June 25, 2010

Final entry for Warwick Skills Portfolio Award

In this final blog, I will first give a general evaluation about my performances in six workshops. Then I will explore my achievements in some of the workshops from several aspects. At last, I will try to find out how reflection, which was learned through these workshops, can be applied to unknown difficulties in the future.

At the beginning of each workshop, we need introduce ourselves to people around us. I had been kind of nervous about self-introduction, however, in the later workshops I got used to self-introduction and could introduce myself or my partner in a relaxed manner.

In each workshop, there were always some group discussion sessions and presentation sessions. For the group discussion, at first I tended to listen to others carefully but seldom spoke, except that when someone asked me about my opinion. Through the workshop trainings, I think I am still not so active but I can express my idea more frequently. On the other hand, I had been afraid to do presentations. In several workshops, I did several presentations which were not perfect, but at least I finished them following planned structure. So I become less afraid to do presentations after workshops.

Now I would like to show that I obtained improvements in different areas due to different workshops.

My most important improvement was attained through the workshop about becoming assertive, because this workshop gave me reinforcement in my attitude towards the world and other people. From my final review for assertive behaviours, I divided them into two aspects, an internal one and an external one. The internal one includes "how I think and prepare to deal with different situations I may meet. In addition, I should identify my need and choose the option which is reasonable and rational for myself." Obviously, this aspect emphasizes the independence of individual thinking. And for the external aspect, "I understand that if I want to make others feel that I am assertive then I should behave assertively. Moreover, my intonation and voice plays an important role, even indirectly." This aspect focuses on a kind of self-awareness about individual action and its effect. Both of them seem to be about individual alone. However, I think the deeper an individual understand himself and the more he is aware of his actions, the more likely he can understand other people's needs and opinions. It sounds a little bit contradicting. But I think the only way we can get to know about this world is ourselves, so abandoning ourselves or escaping cannot be a way towards a better association with other people. In the contrast, to choose to afford oneself and build up based on oneself, provide a better chance for association with other people by realizing that other people may be in the same plight as I was before or have a different opinion due to their own experience.

Compared with the workshop I mentioned above, the other workshops tend to improve my skills in different areas. For example, the workshop on effective learning and revision allows me to explore different strategies for learning and revisions so that I can find the most suitable strategy to enhance my study efficiency and exam results. Similarly, the workshop on making notes helps me to make better and organised notes and introduces me the method of key words to speed up making notes. In addition, my communication, as well as my communication skill, has improved through my reflection on my voice and attitude of speaking.

However, there is still something that I can continue to improve or I did not reach a satisfactory level. For instance, I am aware that additional research beyond texts is important, but I did not try to read more materials related to the topic. Another defect is that my self-motivation just worked occasionally. I did fail to motivate myself to continue working on a non-compulsory task.

Finally, I would like to conclude the mechanism of reflection. Most of the workshops provide us with some kind of theory which helps us to develop our skills, but the theory may work to a different extent for different people. Then through practising and attempting various methods, I conclude and revise a method which is most suitable for me. This dynamic chain between theory and practice can be applied when I want to acquire a kind of new skill. It is easy to start due to the availability of previous theory and it is flexible because it requires my own amendment according to my situation. Therefore, following this method, when I meet something unknown, I can first search for previous theory or others' experience and try them. Then later, with a consideration to my particular case, I can adjust to a more suitable approach. 

At the end of this entry, I would like to thank all tutors for their devotion of time and energy, patience and help to promote my skills as well as other students.

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    25 Jun 2010, 14:19

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