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6.5 Monitoring progress

This stage of the framework is about keeping track of your progress. Are you using your information literacy skills effectively for your purposes? How do you know? Could you have done things differently: made use of different facilities and expertise, 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 y
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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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6.3.2 Identify the outcomes you hope to achieve

An outcome is the result or consequence of a process. For example, you may want to select information from a number of sources for a report, and to do this you may need to improve your use of information search facilities and your critical skills in comparing and contrasting information. In this case your report is an outcome and using and improving your information literacy skills is part of the process by which you achieve that outcome.

A more focused outcome might be related to recog
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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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6.3 Developing a strategy

In developing a strategy for improving your IL skills you are aiming to:

  • identify the opportunities you can use to develop and practise your IL skills;

  • establish the outcomes you hope to achieve and the 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, libra
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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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5.5 Evaluating strategy and presenting outcomes

This stage of the framework focuses on identifying what you have achieved and how well you have achieved it. It involves you in evaluating your overall strategy and presenting the outcomes of your work. As you evaluate and assess your strategy, identify aspects of your IT skills that you want to develop further. At the end of this stage, use the records in your Skills File to complete the activity ‘Evaluating your use of IT strategy and presenting outcomes’ and pull together this final st
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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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5.4.3 Gathering and producing new information

As your work progresses, what new information are you gathering or producing? For example are you using IT to handle ideas, plans, working documents, results of calculations, designs, predictions, evaluations and so on? Review the types of information you are dealing with and think about what IT skills you are using to bring together information and data from different sources to help you make decisions or draw conclusions. What new IT skills would help you handle this information more effect
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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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5.4.1 Set up and use IT

In using IT effectively you may need to learn how to use particular features of the software applications involved. In word processing, style sheets and templates help you set up consistent formats for essays, reports and other documents. In spreadsheets, macros – sets of instructions that can be repeated as often as necessary – can help you to perform complex numerical operations more easily. In databases, you may need to know how to set up structures so that you can store and retrieve i
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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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4.4.3 Identify ways of further developing your communication skills

Think about your overall level of communication skills and suggest areas where you feel you need to improve, based on the experience you have gained. You might find it useful to discuss with your tutor or another student or work colleague how you might do this. There may be changes you feel you need to make so that you can move forward, such as trying to extend the facilities and resources available to you, changing the way you study to make best use of the time you have, or focusing on impro
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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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4.3.5 Adapt your strategy

Often, plans run into difficulties because of unforeseen or changing circumstances. For example, it may have taken you longer than expected to get the information you needed, or just as you were ready to print off your final version of a report, the computer crashed. Plans are only a means to an end and frequently need to be modified. If you run into difficulties, think about how they affect the production of your immediate work and your overall goals. Do you need to modify your short-term pl
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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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4.3.3 Communicate relevant information

A main outcome of this key skill is that you will be able to communicate complex information orally, visually and through writing.

Complex subjects are those that include a number of ideas, some of which may be abstract, very detailed, difficult to follow or require you to deal with sensitive issues or the interpretation of others’ viewpoints. Communicating information at this level may involve using technical vocabulary, carefully structuring what you say and/or write, and using diag
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3.10 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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3.8 Evaluating strategy and presenting outcomes

By now you will have found out about and sampled different resources for learning and used different ways to learn. But the structured approach used in this section is one of the main resources for developing and improving your other key skills.

So how do you know if you have learned? How do you know if you have improved? How do you know if you are meeting the standard for improving your own learning and performance expected of someone doing a course in higher education or using higher
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3.4.2 Using different ways and approaches to learn

Always aim to select the way of learning that fits with what you intend to learn. If your goal is to improve your presentation skills, you need to prepare and practise presenting your work. If you need to relate theory to practise in your job, you need to spend time understanding how theory can relate to practice, perhaps by reviewing and discussing case studies. This may seem obvious but people often make wrong choices out of habit. There is a natural tendency to use ways we feel most famili
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