A Study into Skill and Ability development and learning

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According to the Dictionary definition of skill is "ability to do something well". Skills are required in many different work situations such as academic life and professional life. Skills can better prepare the student for their career. Academic studies help to the development of own skills and learn new skills based on experience and collaborative learning environment. Further skill can develop through work, hobby, social, and life experiences. Skills are unique to each person. The common skills are most people have analytical/problem solving, flexibility, oral and written communication, planning and time management. These skills are essential for the future career. I will try developing my skills what I already have and try to learn new skills from anywhere I can get. This report includes what are my skills and weaknesses, how to overcome my weaknesses, what are the opportunities I have got and how to apply my skill to my future career.

Methodology

To realize self Perception I have used Belbin, Time circle analysis, SWOT, skills Audit and Study Skills questionnaire. I have used Belbin Self Perception Inventory to recognize my behavioural tendency in a team environment. Using SWOT analysis I have evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in my academic studies. Skill Audit analysis help me to identify what are my existing skills and knowledge, what are the skills and knowledge to be important for my future career and what is my rate point. To get better understanding about my study skill, I have used study skill questionnaire. Time circle analysis is way to identify where my time usually goes in a day.

Skills I have already identified and evidence

Knowledge of IT

IT skill is useful tools for me researching and presenting my academic work. Word processing skill helps write an assignment without grammar and spelling. Send my work to lecture via email I can get my feedback quickly it's important for my studies. Internet is a great opportunity to find relevant information for academic work and it can be save my money spent on textbooks and is often much more effective. Cottrell (2008, p.148) Using online search frequently time can be save.

Team Player (work with others)

Cottrell (2008, p.148) these skills are called to as 'people skills' and 'interpersonal skills'. Most of jobs in industry required these skills. Using self-evaluation analysis I have proved I'm a good team player. I have ability to operate effectively as a member of a team in completing our tasks. Using this skill I can improve my knowledge true sharing ideas and simulating each other thinking.

Planning and Organising Skill

I have ability to planning and organising my work properly it was proved by using Skill audit test. This skill helps me to save my time. When I get new work, I'm imagining how to this work then breaking up long periods of my work into sub set like that I can complete my work more effectively. Burns and Sinfield (2008) make out planning and organising skill is the key to success.

Research Skill

Research skill can be categorise critical thinking, analysis and problem solving skill. As a result of self evaluation analysis I have identified it. When I have a problem at first I define and analyse problems using my analysis skill then create more solutions and evaluate those solutions, and select the best solution for particular problem, It require my critical thinking skill and problem solving skill. Finally I thinking about what I have done and reflecting on my solution, it is very good method for identify that is the best solution.

Weakness I have already identified and evidence

Time Management

As result of Time circle analysis, my main weakness is time management. I have been spending lot of time to listening music and chatting with friend and family. I know time is very important factor to academic students because all the academic works set in limited time period so I have to manage my time properly. According to Cottrell (2008, p.70) you have a responsibility to organise your study time properly. Some time it can be very hard work because when there are commitments such as work, family and friends to fit in.

Note Taking

According to Skill audit test, I have identified my note taking weakness. When I'm in lecture or seminar room I dislike take note, sometime I have been taking some note but it's not clear to me after few days. Reading my note books I have tried to retrieve what is this note writes about, it's is very hard and time spending activity. According to, as Burns and Sinfield (2008) Information in the notes is helping to do good assignment and exams.

Academic Writing skills

According to SWOT analysis I have identified my weakness of writing. As the Asian people, we have learned English as second language. When I'm writing an academic paper I have to face some difficulties such as grammatical problem and lack of vocabulary. It is very stressful cause for me. According to Drew and Bingham (1997) writing skill will be applicable in all professional contexts.

Opportunities I have already identified and evidence

Project management module helps me to develop my skills and become a great project manager. Through the Project Management module, I have learned how to use Microsoft Project to my works. It's very helpful to planning my project and identify to project milestones. As well as I have learned how to manage my time efficiently, work with dead line and how to achieve goal. According to Richman (2006, pp.13) "Project management has its own set of terms and acronyms", it can be apply to any project.

