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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.

June 23, 2010

Final review for communication

I think my ability to communicate with others has improved through this academic year, though there are still many places I can done better, e.g more actively speak and confidently introduce myself to new friends. Here are some advices I leave for myself.

To talk is not difficult if you relax, because ideas will come naturally.

Loudly express your idea, if they cannot understand, then slow explain to them. Mistakes do not matter at all.

Be more brave to ask and more careful to listen.

February 05, 2010

Fifth review for communication

Recently I have discussed some assignment problems and the content of the lectures with classmates who attend the same lectures. Furthermore, we also extended our topics to other different modules chosen by some of us.

Since I did not know anything about my two new roommates at all, we chat a lot when we meet each other on the campus. 

My mentor sent me an email to invite her mentees to a lunch on next Monday. This will be  a good chance for me listen to their lives in the university. And I got some helps and advices from my mentor for one of my computing assignment through email.

December 08, 2009

Second review action plan for communication

I have tried a lot on starting a coversation, but it seems aliittle hard. The reason is that when I chat I tend to relax but I need to concentrate to understand others' English. So I end up with either too focus to say something or understanding not well what others are discussing.

November 29, 2009

First review action plan for communication

1. Although there was not a conversation started by me daily, this action point made me attempt more to talk with others, especailly starting a conversation.

And to start a conversation needs a topic which I sometimes hardly found. Maybe I should pay an attention on what I do not know and what I think interesting. They may be good topics.

2. I seem to feel less nervous when talking, but the clarity did not seem to improve.

November 18, 2009

Action plan

My plan focuses on communication and interaction with other people, since I feel a kind of anxiety when I talk with others at times, especially when I am bot able to express my idea accurately.

I thought out two actions:

1. Start a conversation actively with another person per day.

2. When I try to make a point, I should have a full idea and speak it out slowly and clearly.

I will come up with more key action points.

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