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    Higher Education Skills And Competencies


    Skills and Competencies refer the required experience and training required by an individual to enhance their capabilities to perform specific tasks (Gerstein and Friedman, 2016). The following is a reflective report discussing the distinction between learning in school environment and higher education and engagement with critical reading and thinking. It also discusses ability to locate, collect and record appropriate information and evaluation of reliability of information. The report also provides a detailed insight on reading skills, self reflection and evaluation of progress.

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    Reflective Summary

    Introduction of Reflective Summary

    During my time working on the module, it gave me a very detailed insight about my current skills and competencies as well as required capabilities required for the term as well as my further higher education. I learned that there are various differences in school and higher education which are imperative for individuals to realise so that they could develop effectively. There are various effective knowledge and skills that were necessary and allowed me to appropriately and successfully pass through this module.

    1. The distinction between learning in the School environment and Higher Education

    During initial week of the module, I came to acknowledge difference between the learning in School and in Higher Education. There were various difference that I found out about these two aspects. The major one being self-study. Tasks get tough and personal reliability increases. One thing which came to be in my favour was my learning style. We were provided various worksheets which made me realise that my learning styles are a blend of visual as well as auditory style. These styles could be very much in use for module and could provide effective results.
    The biggest problem in initial weeks which I faced was with time management. This was because in Schools, teachers help us to obtain information and prioritise activities related to our tasks which made time management easy. While in Higher Education, all activities are supposed to be single-handedly carried out by one individual which makes time management challenging (Johnson and et. al., 2016).

    For improving the time management, I decided to make effective time table to address this issue and improve time management. Furthermore, I decided to implement various strategies as per my learning style in the module like creation of charts, graphs, etc. and discussion of ideas verbally along with make effective presentations, all of which could help me with module.

    2. Engagement with Critical Reading and Thinking

    In later weeks, we were given various activities during the module which successfully aided enhancements in skills and competencies. One such activity was Volkswagen Emission Scandal. We were assigned various groups to perform a roleplay with about the scandal. It is quite necessary for individuals to work as a team to accomplish various group tasks as teamwork is an effective strategy to analyse, evaluate and implement various collaborative strategy essential for the activity. In addition, it allows to motivate and encourage unity in the task (5 Important Reasons Why Teamwork Matters!, 2019).

    The thing which has always worked out for me was analysing my strengths and weaknesses to effectively blend in the group activities and give my maximum input to the team. To analyse the same, Belbin's Theory of Team Roles was implemented. Good thing was that my role in the team was quite desirable and effectively allowed me to enhance my skills and competencies. Another favourable thing was critical thinking part. I find it quite easy to give attention to minutest of details while working on various aspects which are necessary to include every relevant information as per the requirement.

    However, there were quite few issues faced by the team during initial stages of tasks. There were some minor disputes which led to an unconfident start. In addition to this, conflicts lead to creation of barriers which makes group tasks either quite challenging and sometimes impossible to accomplish (De Bono, 2018). Another challenging issue for me was my reading speed. Though my critical thinking is quite impressive as per standards of the module, but my reading speed still needed some work initially. I found that paying attention to detail reduced my speed while reading journals and articles for the VW emission scandal.

    To resolve the issue related to conflict, best solution was to allot the group roles by analysing the requirements as well as capability of each individual. As far as reading speed was concerned, to enhance my critical reading standards as per requirements of the module, I applied SQ3R system which allowed me to stepwise enhance my reading speed without losing sight from any relevant detail.

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    3. The ability to locate, collect and record appropriate information

    Academic sources are quite imperative to gather knowledge and viewpoints of different authors about various topics (Caplow, 2017). It is a crucial activity which helps to gain insight about a specific subject. For Volkswagen Scandal, I went through a number of resources both academic and online to gain a 360º view on the scandal which helped me to play my role appropriately in the module.

    The most appropriate and beneficial aspect for me throughout the report was to locate resources from which effective and relevant information could be carried out for the case. This required to gain an insight inside the library books, various auto-magazines, television news, newspapers, etc. all of which helped us to form a strong and effective module satisfying the agenda.

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    However, there were various sources which were very hard to find. Few of the government statistics regarding the case and various legal documents associated with scandal was quite challenging for me and my team mates to get a peak into. This was because there are various reasons concerned with confidentiality of information that are decided to be kept as a secret from general public.
    With various insight into online government sites and going through various journal articles, we were successful to find these resources along with legal documents that allowed us to gain an insight on this scandal. In addition to this, to effectively examine the same, systematic activities were formulated in form of logs along with the allotted time for each activity. online assignment help australia

    4. Evaluation of reliability of information

    It is quite crucial for an individual to collect reliable information to present relevant data in their research and adequately accomplish the required task (Parrondo, Horowitz and Sagawa, 2015). For VW emission scandal, I went through ample number of resources which included books, journals, articles, internet, etc. From these resources, a lot of information was gathered and recorded. The final task required me to appropriately and systematically segregate relevant information from the irrelevant ones.

    The best thing according to me was that I found it quite easy to analyse and evaluate information that was relevant and effective as per the requirements of this module. I evaluated each source appropriately and effectively recorded each information specifically which would provide ease to me as well as the teammates to compile information within due time.
    However, there were some sources which were relevant, yet, their authenticity could not be effectively gained. This was very challenging as data was exactly what we needed to include in the module. However, without authenticity, the relevance and reliability of information could be quite uncertain.

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    These resources were eventually analysed again and only important and authentic information was used in the report to make it effective and appropriate.

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    Conclusion of Reflective Summary

    The module adequately supported me to enhance my skills and competencies which could contribute in success of my higher education. However, for further terms, I would really work on various aspects because of which, I faced several challenges in my module. For instance, I would dedicate some time to sort out each activity beforehand for effective time management for my projects. In addition to this, it is very crucial to evaluate skills and competencies regularly to ensure development of required aspects as per demands of the concepts and projects (Bergsmann and et. al., 2015).

    Lastly. I would really give an insight to developing new ways of research that helps me in collecting only relevant information in future to effectively achieve the purpose and save time for further evaluation and compilation.

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    Thus, it is concluded that skills and competencies are crucial to effectively accomplish higher education and appropriately accomplishing every required task for the same. Time management is an important activity that allows to priorities and carry each activity which reduces pressure and effectively allows an individual to accomplish tasks systematically. Critical reading and thinking aids to find ways and develop strategies that could help in smooth running of operations as well as create a right and an appropriate pathway towards accomplishment of activities. It is also important to locate, gather and record each information needed as per the requirements of the task to induce a better understanding of concepts and logical reasoning. Lastly, it is crucial to evaluate reliability of each information as per the changing environment and future uncertainties. This is because non-reliable source have a risk to provide relevant information in future. Thus, relevant and reliable source must only be taken into use while accomplishing the module.

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    • Bergsmann, E., and et. al., 2015. Evaluation of competence-based teaching in higher education: From theory to practice. Evaluation and program planning.
    • Caplow, T., 2017. The academic marketplace. Routledge.
    • De Bono, E., 2018. Conflicts: A better way to resolve them. Random House.
    • Gerstein, M. and Friedman, H.H., 2016. Rethinking higher education: Focusing on skills and competencies.
    • Johnson, L., and et. al., 2016. NMC horizon report: 2016 higher education edition (pp. 1-50). The New Media Consortium.
    • Parrondo, J.M., Horowitz, J.M. and Sagawa, T., 2015. Thermodynamics of information. Nature physics.

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