The guide in the research and study skills has been created to assist myself and other graduate students in thinking through the many aspects of crafting, implementing and defending an essay or dissertation in areas related to the discipline of bachelor degree and beyond. I have achieved the purpose of this course and now understand some of the many ideas that have surfaced over the past few years that definitely make the task of finishing a graduate degree much easier. A guide of this nature focuses on the actual implementation of the research and examining such aspects as identifying appropriate sample size, field testing the instrument and selecting appropriate statistical tests, this guide looks at many of the tertiary standard aspects of the process. Such topics as how to select supportive leaning skills, making a compelling presentation of my research outcomes and strategies for actually getting the paper written are discussed in other areas of the course programmed. Many of the ideas that are presented can be used successfully by other graduate students studying under the guidance of the research and study skills and from many other different disciplines.
Personal management skills
Through this guidance I have developed a personal profile of competencies and interests. Having investigated my learning preferences by completing a variety of inventories, as a student I am aware of areas of strength and of the need to accommodate my learning challenges. Defining success as the achievement of personal goals investigated and begins to apply the personal management skills and habits critical to success in my studies. I have extended my learning abilities beyond the classroom to the community to develop my skills in a variety of areas. Track my growth in my portfolio and explore opportunities to apply my skills and knowledge in different contexts and have explore my personality types through a variety of inventories and relate this to my work in groups and teams both in and out of the classroom.
Research and Planning Essays
Research and planning essays within the course guide help the progress of my studies on research and notes; I can clarify the issues, positions and supportive evidence in the area concerned. In my first year course, I have realized that my research is structure by regular lectures and the reading list, which suggests overview and supplementary material on the topic concerned. Within this context, I have been introduced to ways of using the Library to explore other reading that is not directly specified by my tutors. Besides I believe this forms a bridge to later courses in my degree programmed, where I will be expected to be more independent in defining questions and finding appropriate sources of information for answering them. It may seem obvious to most new student like myself, but I have understood that I should always make notes of some kind to keep a record of my listening and reading, whether at the same time, shortly afterwards or both to further my understanding of an area and be useful for a range of purposes, several key activities are called for on my part e.g. putting things into my own words, selecting information, structuring. My tutor on this course taught in detail on referencing and sources which will take us throughout the entire degree program and even beyond. When I hand in an assignment it must include references for all key ideas that are not my own and for all direct quotations; it is vital for my reader to be able to find the source to which I am referring. If I do not identify my sources in this way I am committing plagiarism, which carries a very high penalty. I have understood that references enable the identification of sources referred to in my written work and the reference list is essential for all assignments.
Feedback and Personal Reflection
Much time is invested by markers (tutors) in providing feedback to students that is personalized, aimed at providing us with information to feed forward into our next piece of work. Given the investment of time by tutors in the feedback process, I am necessarily concerned with how it is used as a student and keen to explore and develop my perceptions of assessment feedback and the impact of an intervention to enhance the use of feedback. Although receiving fair and valid feedback that is presented in a constructive manner can be very instructive and helpful, I personally do not find critical feedback difficult to receive. Sometimes it is hard to keep a non defensive and open attitude as the implication is that I am flawed or wrong. The reality to me is that a defensive reaction to feedback results from it being at least partially accurate, otherwise I would simply dismiss it. When the nature of feedback is consistent and those providing it are in an informed position, validation almost takes place by consensus. For example, I may think I am a superb listener although everyone who works with me feels I am hopelessly bad. It is very difficult to see myself as others see me. The irony is that my self image is at least in part a reflection of how others see me. However, I tend to judge myself by my good intentions while others judge me by what they observe or what they think they observe. Some people are much more sensitive to criticism than others. The most sensitive areas for feedback relate to performance and integrity. The other barrier is that people find it very difficult to give honest feedback. Outside the school this is due to a range of reasons, including cultural norms, power differences and fear of conflict. In the classroom developing skills in giving and receiving feedback is essential if the process is to be constructive, as a first year student I think am yet to discover a lot when it comes to feedback.
At the end of the course module (Research and Study Skills) I understand I have archived a lot of potencies including the ability to manage my own learning skills as demonstrated in the module. Searching out and selecting appropriate learning resources of all types, making use of all available technical aids, employing appropriate and effective study skills and recognizing limitations of my current personal understanding and capabilities, identifying areas needing refreshed or extended setting realistic and appropriate personal learning goals, also selecting learning strategies that take account of personal learning preferences that are likely to succeed in challenging personal learning goals as a basis for personal growth.
This special edition module contributes to a growing body of study skill and emerging discourse on theoretical concepts, principles, research, and practice implications to enhance student learning in higher education. Completed the module I have the opportunity to exploited and plan ahead in a range of learning contexts at each stage or level of the program, creating my own learning records containing information on the qualities and skills, with evidence which can be drawn upon when applying for further study. Teachers use a variety of strategies to encourage us (students) to reflect upon and evaluate our learning experiences and help as improve our academic work and performance and other aspects of our development. This is structured to support the process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning performance to achievement and plan for personal educational development. Personally, it is expected that the required preparation that we (students) must do for an active learning experience would enhance our participation and make the active learning experience more satisfying to ourselves.
- Anderson, Bradford A., MDL400 - Research and Study Skills (B.A. Anderson & Mattersey Hall 2007).
- Burns, Tom, and Sinfield, Sandra, Essential Study Skills: The Complete Guide to Success at University (London, UK: SAGE Publications, 2008).
- Buzan, Tony, The Buzan study skills handbook (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2006).
- Fry, Heather, el at, A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Enhancing Academic (Florence, KY: Routledge Taylor & Francis, Inc, 2009).