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June 05, 2012

Final entry for Warwick Skills Portfolio Award

Final entry for Warwick Skills Portfolio Award

My working experience as a teacher has inspired me to be a life-long learning person. Several objectives such as enhancing my English and improving academic and personal development skills are the main purposes to join workshops organised by Student Careers & Skills. Furthermore, I am also able to learn different kinds of teaching style and get to know friends from other departments. Against this backdrop, I decided to commit and achieve the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award (WSPA).

In this final entry blog, I would like to share my learning journey into three different parts, which are academic skills, personal development skills and leadership skills. I am going to share specific skills under the respective part.

Academic skills

Being a student and having university life after working for 10 years is quite difficult to focus on the academic things particularly reading and writing skills. The first academic workshop that I joined was reading and note-making. Joining the reading and note-making workshop was the best decision to refresh certain skills that I need to gain as a student. Several action points have been very helpful for me to start my learning journey. At the beginning of my learning journey, I was so excited about many interesting topics either from the books or journals to be explored and read. However, I found difficulties how to choose and organise my readings. After joining the reading and note-making workshop, one powerful action plan to solve my difficulties is to organise my readings by making an efficient note and organising them using correct referencing system. As a result, I have been familiar with the referencing system at the beginning of the autumn term, and easier to find and choose a topic for my assignment.

The second academic workshop that I joined was speedy reading. I realise that reading has been one of my weakness and hoping that some reading strategies will help me to read faster and better. Several reading strategies which are part of my action plans namely using a pointer, reducing sub-vocalization and avoiding skip-backing during my reading have helped me a lot to focus on my reading and even more increase my reading speed.

Introduction to critical thinking and developing critical thinking workshops were the last two academic workshops that I joined. However, I ended up with writing the reflection of these two workshops into one blog only. The action plans regarded to critical thinking have helped me very well in my writing skills. Applying the critical way process helped me to arrange my essay better particularly the logical order, purpose and key information of the writing. Another action plan, which helped my writing, is balancing my essay with presenting different perspectives between advantages and disadvantages of a topic. The third action plan has helped me to be more a critical person when reading a book by checking the published year and its references in detail.

Personal development skills

The introduction to skills development and the Warwick skills portfolio has created an opportunity to complete a self-assessment. I was quite surprised to know the result of some of the personality tests as I found that some of my personal characteristics have changed and improved. However, the tests showed that there is a room of improvement for me to be a more reflective person. Then, I decided that achieving the WSPA and writing a blog could be a way for myself in improving myself to be more reflective. In fact, it did helped me a lot as the WSPA system accidentally made me to think and write about particular workshop strategies which I can apply in my learning journey. By writing the blog, I was able to reflect on my own strategies which I had set up.

Another workshop related to personal development skills, which is emotional intelligence, has also assisted me during my learning journey. The quotation from Eleanor Roosevelt ("No-one can make you feel inferior without your own permission") has strengthened and motivated me to complete my assignments even though I feel down. Another test, Boston EI has made me aware that I still need to manage my emotional part better. Last strategy has worked well in communicating and expressing unsatisfied situation using first person.

Leadership skills

My last two-year experience working in a school has requested me to lead school events and do several presentations. I realised that joining leading a group project and delivering effective presentation will help me to develop my leadership skills better. However, it had been difficult for me to apply the action plans and strategies as my course does not require any group projects and only require few voluntary presentations. Finally, I was able to set up and apply action plans from delivering effective presentation workshop but unfortunately it did not work for the leading a group project workshop.

Most of the strategies from the delivering effective presentations have been very useful to improve my presentations skills. The ‘pause’ before starting a presentation is a new strategy for me to attract and settle the audience. I also practice and prepare my presentations using facial and gesture. And, highlighting my presentation notes made me easier to track and emphasise several important points.

To sum up, all the workshops that I joined have contributed a lot to my learning journey. The strategies that I learned from the various workshops above have helped me to complete my study in Warwick University. Some of the strategies have emerged into my reading and writing habits. Moreover, I believe that most of the strategies that I have learned from the workshops will be useful in my future career.

Thank you, Student Careers & Skills!