Entrepreneurship and the Small Business module has selected by me as an optional module. This module is showing way of how to be a successful entrepreneur. There are some practical activities in this class, those are essential me to identify my business related skills and enhance my creative thinking skill, analysis skill. Through the theoretical learning, I can learn some principle of business and how to write a business plan. I think this subject provide me to very good opportunity for develop my business skills. This was proved by (Moutray, 2008, p.3) Entrepreneur education is helping to build new skills, develop new human talents and preserve own morale.

In Academic English class, I met lot of different people such as people from China, Italy, Russia and more because this module places for international student. In here Lecturer is giving us a group work, it is very good opportunity for collaborate with other and develop my communication skills and team work skill. Further I can eliminate my academic writing weakness. A review by Andres (1995)

Teacher can guide their students to work together in teams. It has been observed that the more communication exchanges among students of different ethnic and racial backgrounds, the greater the understanding and acceptance of one another as they learn their similarities often outweigh their differences.

As a programmer, I should be developing my analysis, design and critical thinking skills. UML module is helping me to develop above skills through practical case studies so classroom training is more effective than basic studies. It was proved by Kozma (2003) Practising in the class room; student can be more successful whatever subjects he or she is doing. As the additional outcomes student can be increase information handling, problem solving, collaboration and communication skills.

Strategies I will use to build on my positives and overcome my negatives

Use new technology

Technology is vast power to me obtaining, organizing, manipulating and displaying information. Such as word processing is helping to me overcome my writing weakness by automatic spelling and grammar checking. I can communicate with other students over the internet, which is huge opportunity to build up my interpersonal skills. In Microsoft Office Outlook I can combine my various kind of task into one list, enhanced with reminders and tracking, here upon I can overcome my time management weakness.

Collaborate with other student

People from different countries are sitting in my class. I join with them and work as a group so it's very good opportunity for me to develop my verbal communication skills and team player skill. Other thing is I can solve academic issues by ask them.

Use university resources

I have been used library to upgrade my knowledge. More information to need my life includes in books. I can learn how to develop myself by reading particular books. This was proved by Kennedy (2005, p.24) libraries are more valuable place for academic students.

Events or people might inhibit my development

Facebook

Facebook is social networking website. My friend and Family members use it. So messages, photos and videos have been sent by them. I have to spend lot of time to read or view these things. I can't ignore these things because they may be getting misunderstand about me. Facebook is eating my lot of time. Thus, as (Stutzman, 2006, cited in Selwyn, 2007, p.4) concludes "Facebook is truly a killer app for incoming students"

Some of friends

In my life I have had many friends. Most of them are actually good friends, they help to me but some of them are very playful people. They are not taking anything seriously. Sometimes I have to spend my valuable time with them to do varied activities such as go outside with them, clubbing and more. I have been tried escape them any time it's possible to do. But perhaps I have to join with them.

Whether

My mother country is Sri Lanka. The climate of Sri Lanka described as tropical and warm. Generally the United Kingdom has cool climate. Very first time I can't do my studies properly because this cool temperature stuck me. So I should be adapting to UK climate.

Transfer my skills to the future career aspirations

According to the (United State, Department of Labour, 2009) the market for information technology employment is expected to grow. I will expect to build my future career with in IT field. Most important thing is understands basic business systems and their relationships then I can transfer my knowledge and skills to work place. Using my technological skill I can operate software and hardware equipment with the proper understanding. My Interpersonal Skills can be use in communicate well with other team members, management and customers. As a good team player I can achieve business goal effectively. When a problem occurs in the industry, I can solve this problem showing independence in identifying problem then developing creative and practical solutions using my critical thinking skill and analysis skill. In the professional life my planning and organising skill can be use in managing time, allocating tasks for self and with others and evaluating risk. I will use my maximum strength to be a successful careerist in future.

Conclusions

When I analyse myself as an undergraduate student using particular methods, I have found out that I have more strength and few of weaknesses. I am focused on my strength and opportunities use it to overcoming my weaknesses. Applied computing course is good approach to develop my skills. It provides good knowledge and career opportunities. New technology is allowed me to concentrate more on studying. Collaborating with others is way to overcome my weaknesses and raise my skills. Some of event and people might be inhibit to development I have used my skills to avoid those things. My future career aspiration is to be a software engineer; I will expect to transfer my skills to build up my career.

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