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Evolution of Knowledge and Skills for Study in Higher Education

2211 words (9 pages) Essay in Education

18/05/20 Education Reference this

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Introduction

In this reflective report I will describe the evolution of knowledge and skills for study in higher education and the areas that remains to improve in the environment of higher education that I learned through the module UGB003, Higher Education Skills and Competencies. In addition, developing skills such as critical reading and thinking.

1. Differences between higher education and school environment.

From my first day at the university as a student I realised and felt a lot of differences compare to High School. One of the main and more obvious difference, is the teaching methods. In university teachers are known as lectures or tutors and lessons are known as modules. In addition, I have to attend university only two days a week compare to five days a week in high school. Also, lectures are taking place early in the morning and they are finishing in afternoon. Most of the lectures are followed by workshops, in lectures tutors are providing us an overview of a topic and then in the workshops we analyse deep the topic, start discussions in groups and come up with ideas and conclusion. In university exists the role of independent study (S. Cottrell, Fourth Ed, 2013), that means that everyone can study on its own schedule and making its own choices compare to High School that the teaches were setting the work to the students.

Furthermore, in higher education is applied more technology which I came in touch with materials that I had never faced in past such as videos during the lectures and Power Point slides while in schools the teachers were using the boards and paper books to introduce and analyse topics with the students. 

Being student at higher education now I tried to plan my week in advance and always to keep in track things. The hard part was to organise my work place and try to fit the university days in my week in a way that I will be able to maintain both. In the end, I had figured out the necessary moves that I had to do in order to be able to reach the perfect balance. I had to make a lot of changes in my day to day routine and timetable. Such us working early morning shifts, going early at afternoon, so i will had more time to study. In addition, at weekends I decided to give most of my time for study, for example had planned 5 hours of study on Saturday and Sunday in order to achieve a balance between working and studying.

This was a big challenge and a good task for me, as a new student at higher education because after the balance between work, study and social life that I had reached to have, I was able to recognise skills which I needed to develop such as critical thinking and time management.  “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows” (Sydney J. Harris).

2.Reflection on group work (VW emissions scandal role play).

In one of the workshops it was requested from our tutor to work on groups. The team work was actually requested. We had to be a group of 4 or 5 students and to do a quick research about the VW emission scandal that happened in September 2015.

Me and my colleagues had to represent the role of the Environmental Campaign. Since the beginning I liked our role for the reason that we had to come up with some nice ideas of the work that we had to do. At first, all the team had an individual search about the scandal so all we were in the same page. Second and most important part was to plan and share the work that each member of our team had to do and finding ways for communications and meetings, taking in consideration that all of us had to work out of the university days.

Social media was one of the factors that helped us to chat anytime from anywhere. We created a chat group in WhatsApp application and then we were able to share thoughts and ideas regarding our work. That was the first strategy that we applied us a group.

As an Environmental Campaign we had to bring in light evidence and statics that Volkswagen emission scandal had caused in our planet. After a deep search in Google, some videos in YouTube and some articles and a lot of communication between all of us we decided that we will gather each of us some important information and make some banners with pictures and slogans. In Addition, we had made some questions for another team of our class, that they had the (Management role play of VW).

Our plan for the day of conference was to make noise, show them that we were able to find deep information and last one as environmental campaign to rise our banners about the problems that Volkswagen had caused.

In conclusion, I was very happy of the results of our great team work us a group because I was able to work with different people and personalities and being able to share and accept freely thoughts and ideas from the others and work as a group not as an individual. From my point of view thought this team work I developed my communication skill and my confidence with in group works and as a group everyone was fair to everyone. “Team work is the ability to work together towards a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments towards organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results” (Andrew Carnegie).

3.Engagement with critical reading and thinking.

In modern Society, even in everyday life people are having plenty of issues that they have to solve with taking the right decisions. In order, to be achieved from citizens they have to be able to evaluate critically what they see, hear, and read. In addition, with a variety of printed material available in all fields in this age of “information explosion” everyone may feel overwhelmed. But often the information piled up on people’s desks

and in their minds is of no use due to the enormous amount of it. Therefore, they have to read selectively, sorting out the bits and pieces that are zestful and usable for them. To do so, strong critical reading and critical thinking skills are essential (Morgan & Shermis, l989; Sanacore, 1994).

Both critical reading and thinking are something new that came in my life through high education. I find it very challenging skill as it requires a lot of attention to detail, deeper examination and being sceptical in order to make the right decision in sourcing the right materials such as books and articles in order to gather the right and important information of reading with purpose.