December 16, 2011

Final entry on An introduction to skills development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio

This final blog has been able to help me in the process to know and understand my personality and learning styles. By understanding my own personality and learning style better, it will help better in enhancing my own learning journey in Warwick University as well as in my educational career in the future.
Even though I have done several self-assessment tools such as four temperament types (sanguine, choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic) and Multiple Intelligences test, I was surprised to know that my theorist style has been great developed when completed the 40-item learning style questionnaire given by the workshop tutor. However, at that time, I also become more aware of my weaknesses, which need to be more reflective. The skills development and Warwick skills portfolio workshop has been enable me to create three action plans that are easily applied for myself in order to improve my personality. The three action plans have been successfully completed.
1. I will spare 10-15 minutes everyday to reflect on my learning experiences or activities on that day.
This reflective time has been going more often than before and I use this time to plan and evaluate my daily activities. It has been helping me to be more thinker and calmer in handling different situations.
2. I am encouraging myself to achieve this WSPA since it will help me making a structured reflection on the blog.
The structured reflection on the blog enables me not only to reflect on this workshop but also to recall all the other workshops and record the key important points in the blog. Writing the knowledge and skills that you have learnt helps me to recall and review coincidently.
3. I am going to read and review some parts related to theorist and reflective characteristics of the learning styles questionnaire book given from the workshop.
By reading and reviewing the learning styles questionnaire book, I become more aware the positive and negative different types of learning style. Since my learning style is weak in reflector, I have made some strategies to improve on it. For example, I allocate certain time to reflect myself what I have gained and not yet gained within a week and read the appropriate papers more carefully before joining some activities or implementing some action plan. Although sometimes it is quite diificult for me to do it since it's not my natural habit, I found that it helps me better in organising my activities.

December 13, 2011

Follow–up on An introduction to skills development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio

Heres a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points

It has been a good christmas break for me which enable me to have more time to reflect what I have done so far from the beginning of term 1. My action plans have been going well even though sometimes it's difficult to manage my time in spending self-reflection time,  social time and assignment progress time. 

At least two of my action plans have been progressing especially the written reflective blog that reminds me to be more reflective. I keep motivating myself to evaluate several situations so that enable to reflect and improve further actions in my learning journey.


November 23, 2011

Follow–up on An introduction to skills development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio

Heres a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points

  1. I will spare 10-15 minutes everyday to reflect on my learning experiences or activities on that day.

    I find that having a reflection time regularly has made me calmer and thinker before I share or express my opinion. It has helped me out to review things within a day that work successfully of unsuccessfully. Although, it's hard to spare a short of time at the end of the day so that sometimes I am only able to do my self-reflection two or three times in a week.


  2. I am going to read and review some parts related to theorist and reflective characteristics of the the learning styles questionnaire book given from the workshop.

    I have reviewed and tried to understand more on the disadvantages of an activist & pragmatic part since I need to be more reflective in order to balance my personality. I think I will read again to monitor my own progress whether I have improved myself on my weaknesses as an activist & pragmatic.


  3. I am encouraging myself to achieve this WSPA since it will help me making a structured reflection on the blog.

    This is my first time to have a structured form of reflection by writing a blog. It's good to have the written reflection if you have joined different kinds of workshop since we tend to forget the powerful strategies or tips from the previous workshop. The blog has made me to revisit the handout and review my notes in order to check whether I have applied all the given strategies.



November 12, 2011

First entry on An introduction to skills development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio

Workshop Tutor: Han-Na Cha

Introduction

In my point of view, the introduction to skills development and the warwick skills portfolio was very good for students to know, understand and reflect their personality. By knowing and understanding our personality types and learning style, it will help us creating appropriate or suitable learning strategies in order to enhance our own learning journey. In addition, you will be able to make an action plan which areas of ourselves need improvement by joining other warwick skills workshops.

Personally, I don't find any surprises about myself since I have completed several personal development tests in the past. I know my personality type and learning style very well, however this workshop has been able to remind myself to be more reflective since it's one part of my weaknesses. I am an activist and pragmatic person which make me think about more on action part but not putting too much effort or time in reflecting what I have done.

Actions

  1. I will spare 10-15 minutes everyday to reflect on my learning experiences or activities on that day.

  2. I am going to read and review some parts related to theorist and reflective characteristics of the the learning styles questionaire book given from the workshop.

  3. I am encouraging myself to achieve this WSPA since it will help me making a structured reflection on the blog.

To write a follow up, go to http://go.warwick.ac.uk/skills/masters/what_we_offer/workshops/ppd/p1/blog


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  • Hi Maria, A satisfactory final blog entry on the WSPA, that could have benefited from more evidence … by Han-na Cha on this entry
  • Hi Austin, I've been working in an IB school which is implementing critical thinking in our teaching… by on this entry
  • Hi Maria, I'm glad you have found the workshop and follow–up action points useful. What you say abou… by Austin Griffiths on this entry
  • Hi Han–Na, I have revised my blog and hope it's fine now. Cheers, Maria by on this entry
  • Hi Maria, Sorry for the delay in commenting on this entry. I missed it just before I went on holiday… by Han-na Cha on this entry

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