DTTLS STUDY SKILLS
The aim of this essay is to give the reader an overview of the types of study skills necessary for a student to study for and attain a Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector. In it I will discuss my personal approach to study and the study skills I need to use on the programme. The essay will highlight the skills I feel are my current strengths and draw attention to the areas I need to develop. I will briefly describe and evaluate some different reflective models and in relation to these explain the type of reflective model I use and how this helps me to understand how I can improve my learning experience and my study skills in order to study more proactively. I approach my studies with motivation and enthusiasm and to facilitate this I have set aside a study area that is well equipped with the resources I need to research and work on assignments. ‘The study skills needed for Higher Education are ultimately gained only through studying at that level’ (Cottrell 2008, pg1) and so I would suggest that for a student to be able to study the DTLLS course, the following study skills will need to be acquired; good listening, oral communication and team working skills. These are vital to being able to take part in group work. Note taking is important as you need to be able to take notes in class so that you can remind yourself of any key points raised in the session. Good reading skills are essential as students will be required to do a lot of this to research and gain understanding of subjects. English language and essay writing skills are crucial because written assignments make up a large volume of the course work. The Harvard system of referencing is a mandatory requirement for all essays. ICT skills are necessary to word process written assignments and create presentations. Students will also need good research skills to find, identify and investigate relevant sources of information and evaluation skills to enable them to give a valid argument for or against opinions raised by theorists, tutors and or other students. Courses at this level also require students to develop and use critical questioning, thinking and reading skills because they will be requested to analyse information and draw conclusions. To be able to manage the workload of a DTLLS course students need to take responsibility for their own learning and have good time management skills so that they are organised, can prioritise tasks and work to meet deadlines.
‘A reflective, active, self-evaluating approach to learning develops deeper understanding in the long term’ (Cottrell 2008, pg1) however, when it comes to the subject of reflective models there are many different models to choose from; Gibbs (1988), Fish, Twinn & Purr (1991), Boud and Walker (1985), Brookfield’s critical lenses (1995) and Atkins and Murphy's model (1994) to name just a few. After reviewing these models my conclusion is that they all have the same outcome in mind – review the situation and make improvements.
Different models have different amounts of steps and these are given different headings to encourage reflection. Models such as Atkins and Murphy's and Boud and Walker use a three step process whilst Fish, Twinn & Purr and Brookfield take four.
I am attracted to Gibbs model (1988) because it takes six steps to get to the end conclusion therefore giving me plenty of opportunities to reflect on situations in various ways. I also like the fact that Brookfield suggests the inclusion of peer reviews and benchmarking our experiences against theoretical perspectives, these two points in my opinion add more value to the reflection as opposed to some of the other models and so for that reason I have discounted the others. My adapted version of Gibbs and Brookfield (see appendix 1) has seven steps and takes steps from both of these models.
Northedge (2005) discusses Kolb’s reflective learning cycle, adapted for study skills and explains that ‘By...
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