Through this course I have learnt reflect on my strengths and weaknesses in relation to education and training.
I now recognize that there are different learning styles which are Activist, Reflector, Theorist and Pragmatist (Honey and Mumford, 1982). Online questionnaires have shown that I am between an activist and a pragmatist. I now understand why I focus on practical matters and to be less interested in exploring hypotheticals or more abstract and theoretical areas. I need to understand what a theory is useful for, and what it can be applied to in the ‘real-world’. I require information to be explained so I can relate it to previous experiences.
I tend to teach students by my preferred method of learning although on reflection this is not suitable for all (Anonymous ) .
I find it difficult to concentrate on lengthy written tasks or reading technical books. I have found reading off screen hard work and have a tendency to flick between screens therefore I have had to print out the screens and read them on paper and instruction videos I have had to watch several times. I also am learning to become more disciplined when using the computer as I often have multiple windows open thus becoming easily distracted.
Time management is something that I now aware is not my strongest point in that I tend to leave projects until the last minute. I have therefore mapped out a study plan, to allow me to make constructive use of my time. (Landsberger)
The discipline of critiquing is a challenge for me as I tend, with education journals with training articles that have multiple choice questions, to try and answer the questions first without reading the article or at least speed read it. I now understand how important when looking at journal articles and web pages how relevant the information is and more importantly its source being it a properly referenced article or a sponsored piece (Pears, Shields and Lancaster, 2007). Previously I had never considered this to be particularly important. This is an area I need to improve, as I now realise much of studying is about critiquing and assessing information
In previously I have used end note in Windows Word as the reference tool, as I was unaware of other styles of referencing especially when used for academic papers. I now have learnt how to use Refworks as a tool for referencing which I have also applied to another project.
Using search engines in the past have been very much a hit and miss affair where I used phrases rather than keywords. Having been shown how to use Google scholar and specifically Boolean operators, my search strategy is now more efficient and has led to a larger number of relevant hits. (Anonymous )
Honey, P. & Mumford, A. (1982) Manual of Learning Styles. P. Honey.
Anonymous Learning Styles Available at: http://www.ndt-ed.org/TeachingResources/ClassroomTips/Learning_Styles.htm (Accessed: 4/28/2011)
Landsberger, J. F. Time management. Available at: http://www.studygs.net/timman.htm (Accessed: 4/24/2011)
Pears, R., Shields, G. & Lancaster, S. (2007) Cite them right. Newcastle upon Tyne: Pear Tree Books.
Anonymous boolean operators – Google Search Available at: http://www.google.co.uk/#q=boolean+operators&hl=en&prmd=ivnsfd&ei=ezK0TZTlHISg8QOs3uyVDA&start=10&sa=N&fp=d1007c4880f2cdbd (Accessed: 4/24/2011)
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