

1, 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 24This set of nine values is arranged in ascending order and the median is 8.
32, 25, 20, 1
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4.8.1 Mean

The mean is found by adding up all the values in a set of numbers and dividing by the total number of values in the set. This is what is usually meant by the word ‘average’.

For example, if a company tests a sample of the batteries it manufactures to determine the lifetime of each battery, the mean result would be appropriate as a measure of the possible lifetime any of the batteries and could be used to promote the product.

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2 Reflection on mathematics

Mathematics is a subject about which people have strong views, and these can be negative, positive, or a combination of the two. Our own experience, as tutors and students of mathematics, is that mathematics is often seen by others as something that ‘isn't for me’, and one where beliefs and feelings, especially worry and even fear, can be strong, as a result of previous unhappy experiences. We have written this section to help you to look at your mathematical background, so that you can u
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7.2 Brushing up on your computer skills

If you want to brush up on your computer skills, you may find the following websites useful.

The OpenLearn Web Guide (accessed 8 November 2006) offers a brief guide to making effective use of the web.

SAFARI (Skills in accessing, finding and reviewing information) (accessed 8 November 2006) is an online course provided by the Open University and aims to help you improve your information skills.

The Absolute Beginners' Guide to Using Your Computer (acces
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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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4.8 Not everyone is participating

It can be annoying if there are some people in your tutor group who don't participate in discussions. You may feel that this is unfair, or that you are doing more than your fair share of the work.

There's often a minority of people who don't join in at all, for a variety of reasons – pressure of personal circumstances, illness, shyness, or deliberate decision. And different people may be at different stages in the course. A benefit of studying online is that you can fit your studying
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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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3.2 Using diagrams of your own choice and design

This option is the most challenging and most rewarding, as it clearly shows that you have explored and analysed the source material and reworked it for yourself. In many cases, the source material may not contain any diagrams, simply text or numbers, perhaps expressed as a table. Alternatively, you may have had to make some specific observations or undertake an experiment to produce your own data. In this case, you may be expected to produce a diagram to enhance or improve your assignment. If
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2.2.4 Reading graphs and charts: extracting information

When you are sure that you know what a chart or graph is all about, start to look for any main trends. Jot down for yourself a few conclusions that you think can be drawn. It often takes a little time before you can interpret the chart or graph properly. It is worth the effort, however, because information held in the form of a graph is highly patterned; and as our memories work by finding patterns in information and storing them, the information in graphs is easier to remember than informati
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2.2.3 Reading graphs and charts: getting started

Graphs and charts ought to be easy to read, since the main point of turning numbers into diagrams is to bring out their meaning more clearly. However, they are abstract representations that attempt to summarise certain aspects of the world in a condensed form. Consequently, they require a degree of mental effort on your part to bridge the gap between the formal pictures on the page and the aspects of ‘reality’ they represent. It is important to approach graphs and diagrams caref
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