Guidance in Various Skills

Module Learning Outcomes (from module syllabus)

Upon the successful completion of this module, the student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  1. produce a fully referenced written work in a relevant topic which is well -organised and makes use of an appropriate academic writing style;
  • produce written work which is well-organised, relevant and makes use of appropriate terminology and academic style;
  • demonstrate good communication skills in written and oral form;
  • demonstrate effective use of Information Technology (IT) as required, including but not limited to MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Teams, the internet;
  • interpret and analyse a range of information beyond mere description in a critical way;
  • work as a member of a team by cooperating with others, negotiating, listening to others in the group, sharing responsibilities/tasks and meeting deadlines.

Assessment Component 1 – 25% Written Report (1250 words).

Assignment 1 (Learning Outcome one to five):

Select one published source from the Indicative Reading List in the Module Descriptor. Select one section of this source that discusses a specific skill or set of skills that you find useful or believe will be useful to you in the future.

Write a short summary of the discussion of the skill(s) in the published source. Then analyse how you can use this to improve your own skills – either now or in the future. Evaluate what you have learnt from this source.

If you wish, you can refer briefly to other sources from the List to support what you say. You must reference any sources you use using the Harvard referencing system.

NOTE: The guidance offered below is linked to the five generic assessment criteria overleaf.

  1. Engagement with Literature Skills

Your work must be informed and supported by scholarly material that is relevant to and focused on the task(s) set. You should provide evidence that you have accessed an appropriate range of sources, which may be academic, governmental and industrial; these sources may include academic journal articles, textbooks, current news articles, organisational documents, and websites. You should consider the credibility of your sources; academic journals are normally highly credible sources while websites require careful consideration/selection and should be used sparingly. Any sources you use should be current and up-to- date, mostly published within the last five years or so, though seminal/important works in the field may be older. You must provide evidence of your research/own reading throughout your work, using a suitable referencing system, including in-text citations in the main body of your work and a reference list at the end of your work.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

Your research only needs to be based on one source from the indicative reading list for this assignment:

EssentialBradbury, A. (2006) Successful Presentation Skills. London: Kogan Page.
EssentialCottrell, S. (2019) The Study Skills Handbook, 5th Ed. London: Red Globe Press.
EssentialSaunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2016) Research Methods for Business Students, 7th Ed. Harlow: Pearson.
FurtherFairbairn, G., & Winch, C. (2011) Reading, Writing, and Reasoning: a Guide for Students, 3rd Ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
FurtherGodfrey, J. (2018) How to Use Your Reading in your Essays, 3rd Ed. London: Palgrave
FurtherHaber, J. (2020) Critical Thinking. London & Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
FurtherMcMillan, K., & Weyers, J. D. B. (2012) The Study Skills Book, 3rd Ed. Harlow: Pearson.
FurtherOliver, P. (2012) Succeeding with Your Literature Review: A Handbook for Students. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill / Open University Press.

If you wish, you can refer briefly to other sources to support what you say.

2.    Knowledge and Understanding Skills

At level 4, you should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the underlying concepts and principles associated with your area(s) of study. Knowledge relates to the facts, information and skills you have acquired through your learning. You demonstrate your understanding by interpreting the meaning of the facts and information (knowledge). This means that you need to select and include in your work the concepts, techniques, models, theories, etc. appropriate to the task(s) set. You should be able to explain the theories, concepts, etc. to show your understanding. Your mark/grade will also depend upon the extent to which you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

Your writing should be factually accurate, and you should represent the source that you use precisely and concisely. You need to show that you understand the topics and the usefulness of the skills discussed. There should be detailed examples.

  • Cognitive and Intellectual Skills

You should be able to present, evaluate and interpret qualitative and quantitative data, in order to develop lines of argument and make sound judgements in accordance with basic theories and concepts of your subject(s) of study. You should be able to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems related to your area(s) of study and/or work. Your work must contain evidence of logical, analytical thinking. For example, to examine and break information down into parts, make inferences, compile, compare and contrast information. This means not just describing what! But also justifying: Why? How? When? Who? Where? At what cost? You should provide justification for your arguments and judgements using evidence that you have reflected upon the ideas of others within the subject area and that you are able to make sound judgements and arguments using data and concepts. Where relevant, alternative solutions and recommendations may be proposed.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

Guidance specific to this assessment:

Your writing should not just be descriptive. It should evaluate and analyse the source material. You might need to interpret qualitative or quantitative data. You need to demonstrate the ability to make logical connections between the way that the skills are described in the source material, your evaluation, assessment and opinions about them.

4.    Practical Skills

At level 4, you should be able to apply the basic underlying concepts and principles to evaluate and interpret these within the context of your area of study. You should be able to demonstrate how the subject-related concepts and ideas relate to real world situations and/or a particular context. How do they work in practice? You will deploy models, methods, techniques, and/or theories, in that context, to assess current situations, perhaps to formulate plans or solutions to solve problems, or to create artefacts. This is likely to involve, for instance, the use of real-world artefacts, examples and cases, the application of a model within an organisation and/or benchmarking one theory or organisation against others based on stated criteria.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

You should be able to relate examples from the real world to the descriptions that you encounter, and vice versa.

This is an evaluative report, not a reflective one. However, you may need to reflect on your own current skills before you start – you need to know what your level is before you can find a way to improve it. If you do this, you should make use of the tools you learned in class (e.g. SWOT analysis, time management tools, personal development and planning) and apply them to your own situation.

You may include some of that reflection in the report, but this should be no more than 15% of the word count: approximately 180 words. Most of the report should be evaluative and analytical, based on the information in the chosen source.

5.    Transferable Skills for Life and Professional Practice

Your work must provide evidence of the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility. This includes demonstrating that you can communicate the results of your study/work accurately and reliably, and with structured and coherent arguments; that you can initiate and complete tasks and procedures, whether individually and/or collaboratively; fluency of expression; clarity and effectiveness in presentation and organisation. Work should be coherent and well-structured in presentation and organisation.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

Your report should be appropriately structured; it should have a cover page, a table of contents and logical sections. It should be written using formal language, in clear paragraphs, in a way that conveys the meaning intended. You should ensure that the grammar, spelling, punctuation and use of vocabulary are correct and reflect the way you normally write in English. The use of translation and/or paraphrasing software is discouraged but you are welcome to use a dictionary/thesaurus.

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