Critical thinking and reading have helped me not only in the ambient of university but and in personal life, it gave me the ability as individual human being to source the necessary information in a century, which has been described as “Information Era”. According to Richards and Schmidt (2002, p. 134) critical reading is “Reading in which the reader reacts critically to what he or she is reading, through relating the content of reading material to personal standards, values, attitudes or beliefs, going beyond what is said in the text”.

Now, I am able to identify, analyse and evaluate a source if I need to read it. I achieve this by asking myself, why do I have to read; How can I collect quality data and why it important;

Gibbs’s theory played key role in the group work of Volkswagen emission scandal. Identifying and understanding the six stages of the theory helped me to evaluate, analyse and come with a conclusion in my team.

As a conclusion, the SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recall and Review) reading method (Oghosanine, 2019) that I applied in my reading helped me to increase my reading comprehension and speed. Taking all in consideration I feel the importance of critical reading and thinking skills in day to day life and university. Learning to think is the primary purpose of education (John Dewey, 1916; Halpern, 2003).

4. Locating appropriate information from a variety of sources and evaluating it reliability.

Finding reliable information and valuable information from a great variety of sources was something new that I learned. The Library and the librarian were very helpful, they showed me the steps that I had to follow and the materials that I had to put in use in order to gather the necessary information. I learned to find books in online version and how to use Google Scholar and to find appropriate information in trustful sites. I am glad that I can now use these tools on my beneficial.

The SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recall and Review) reading method (Oghosanine, 2019) have saved me a lot of time with close reading and engagement with the text. I applied this method in practise during my modules and I saw that it helped a lot in my researches in websites, magazines, articles, books and newspapers by the skimming and scanning strategies.

Always with practise is how I plan to develop my critical skills in order to achieve a speedy and comfortable reading comprehension.

5. Your progress over the module.

This module was very helpful, it gave me the fundamental knowledge and skills for understanding easier the modules in my first term and witting my assignments in academic way. First and foremost, I practised and developed my organisation skills, I developed the team work skill, came in touch for first time with critical reading and thinking, time managing, sourcing valuable information form variety of materials.

6. Conclusion.

I have already set my goals for the second term and made my plan on how I will achieve my goals. I will invest more time in reading books. I will try to read one to two books a month in order to increase my critical reading skill and reading speed. To allow more time for study and practice in academic writing. Planning is something that I will develop the most because I see myself that I am not performing well cause of the bad planning.

7. References

  1. Cottrell. S, (2013) The Skills Handbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Fourth Edition.
  2. Sydney, J. (2012). Turning Mirrors into Windows. [Blog] Dr. Karen Schulte. Available at: http://sdjsuper.blogspot.com/2012/06/turning-mirrors-into-windows.html [Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].
  3. Carnegie, a. (2019). [image] Available at: https://www.goalcast.com/2018/05/28/20-teamwork-quotes/carnegie2-1/ [Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].
  4. Morgan, M. & Shermis, M.  (1989) Critical thinking, reading, and writing. Bloomington, IN: ERIC Clearing House on Reading and Communication Skills.
  5. Richards, J. C., & Schmidt, R. (2002). Longman dictionary of language teaching and applied linguistics (3rd Ed.). London: Pearson Education. P.134
  6. Oghosanine, E. (2019) ‘Reading and Research Skills’ [PowerPoint Presentation]. UGB003: Higher Education Skills and Competencies Available at: ……….. ([Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].
  7. Dewy, J. (1916). Democracy and education. Boston.
  8. Halpern, F. D. (2003). Thought & knowledge: An introduction to critical thinking.
  9. Oghosanine, E. (2019) ‘Reading and Research Skills’ [PowerPoint Presentation]. UGB003: Higher Education Skills and Competencies Available at: ……….. [Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].

7. Appendices

 

Evidence n 1: Weekly time table

 

Evidence n 2:  VW group work

Evidence n 3: Reading speed progress

Evidence n 4: Topics


Evidence n 5: Personal Skills Audit

Skills

Timeframe

Resources

Time management

4 months

Read books, short online courses

Reading Speed

6 months

Reading two books per month

Organisational skill

Every day in my life

Starting practise with physical organisation, attend seminars and read about creative thinking.

Critical thinking

3 months

Short online course, seminars and online books.

Searching for information

2 months

Reading recommended books and journals

Note making

Every day

With practise, developing system of symbols

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