1.1 This report looks at seven Key Skills. I have identified my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for these Key Skills. I have implemented a strategy to improve each of the Key Skills by working on one of my weaknesses. I have created a plan for the improvement of the skill, and illustrated ways in which I will monitor the progress I make. I have provided examples of work in the Appendix, and referred to them in the body of the report.
2. Introduction 2.1 This report looks at 7 main Key Skills. These Key Skills are defined in the main textbook for this unit, ‘Business Students Handbook’ written by Sheila Cameron. These key skills act as a benchmark for the Higher Education’s Quality Assurance Authority (QAA). All undergraduate degree programs are measured against these key skills. 2.2 Key Skills are vital for everyone. Whether you are studying or working. There are many different key skills, which cover different types of knowledge and understanding. I am going to look at 7 key skills, which fall under one of two distinct categories, Personal Attributes and Interactive Attributes.
2.3 I will look at each Key Skill in turn, assessing my current ability and then, using different methods suitable for that particular skill, plan to improve on an aspect of the skill. I will present all of my findings and use evidence to support this. I will make use of work from my current studies to illustrate the findings. 3. Introduction to the seven Key Skills 3.1 Key Skill 1 – Improve my own learning and performance
As the popular phrase suggests, we ‘learn something new everyday’. This can be considered to be true as there is an infinite amount of information in the world for us to learn. One person could never know everything there is to know. From this analysis, you can conclude that there must be many different methods of learning and skills that accompany each different method. There are simple things that a person learns, such as, how to ride a bike and how to use cutlery. Then there are the more complex things to learn such as becoming a doctor. The first, simple example, illustrates learning that would be carried out by a small child, more than likely taught by his or her parents. The second example, however illustrates learning that can only be achieved by studying at school and then University.
To improve on your own learning and performance, a person must first understand what preferred learning style they have. (See Learning Styles Inventory in section 8.1.1) Then they must adapt to the other learning styles, if required, and alter the ways in which they currently learn, in order to achieve they’re set objective (Source – Key Skills: Making a difference).
3.2 Key Skill 2 – Improve my communication There are two main elements to communication, written and oral. Both elements are equally important and are used in everyday life, by all (Source – Key Skills: making a difference). Written communication can be in the form of letters, emails, memos, essays and reports. These all seem to be formal means of communication, but you can also adapt these forms to be informal, and example being that of emails.
Oral communication again, can be formal or informal. You could have a general chat with a friend in person, or on the telephone. This would be seen as being informal. However, if you were to attend a job interview of have a meeting with your manager at work, this would be seen as being formal communication. 3.3 Key Skill 3 – Improve my Information Technology Information Technology, or IT, is a modern skill, which adapts and improves constantly. IT is usually connected with computers and is strongly linked with communication.
If a study was made on the number of computers in homes around the world today, compared with those numbers ten years ago, you would see a dramatic rise in figures. As people become more affluent they can afford to have computers, this did not happen in the past. Computers have almost become an essential part of living. I would be surprised if there was a company who did not use some form of information technology. Children are taught in schools today, using computers as a focal point. I believe this trend will continue to adapt and increase, with one day, eventually, every home in the country owning at least one computer.
3.4 Key Skill 4 – Improve my Information Literacy Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to “recognise when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.” Information literacy also is increasingly important in the contemporary environment of rapid technological change and proliferating information resources. Information is available through libraries, community resources, special interest organisations, media, and the Internet-and increasingly, information comes to individuals in unfiltered formats, raising questions about its authenticity, validity, and reliability.
Few people work completely alone. The need to work with others is fairly clear and important. At work, people rarely work alone. People will almost certainly always be part of a team or department, and they will work with these people every day. Teamwork is essential. To spend 40 hours per week with the same people every week, you need to be able to get on with them. You need to be able to work well together, enabling you to get the required results. Using the example of a group presentation, it is essential that all members of the group work equally. One person cannot do the majority of the work; all members must have an equal part to play, providing their knowledge and experiences to the cause.
Talking and listening are of great importance when discussing working with others. Although it is important to voice your view on the subject chosen, it is equally important to listen to hear what others have to say (Source – Key Skills: making a difference). Improve my problem solving Every day, in thousands of different environments from schools to the workplace, people provide new information for others. People nod their heads in appreciation and the feeling is that everyone understands. However, that is often not the case. “When people start to apply the new ideas they have not yet absorbed the day’s new concepts. They cannot yet use the material in any cognitive fashion. They find they must assimilate this new material a little bit at a time: reflect on the new concept, work a problem, study the result, and repeat that process until the new material is truly understood”.
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